My Top Successes of 2010 and Awesome Plans for 2011 (Development & Play)

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Here we are: another amazing year ahead! I recently conducted my Annual Review: taking stock of 2010 (what was awesome, and what can I learn from what was less-than-awesome); and to set intentions for 2011. [a quick nod to AONC for the inspiration to do this – here is Chris’ process detailed.]

This is the second year I’ve done a Review and I really love it. Having an opportunity to really reflect on all the goodness, where I grew, and what I want to create & manifest in my life is such a powerful practice for me. It amazes me that I never learned how to do this in school!

Part of my review includes listing the Top Successes of the year (there were so many to choose from this time around – so thankful). In no particular order, here were the watershed moments for me in 2010:

with my onstage “love” Erin :-)
  1. Paradise Lost at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle (and the pursuit of)
    My first major acting job and it was at the Intiman, one of the most well-known &well-respected theatres in the country, and I was doing a revival of Clifford Odets, one of the most important playwrights of the 20th century. Booking this show felt like true divine intervention – all the pieces came together so beautifully, and this event was the catalyst for so many events in my life (and other top successes): leaving my job, getting the travel bug, and discovering my true passion at this point. It was also exciting to so thoroughly pursue this project – I was actually interviewed about the whole experience, which you can hear on my acting website.
  2. My Mastermind Group (and how it started)
    I’ve known for a while that I’d been looking for a group of amazing people to connect with, but I had no idea how to create that or who would be a part of it. Because of Optimal Living 101 & en*theos, I learned about this dope dude Jacob (with – he was cool enough to put his phone number on his site; so with my heart pounding, I gave him a ring on a Friday afternoon. He has such enthusiasm, integrity & authenticity in his communication, I knew this was someone I wanted to connect with – and so glad we did. We went about organizing a group of other amazing people, and we’re still going strong. This has been a huge help to me – such a nurturing, positive, and motivated environment. [You can actually see Jacob’s post on Masterminds (and how to start one) on this site.]
    what a gorgeous city!
  3. Living in Seattle for 10 weeks
    As I mentioned in this post, Seattle was a game-changer for me. It introduced me to a completely different way of life, and I loved it. It so completely took me out of the world I knew and stoked my excitement for life. I loved walking & biking around the city, discovering the music, volunteering, enjoying the late-night happy hours, enjoying the beauty, and the list goes on…. This place has made the short list of locations I will return to!
    among the NoCal Redwoods
  4. 4 West Coast road trips – and all the people & activities!
    What an amazing time – to be on the road, driving through such beautiful places as Big Sur, the Redwood Forest, the Oregon Coast & Washington was such a dream come true. To take the time to enjoy the trip and savor the moment was such a blessing. I loved discovering new towns & cities, making new friends, driving a 1985 Lincoln Town Car – and doing one trip in each season of 2010 was awesome! It was also a joy to have all that time with myself – for thoughts to percolate, to listen to books, and to enjoy the silence. If you’re interested in those trips, you can check out posts during February, May, July, August & November. And I have a couple photo galleries, too!
    my first day in Hawaii
  5. Connecting with Polestar Gardens
    When I learned more about this community on the Big Island, I knew I had to be involved, and I was so hoping they’d accept me. It was a great match, and like Seattle – introduced me to a completely different way of life. I discovered how important community is to me, and made some wonderful friends. Definitely a feeling of Ohana (family) there. In fact, we connected so deeply, I’ve been invited back for a longer stay (and am heading there in early January) – as I said in September, I’m sure my plans will change, and here they go!
  6. 88 PNotes & Optimal Living 101
    There’s my life before PhilosophersNotes & then my life after it. What an incredible amount of information to take in – totally upgraded my life. And connecting with Brian Johnson through the notes, during the calls, and on en*theos has been such a joy. I’ve learned so much from Brian and all the others interacting with this material. I was also excited to participate in (and complete) the PNotes 50-Day challenge in January 2010: 50 notes in 50 days! My life was rocked during that time. So grateful it started me down the path of such consciousness & love in my life, and blessed that it brought along some other cool items, like my Mastermind group, and basically much of the other goodness listed here! Only 12 Notes left to go – fortunately, Brian is hard at work on Volume II!
  7. Nathan 3.0 – simplifying, traveling & expanding
    Before “Nonstop Awesomeness,” I was calling this journey I was embarking on “Nathan 3.0” as my 30th birthday is in February 2011, and I was looking to reboot my life. I still enjoy the wordplay and may incorporate it into the Awesomeness here. Never have I done something so extreme, but it was so fun to plan & execute. I’m still shocked that I pulled it off and that it’s going as well as it is.
  8. Reconnecting with my father
