At the end of 2022, I reflected on a year that had me derailed but as December rolled in, I was optimistic and putting my energy into a successful proceeding year and stated;
2023 “is a journey for me to be young.
To think about and do things that defy my age.
To be happy, healthy and strong.
To love life.”
To complement the above, I boldly documented 50 achievements to attempt before I turn 51 on 15 January 2029. Ambitious and improbable challenges, creating a life to keep me occupied, focused, balanced and fulfilled.
I was able to knock through 12% of my list in 2023 with:
- Be A Better Person – This is a hard one to qualify and probably needs an exclusive blog post to flesh it out and self-adjudicate but I have achieved this goal.
- Pilates (Or Yoga & Stretching) > 150 sessions in 12 months
- Alcohol-Free>12 Months
- Complete an Ocean Swim Event
- Motocross – Top Three In Vets Class
- Row in a Regatta
While it wasn’t a primary goal, it was a proud accomplishment to place 16th out of 350 riders in the ‘Convict 100 Mountain Bike Race‘.
Last year I made progress emotionally, physically, spiritually and occupationally/financially. They are some pretty big dimensions of ones-well-being and I am grateful that I bettered myself in these areas.
Q: What is going to make 2024 better than 2023?
A: To continue to be a better version of me at every opportunity.
Sure my 50by50 goals will keep me moving with one positive step in front of the other but the first goal on my 2023 list, ‘to be a better person’ has to be a perpetual goal every year.
Cicero, Rome’s most notable orator had an expression of Summum Bonum, meaning the Highest Good and the highest good is Virtue. Every single opportunity in life is an opportunity to respond with Virtue.
I added another tough-sticker to my collection in June with a design I created and had inked across the right hand side of my ribs.
The Stoic philosophy that epitomises harmony and reason says that everything we face in life is an opportunity to respond with virtue. The Stoics are emphasising the idea that external events are beyond our control, but our reactions and responses are within our control. Instead of being swept away by emotions, desires, or external circumstances, Stoicism encourages individuals to approach challenges with Temperance, Wisdom, Courage and Justice. I.e my tattoo design.
Facing difficulties, hardships, or even pleasant situations provides an opportunity to practice and strengthen ourself. Whether it’s dealing with adversity with courage, maintaining equanimity in the face of success, or practicing justice in our interactions with others, every circumstance becomes a chance to cultivate and express virtue.
By focusing on our own character and moral development, I can navigate the complexities of life with a sense of inner peace and resilience, regardless of external circumstances. This perspective encourages one self to respond to challenges with virtue rather than being controlled by external events and emotions.
If I act virtuously I believe that everything else important will fall into line; success, happiness, meaning, fulfilment, reputation, respect, creativity, energy, discipline, love. Even the physical challenges that I lay down will be more easily achieved.
“The man who has virtue is in need of nothing whatever for the purpose of living well.” Cicero