Despite a particular year in 2020, life expectancy in France in 2020 remains the same for men (79.5 years) and women (85.5 years). We can therefore say statistically that today at 36 years old, I officially have 55% of my life left to live!
Surely you think there are more cheerful ways to start a newsletter about my birthday, don’t you? If you’ve been following me for the last few months, you also know that I have a different view of death and “the time we have left” (hence the name of my new startup!).
This was one of the strong teachings I learned during my Vipassana experience: we are born to die, everything that rises up becomes dust one day. You, me, and the world around us. I know that many of you find this extremely anxiety-provoking as a point of view. But it is difficult to refute the veracity of these statements.
Why should death be frightening when it connects us all? Why should we ignore the ephemeral nature of our life on earth? Why have we stopped celebrating death? As the Mexicans still do during the “Dia de los Muertos” (a celebration classified as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO).
Today, 13 December 2020, is my birthday!
I’m 36 years / 423 months on earth (yes I know, you would have given me less!). I have been trying to make sense of this for 13,149 days now.
Don’t panic, I’m not going to try to answer all these questions. I’m just putting it there. Let’s go back to more positive notes if you don’t mind. I feel that the atmosphere has become tense all of a sudden!
As Steve Jobs said: “You can only connect the dots by looking forward, you can only connect them by looking backward.” Birthdays may simply be “gentle reminders” to allow us to connect the dots of our past and see where our future is heading.
Our family and loved ones (and even strangers through social media) remind us every year that we have just “consumed” a new year on this earth. Like an hourglass being turned over, we reset the counter the day after our (often tipsy) birthday party.
When I see how far we have come in this year 2020, I am the first to be surprised by this 180° turn taken by my own life. 24 months ago, I was still in my own (limiting) beliefs, thinking that happiness came down to working hard, living in Paris and above all depending on the other (in my couple).
Speaking of ” relationship ” (and speaking of happiness), I realized that I have always been looking for happiness in the other person, whereas it had been in me all along. It is without a doubt the most beautiful revelation I’ve had this year!
Coincidentally, this very morning I just read this passage from “The Mastery of Love” written by Don Miguel Ruiz (the author of the 4 Toltec chords).
If you are playing tennis, you have a partner, you are a team, and you never go against each other, never. Even if you both play tennis differently, you have the same goal: to have fun together, to play together, to be playmates. If you have a partner who wants to control your game, and she says, “No, don’t play like that; play like this. No, you are doing it wrong,” you are not going to have any fun. Eventually, you won’t want to play with that partner anymore. Instead of being a team, your partner wants to control how you play. And without the concept of a team, you are always going to have conflict. If you see your partnership, your romantic relationship, as a team, everything will start to improve. In a relationship, as in a game, it’s not about winning or losing. You are playing because you want to have fun.Don Miguel Ruiz
Every day, Facebook reminds me that it’s never too late.
Facebook shows me every day what I have posted on the same day of the year in the past. Some posts are real slaps in the face to make me realize that the world has changed, but that you can also change yourself!
If I connect the dots by looking back, I realize that everything is possible in life. That it is possible to evolve in a fast and fundamental way. That you can move mountains at a rate of 1% per day. But above all that it is never too late!
I now realize, after 12 months of adventure and 45 dreams fulfilled, that a bucket list is finally one hell of a personal development tool. It’s a powerful tool to get out of your comfort zone and thus start a process of change, both physically and spiritually.
The bucket list as a personal development tool
- I used to love beef steak with pepper sauce > I’ve become 100% plant-based and adapted from intermittent fasting! (see the results)
- I had never cooked anything in my life other than pasta > I became passionate about nutrition and I am helping +100 people to lose weight (access the beta)
- I never wanted to leave Paris > I’ve been living abroad for 12 months, in a Nomad Shack that moves every month to different countries. (discover the house)
- I didn’t read a single book > I just finished my 54th book of the year (see my reading list)
- I’ve always been a failure when it comes to alcohol > I simply quit on 24 September 2020 (read my summary)
- I didn’t see the point of doing yoga > I’ve been practicing 30min every morning for 55 days in a row (see photo)
- I’ve always been afraid to fight > I went up to a boxing ring in front of 300 people for an amateur boxing match (see the video)
- I never learnt to swim and always had a terrible fear of finding myself in the open sea without knowing what’s underneath > I swam 1500m in open water during my first Olympic triathlon (see video)
- Hyperactive since I was a child and addicted to my iPhone > I isolated myself in silence for 10 days during a vipassana retreat (read my summary)
- I had a bad management of my finances > I propose a method to calculate its financial oxygen (see method)
- I had never travelled alone and rarely outside the comfort of big cities > I rode around the South Island of New Zealand, 1200km in 12 days, alone on my bike (see video)
- I had never done any hiking or mountaineering before > I climbed Mont Blanc (see video)
To go after your dreams is an incredible opportunity. Having the time to devote yourself to what you really want to accomplish in your life is perhaps the ultimate luxury. But I know what you are thinking about. Yes, I am single without children. Yes, I sold my company so I have “the money”. Yes, I am lucky. Yes, I have time. Yes, for all that.
Except that I am an extreme and I can assure you that there is a “price to pay” for being so extreme. So the idea is not to try to do “like me”, but simply to use my feedback to build your own system and my digital contents to find a way to reflect on your own energy (like nutrition or sleep).
And more concretely?
I will end this “anniversary” newsletter with the 10 main points of my method “How to achieve anything without motivation” which aims to help you create your own bucket list and carry it out.
Thanks to the realization of +250 dreams over the last 6 years, I have discovered a series of common points, which I find in each dream, like an invisible thread that links them all together.
Concretely: you can write a list of 10 or 20 dreams that you would like to fulfil next year or before the age of XX. Then ask yourself the question “Why?” on each of your dreams (point 1) and try to have a “Hollywood” dream / “accessible” dream mix (point 2).
Then move on to the other points of the method :
- Why do we do it?
- Dream big, start small
- Have a bucket list
- If you can’t measure it, you can’t do it.
- Decompose into small victories
- Talk about it to people around you
- Exchange with someone who has already done so
- Analyzing obstacles
- Testing new ideas
- Help others on your way
If you are lacking inspiration for point 3, take a look at Timeleft! We have thousands of dreams at our disposal, from the most popular one like “publish a book” to the most original one like “take bagpipe lessons”!