(Photo Credit: Adam Roberts, Mr. Orangedog Photography)
As 2015 drew to a close, everyone here in Thailand was very excited: as Christmas is non-existent, the New Years’ parties take the front seat.
I witnessed 2016 coming in on the local beach, watching a sea of lanterns being set off along the the 5km beach, and the biggest and best hotels competing to set off the biggest and best fireworks displays. And of course a giant Pooh Bear being set on fire. Great for us locals on the beach (not so much for the environment, but don’t get me started on that).
Anyways, as it is for most people, the New Year brought in the chance to “start over” and make radical life changes. Well, mine, as usual, were more like tweaks – do more core work, etc.
As well as my ‘resolutions’, I also made some ‘non-resolutions’- things I will try not to do. Looking back these tend to be the same every year, so clearly I am not achieving them, and something is missing for me to achieve them: I just don’t want them enough.
I don’t believe that a single night is going to change your attitude towards life, unless something truly meaningful to you personally takes place. I mean, you can make these changes any day of the year, after a particularly life changing event or encounter, and you’re more likely to stick with them if it really sits strongly with you.
I can name a couple of events in 2015 that happened to me, and had more of a life changing effect on me than NY eve.
- I haven’t eaten beef, pork or lamb since watching ‘Cowspiracy‘ in March, and I still have no desire to.
- Coming fifth in Chicago World Championships: I was disappointed in my performance, and wanted to do better than that. Most of all, I knew I could. So I moved to Phuket to train, as one does…
It comes down to personal basic economics: our personal ‘wilingness to pay’ versus our ‘willingness to accept’. This goes for athletes trying to make a career out of their sport, or a writer trying to become a journalist. If you want it enough, you’ll push it until you achieve it. You’re prepared to make sacrifices, whether socially, financially or in terms of your lifestyle, if it means you can achieve your dream.
I learned about such sacrifice at uni: taking up triathlon in my third year after a hectic Summer where running became my escape led to a change in lifestyle. A drastic decrease in pub nights, and ironically, sport’s nights, so that I could wake up feeling fresh and ready for training. Of course people questioned my absence, perhaps taking it personally, and jokes were thrown around, but I knew that my true friends would respect my choices. Although, they may perhaps disappointed that I was missing a night out (yes, I suffered through many long nights of severe FOMO -fear of missing out), they understood it was for something that I truly loved and was beginning to develop a passion for.
What I didn’t expect on taking up the sport was the extent of sacrifice I would be willing to make, and the constant self-questioning of whether those sacrifices were the right ones to make, or if they were one step too far?
I guess only time will tell, but fingers crossed for now.
So, although the beginning of the year may be a convenient time to make some drastic life changes, unless you truly care about achieving them, are truly passionate about them, good luck sticking with them!
Peace out, with my fingers crossed for all of you making some crazy, passionate leap of faith,