This summer when I turned 37, I asked myself what I did this year – what have I contributed? What value have I added? Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot to say for myself other than I go to work, go home, watch T.V., eat, sleep repeat. This cycle is one I’ve been repeating for as far back as I can remember and I decided that I had to change. I committed to myself that I would do 37 things that would change my life or someone else’s. Here’s what I did this year:
1. Waking up and being grateful for what I have and what I don’t have
2. Wrote a thank you letter to a teacher who inspired me in elementary school
3. Ordered flowers and chocolates for nuns in the community who do good work every day
4. Wrote a letter to support someone who had been the target of racism
5. Made a donation to a university to help a student of Aboriginal descent with their tuition costs
6. Sold things I no longer needed on eBay, which I then used to donate to various charities
7. Told a street musician that he played beautiful music and really meant it
8. Watched less television, used the time instead to think of 37 things I could do on this list
9. Gave an idea to a local nonprofit on how they could improve their space e.g. doing book swapping
10. Donated to a food drive outside my local grocery store
11. Sign up for an arts class on pottery
12. Made a video of my cat doing funny things
13. Attended an Anthony Robbins event and WALKED ON FIRE!!!
14. Drank more water – it is after all the source of life
15. Became a vegetarian – I feel so much healthier now and alive
16. Attended a comic convention and met William Shatner i.e. the original Captain Kirk. It changed my life forever.
17. When giving gifts to friends, rather than getting them a thoughtless gift card, I got them an experience. Concert tickets to something they like.
18. I wrote a letter to Santa Claus thanking him for everything and giving him a gift for a change – a gift card to a coffee shop where he can have milk and cookies
19. Walked a labyrinth that I’ve always passed by and never gave a try – it took me 6 minutes but I’ll never again wonder ‘what if’ I tried it?
20. Talked to cab drivers whenever I’m in the back of a cab – they’re people not robots and their stories are as human as any I’ve ever heard
21. Read Carl Jung’s book on “Synchronicity” and started seeing coincidences wherever I go. It’s a sign the universe is alive and we are part of it.
22. Stopped putting poison into my mouth i.e. junk food, soda pop etc (lost 9 pounds!)
23. I call this one “giving a shit” sorry for the language, but it’s basically waking up from the auto pilot I’ve been on. I’ve now started to sign petitions, do surveys and actually giving an opinion on matters.
24. Ordered pizza for a local fire department
25. Making time to talk to my friends and see how they’re doing
26. Random Act of Kindness – this is something I’m keeping TOP SECRET
27. Giving money to the homeless and wishing them well. Note the “and” part.
28. Reading good news stories instead of bad news stories, there’s enough of that going around. Besides if you’re worried you’ll miss something there’s always people happy to talk about bad news.
29. Listen to music and relax. I bought a Vinyl record player and I just love the sound of records on it.
30. Committed to writing another book. My first children’s book that I self-published was “Adventures of I. Firebrace” but I gave up on writing after it didn’t go anywhere. I decided I’ll write because it makes me happy even if no one reads it.
31. Have faith and believe things will work out
32. Get out of the comfort zone, find something that challenges you and do it
33. Stop complaining as much as possible
34. Go for a walk and see the beauty in everyday things
35. Pray for people who treat you badly
36. Learn something new every day
37. Clear out clutter from your life
I think about this universe and how we only see a little tiny part of it. I sometimes wonder whether the Creator would still continue to create knowing no one would see every part of it. The answer of course is yes. Why? Because the act of creation is an act of love. Whether anyone else sees it or not, you know it’s there. In the end what matters is what you add, what you contribute.
I challenge you to make your mark. Step up and be a leader!