A journey begins with a thought…and who knows where it leads?!

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Last year, I decided to embark on a journey, Sam’s 50/50-2012. In 2012 I was turning 50 and rather than a big party, I decided to do something unique and year long. Right from January 1st to December 31st, I was going to blog about the extraordinary in the ordinary (I never thought myself a writer or blogger!). I wound up with 109 blog posts at the end of the year and on January 1st, 2013, I listed the 50 most memorable experiences of 2012 and turning 50. The idea came to me when my wife asked me what I wanted to do in 2011 to celebrate my milestone in 2012 and the idea of a large scale party did not appeal to me…then what? The 50/50-2012 came to me – . Thanks to Will S and Connie C, they both helped me to embark on this adventure.

Looking back, I had to be disciplined and awake! Disciplined in that I had to write on a regular basis and post on a regular basis. If the momentum stalled, the project would not finish and people would lose interest. This was a challenge at times when I thought I would not have much to write or a gap would emerge and I would not have thoughts to share. That is when the second part would have to be present…to be awake. What I mean by this is that I had to be awake to what was going on around me at all times and trying to find purpose and meaning out of the simple things in life. This was a powerful experience because it meant that I had to be creative in my approach to the every day. To be awake meant making the most of the people I met, the situations I encountered and the things I got to do. It also meant that I tried things I had never thought of doing before. Things like going down a slope on a four man bobsleigh at 130 km/hr and 3G’s or sleeping on the Great Wall of China.

I have talked to others who have taken my journey and made it their own. I have no problem with someone doing a 30/30-2013 to celebrate turning 30…that was the idea or that they have taken the sentiment of the journey and just started to do things they might not otherwise do! I wanted others to embrace the journey that makes up their lives and to document it. My 50/50-2012 was for two reasons. The first was for me to document and share some of the amazing things I could do to celebrate a milestone. The second reason was to help others write their own autobiographies. If a simple person like me could do such a journey, then so could anyone else. I think what is most important to remember about doing a year long adventure like what I did was that it was not about what others thought about what I was writing about or doing…it was about me having discussions with myself on the small things in life and those things that mattered.

How about you take a challenge for yourself? Try something new that you have not done before. You can document it or keep it to yourself. The most difficult thing about doing something is to bookended. Make a decision to do it. Once you commit to it, then pursue it and complete it. Start it and finish it. I have seen many people who have initiative but they don’t have the persistence to follow through. I would like to hear what you are going to consider and pursue. Make it as small or large as possible…but commit to it and do it. You will enjoy the experience!

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