“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Like a post before, this one will be a little different. Today, I want to go over my fifteen goals for 2015! These goals are not to create a sense of shame at the end of the year if they are not accomplished, but they are to dream and to inspire. Goals are gifts we can give ourselves; let’s never punish ourselves with our goals.
1. Take more risks. This year I want to experience things dangerous to come to. I want to live more fully, more courageously. There is the platitude: “Ships are safe in the harbour, but that’s not where they belong.” This gets at the feeling, however banally, that I am trying to express.
2. Learn how to sail! But seriously, how cool would that be? Water. Sun. Waves. Knots. Fish. And in case the world ever has some sort of radical disaster, I could still be a transatlantic guy.
3. Express gratitude more. Specifically, find three things every day to be grateful for. I hope to grow a sense of wonder and joy of being in the world and experiencing life. Better than the alternative, right?
4. Learn new languages. I confess that this goal is all but certain to happen, as I am already learning Dutch, but I have to learn how to read German much more effectively. If my Dutch gets far enough, I am looking at learning French. When in Rome! As they say…
5. Read more novels, specifically In Search of Lost Time by Proust. Other novels are fine, but this is a life goal we’re talking about here: read the longest novel ever published! (Well, I mean it once was…)
6. Run a marathon. This is the year. I want to train all year for the Brussels 2015 marathon in October. Why? Because I am a sadist, and if I don’t do it now, then when? I am young and relatively fit already. This is the year. (Already trying to psyche myself up…)
7. Learn how to do yoga — if only to recover from (6). Also, I think learning to do yoga would be a good step forward on honing my ninja skills.
8. Do NaNoWriMo. I don’t know if this will be in November proper, but I want to write out the story that is bouncing around in my head, if only to get better sleep at night.
9. Practice lecto divina and mediative prayer. Coupled with (7), I want to be more centred this year, and I think these practices would help. Besides, ninja skills and mystic skills go well together.
10. Learn to cook better. This is preservation skill. My wife is an amazing cook, a chef really, but I am not. When she goes on business trips, I…don’t really eat. This needs to change! Time to get in the kitchen game.
11. Listen better. We communicate more than we think. At least, my wife tells me I do. I want to learn to listen to signals better, as well as to what people aren’t saying. I probably should also learn to listen to myself better and work on how I say things (in my entirety).
12. Write more academic work. There is a specific work in my mind. It begins with a P(hD) and ends with me having no life. But other than that, it should be fun.
13. Be more curious, not suspicious. Look at the world, people, intentions with more wonder and joy than with my natural suspicious and cynical glare.
14. Visit new places. The limits of our experience are the limits of our world, so I am going to see and to experience more of it. Honestly, I have lived in Belgium for years now, and I have still not travelled the hour and a half to see Paris. This is going to change in 2015.
15. Learn the difference between important and urgent. As with all things, priorities matter, so knowing what to prioritise is key. In 2015, we will attempt to get this right! We’ll see…