It will be May on Sunday, but this month unlike the two years previous, I will not be partaking in any graduation parades. I also won’t be internally celebrating my progress from the previous academic year, like I had every year before that (because I did not study last year). Since I started in the school system, as a young child, every year has been planned to some extent – education has steered the course of my life. I have anticipated each new year with excitement about the reputable milestones that will be reached come year’s end, much like the excitement one experiences as a child regarding the pending privileges that will be gained on the next birthday (i.e 18 years old).
I can’t lie, I love this feeling. With studying it’s not just the yearly milestones that I love, it’s the simple feeling of progress, the sense that with each year passed life gets better and better – next year there will be even more to experience. To me, this is happiness. It’s never just about sitting the exam or writing the essays, being awarded a grade or having “an achievement”, it’s the internal experience. It’s the fact that it required me to overcome something, to learn something new – to evolve.
My bungee jump at Gravity Canyon, New Zealand – February 2011
I want to live my whole life as an incredibly happy person. I want to always be learning new things, about people, about myself, about the world. I want to look back on each year and feel amazed at all I had the privilege of experiencing and be even more excited about the year ahead. I want to always choose to be happy, because it is my view that happiness (or unhappiness) is a choice. No matter what situation people are in (even horrific ones) there are always people who choose happiness, not by willing themselves happy, but by changing their circumstance or simply focusing on something more fulfilling.
With this thought in mind (and possibly aided by my fondness of lists) I wrote down some undertakings I want to be open to experiencing in my life-time, and then sectioned them to age specific regions to make them time bound (to help with motivation). So here I go…. I’ve published my 20s to do list, of which I have 5.5 more years to complete:
Which ones have you done?