Five years ago today I made the decision to step away from everything that I knew and take a leap into the unknown. Carrying a small backpack and a handwritten list of 100 things that I wanted to achieve, I boarded a plane and flew overseas. With little money and no idea what would unfold, my goal was simple; I wanted to try and find happiness and purpose in my life. This was the beginning of 100 Things. For such a big decision I have to say that it was one of the easiest that I’ve ever made. Fundamentally it came down to giving myself permission to consider my own version of fulfilment. A simple concept and one that was sadly inspired only after loss and misdirection in my life.
Why as people do we tend to wait for these types of dark circumstances to consider such important life choices?
Today, some five years on, I find myself reflecting whilst sat on a beach on the tiny island nation of Mauritius. My life has changed and I can say with a proud smile that jumping on that plane years ago was the single most important moment of my life. At surface level i’m of course stoked to have ticked 66 items from the list and to have raised over $150,000 so far for some amazing charities but it’s actually the development of people making positive changes in their own lives through this journey that brings the most satisfaction. It’s no longer just about me. Thankfully it’s about something far bigger now (it would have been boring otherwise!). I should also at this stage thank YOU, for helping to make this journey what it is today; a global movement. I’m not the only one with a list, we all have one, and 100 Things reminds me that we’re all here for one reason; to progress. The key is connection with yourself and others. People are intrinsically good and because of 100 Things my faith lays in us; people, so thank you.
What’s Beyond 100? Helping People to Help People…
Kind of like rain drops making their way down a window pane, 100 Things has moved and developed in it’s own way. It started of course with my own list (the selfish part, if you will). This accidentally led to others considering their own goals and dreams and as such the journey moved organically towards motivating others. Wanting to do more I soon found myself reaching out an physically helping others with the more meaningful items from their list which in turn has led to complete strangers the world over reaching out to help one another. This I never expected but I have to say feel is the the most important part yet!
I don’t often speak about this latest development (and I won’t take up too much of your time now!) but over the last 12 months I’ve started to receive requests for help from people who could really do with a hand in life. From a mother who asked me to help find her twin sons two suits so that they be allowed to go to their school formal (see video below), to a young suicidal girl who emailed me in a last ditch attempt to connect with something positive, I’ve found that I there is nothing more important than for me to help in every way that I can. Thankfully the results have all been positive but what I find most amazing is that on each occasion that I’m approached by someone in need of help, I’m consequently approached by even more people who offer to help! As if a lightning bolt had hit me in the head, it’s very clear to me now that the world is full of people who both need help and can help. The key in introducing them. This is what this next year of 100 Things will be focused on. I’ll keep you posted!
How Am I Celebrating the 5th Birthday? With a TICK of course!
Before I booked my flights to Mauritius, I was invited by 5 different companies in Australia to give my keynote presentation at various events around Australia. I’m fortunate to say that my keynote presentation has become very popular and aside to being able to spread a positive message, I also get paid for these engagements. Awkwardly though, the dates of each of the 5 talks coincided with my plans to fly to Mauritius in order to try and tick off Number 44- Represent a Country at Something, and without thinking about it I rang each person up and explained that I would be unavailable. When asked why, I simply told them that I would be flying to Mauritius to try-out for the national rugby team, a sport I have not played in 11 years. If picked I would be flown to Botswana for the African Championships to play 3 test matches against Morocco, Swaziland and Zambia. Interestingly with all five phone calls, the same two responses were shared; a) ‘You’re crazy!’ and, b) ‘But you know there is a good chance you won’t get picked?’. Agreeing with both points, I was also reminded by a friend that by turning down the 5 talks i’d be missing out on a good source of income. Again he was not wrong, but looking back now in the knowledge that none of these points influenced my ultimate decision to purchase a flight to Mauritius and turn up with a pair of rugby boots and a big smile, confirms for me that I’m doing the right things for the right reasons; pursuing something completely intangible based on my values. I love it. So to answer to the above question of what i’ll be doing to celebrate the 5th birthday of 100 Things, well, this evening i’ll be going to a training session as a member of the Mauritian national rugby team (I made the team last week!) and on top of that I have a lot of emails to respond to from people all over the world, some asking for help and others of course offering their help. There is literally nothing I’d rather be doing. After all, life is surely about trying your best to do the things that you value. What else is there? Happy 5th birthday 100 Things and thanks to you for being part of this story. What’s on your list?
Number 44- Represent a Country at Something Video Diary #3
Click HERE to see the other video diaries from Mauritius
100 Things… What’s on your list?