    After not speaking for about 10 years, I had the urge to re-open the lines of communication. Where I am in my growth, of who I am, where I come from, and how I operate, I felt that this was a necessary step in my evolution. Because of our history, it’s certainly not all roses & kittens now, but it was important for me to do this, and I’m proud I took this step – ’cause it wasn’t easy. There was a lot of fear and anxiety. Planning how to do this, wondering how it would go, etc. I think the most important part has been to approach the situation with an abundance of love – to not have any expectations, and to see what organically happens. The Universe will reveal to me what I need to learn, and where this will go. This was a big lesson for me in facing my fear.
    my birthday dinner in LA
  9. No Day Job since 2/12/10
    Every time I read this one, I think I’m still living a dream. Thanks to booking the show in Seattle, I left the day job I had – had been there for almost 3 years – and my final day was on my birthday – how’s that for starting the next year of my life off with a bang! I can’t believe I got away with this for the majority of the year. Of course I had a few different means of help and income, but the fact that after about 15 years, I was no longer working a “regular” job at a specific location was amazing to me. In fact, I started my own business & learned about sustaining it. Way cool!
  10. Daily Meditation for 7 months and counting
    What a powerful practice – I really love this part of my day. Again, spending time in the silence is such a beautiful time, and I’m thankful that I make time for this. I think it has really opened up my creativity; I often receive pretty cool inspirations during this time. If I could recommend one practice, it’s this – even if for only 30 seconds each day.
  11. Launching this Blog
    I had thought for a while about doing something like a blog or vlog, but never knew what I’d write or talk about. When I was cast in the show in Seattle, it finally gave me a reason, though still had no idea what it would look like. I knew my Mom would check the site out, and frankly – that was good enough reason to start it! (I still joke that if anyone besides my mom reads this, I consider the blog a success!) During my time in Seattle, I shot 60 videos, including about 20 interviews with the cast & crew. I loved chronicling my travels and connecting with family & friends through the site. And with the recent re-branding and clarity of Nonstop Awesomeness, I’m so thrilled that this came into my life this year. I sense some big things are ahead this year on the NA path, and I’m so excited to connect with more people out there who are interested in this kind of life! [If you want to see the Seattle posts, check out most of the items from February-April.]
    recording a sonnet!
  12. Launching the Sonnet Challenge
    As I was making my way back from Seattle in the Spring, I knew that I had essentially missed all the auditions for Shakespeare plays in the Summer. I was unemployed but as I love this material so much, I knew I wanted to do something with Shakespeare. Eager to work with the Bard, I thought about directing, but ultimately created this project during my afternoons spent  under a lemon tree. (Seriously.) It’s been an amazing journey with this poetry, much of which I was wholly unfamiliar. Here’s another project where I’ve been connecting with people from all over the world. In fact, within two weeks of launching this, I was emailing with someone halfway around the world – about sonnets! So cool! And by the end of 2010, I had completed my 50th sonnet – only 104 left to go! :-)
  13. Eating as a vegetarian for 4 months
    Over the last year, I had really become more conscious of what I ate: where did it come from? how was it prepared? I was eating like a vegetarian anyway due to poverty (a brick of tempeh for $1.60 or a bag of chicken for $6 – hmmmm?), but then I saw this cool TED video about being a “Weekday Veg” – eat like a vegetarian Monday-Friday, and the weekend is your choice. Totally made it easy for my mind to get onboard (always thought I could never give up meat). After two weeks, I was hooked – feeling great, enjoying what I was eating, and saving money! It felt good to commit to this and to broaden my palate. I recently started eating meat again (which is another topic I’ll address down the road) – part of the decision comes from being on the road and not knowing where your next meal will come from – sometimes you need to get by. But it’s been a much more positive return than just for survival’s sake.
  14. Writing projects
    I’ve never considered myself a writer. It’s weird to thing of myself as a blogger – like that title is reserved for other people, people who really know how to use words. It reminds me of Norman Mailer’s review of On the Road: “that’s not writing, it’s typing!” And yet, here I am – writing. Not everything I write is a masterpiece, but I definitely enjoy the process. As much facility as I may have with verbal communication, I think it’s definitely important to develop this skill, too. In addition to my regular contributions to the site, I’ve also been writing an eGuide on the practical steps to do what I did: free yourself of your stuff, buy a $5 flight to Hawaii, and discover who you are (my plan is to release this within a couple months); and I have another writing project (with a couple others on the distant horizon). For a guy who didn’t write, it’s a very fun ride right now.
  15. Read 29 Books
    And as I mentioned before, just as I didn’t write, I also didn’t read. Perhaps there’s a codependent relationship between these two pursuits – I couldn’t have one without the other, because now that I’m doing both, I’m excited to continue both! I’m really proud of all the reading I did, and of how I accomplished it – just 20 pages per day. I started a 30th book in December, but it just wasn’t in the cards to finish before 2011. Oh well – it’ll be a great start to the new year (and actually one of the reasons I started eating meat again – stay tuned)!

And in the interest of full disclosure, here are some items that stumped me in 2010; I look forward to their reduction (or elimination) in 2011:

  • Anxiety about relationships
  • Doing too much
  • Financial dependence
  • Lack of follow-through with projects
  • Obsession over details
  • Self-sabotage
  • Avoiding difficult but necessary conversations
  • Assessing my time – focus on being productive vs. just being busy

I also enjoy the habit of creating a theme for each year. Taking a look at my list of goals & intentions, I have dubbed 2011: The Year of Development & Play! The coming year will be about creating the foundation of my site, my brand & my business – and about having fun! I have goals in many different categories, including: networking, play, creative, travel, service, health, and a few others. Some examples:

  • Find time to play Hack & practice juggling throughout the week
  • Read 25 books (or more!)
  • Visit 3 new places, including one non-US spot
  • Live rent-free
  • Connect with 100 amazing people

And here are my Creative Production Goals (what I want to CREATE this year – focusing on this, and knowing the rest will fall into place):

  • 50 interviews with amazing people
  • Publish an eGuide of How I got to this point (minimalist lifestyle, $5 one-way ticket to Hawaii, and self-discovery)
  • Beef up the content around what Nonstop Awesomeness is on the site
  • Design a WordPress site for Nonstop Awesomeness – make it snazzier, and easier for people to connect & interact
  • Develop my Awesomeness Embodiment coaching program – content, flow & marketing
Other plans for the Nonstop Awesomeness site:
  • “Quality Time with…” series: every week, an interview that features one awesome person I’ve met & who they BE, and possibly what they DO
  • eGuide (mentioned above) – publishing & distributing this on the site
  • Facebook page – ’cause it’ll be fun
  • Hearing from others on what Nonstop Awesomeness & and an Awesomist means to them
  • Post schedule: my plan is to release two posts per week
    • One will be offering some wisdom or fun I’ve learned
    • One will be the “QTw/” (see above)
    • It’s possible I’ll write others, but this is what I have for now

The one known event for me so far in 2011 is the World Domination Summit in June in Portland. I wrote about the event here, and am super excited to connect with about 400 remarkable people. Perhaps I’ll see you there?

Well that’s it for me on 2011. I’d love to hear about YOUR top successes, what you learned, and what your plans for this coming year are! Please feel free to comment below.