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A Post to the Future

I’ve been thinking over the past week what my first post of 2009 would be, and judging by the life-changing events of the last few weeks It’s going to be an eventful year.  So this post is a toast to the future!

Over the past few weeks I have been organising my departure from Ireland’s sunny shores to the chocolate and waffle heaven of Belgium, to be with this lovely lady above.  2008 was a crazy year for me, so much has happened and I’ve decided that in 2009 I will be taking a lot of chances and living life to the fullest.

Last year I visited over 10 different countries and plan to beat that this year!  I ate a variety of weird things and drank a lot of crazy drinks along the way with a lot of wonderful people.  I saw the Mona Lisa and the Statue of David.  I visited Anne Frank’s house and a few days later sailed around Venice on a Gondola.  I had a Chinese with the smartest guy I’ve ever met and then went to see the Berlin Wall.

I was in WIRED magazine with The Big Word Project, a ‘mini project’ that paid off my student fees and allowed me to meet a whole range of great ‘wordees‘, which in turn resulted in me getting my job!

I saw some amazing artists such as The Verve and Moby with the craziest (and nicest) bunch of Irish nutters I’ve met yet and slept on a number of the smelliest, overcrowded trains around eastern europe.

I grew a beard for the first time, which was green on St. Paddy’s day.  Beards hold a mysterious unknown power and I would recommend every guy to try it at least once in their lives!

I got to meet my all time favourite band, Stereophonics and they even signed my girlfriend’s underwear!

I launched this blog in late October and have seen it blossom and grow and as a result of it and Twitter, I have been able to speak with and actually interview the likes of Tim O’Reilly, ProBlogger, Smashing Magazine, Paul Boag and Gary Vaynerchuk, while seeing my origami icons make it onto the front page of Digg!

I can’t even begin to list all the rest of the fantastic things that have happened this year but I plan for 2009 to hold another bucketload of adventures! That’s for sure!

Jetting off for Belgium

On the 26th of January I fly off to Jean Claude Van Damme’s homeland and I’ve managed to get myself a position as a strategic designer with Nascom (Can’t wait to work with you guys!) and this week I also got an apartment sorted.  All very grown up and scary but incredibly exciting!

What 2009 holds for me, I don’t have a clue.  All I know is that I am not going to waste any chances given to me and I plan to make a lot more opportunities for myself.  I’ll be giving up the student life within the next 3 weeks and will be a proper grown up, although I will be continuing to study but for different reasons.  I’m learning to speak Dutch and already have very useful words like ‘Ontstopper’ to hand. :)  Thanks to Jo (above) I also have some guitar lessons booked for when I arrive so I can find out how I’ve been playing totally wrong for the past couple of months.

Toast to the Future!

So here is looking to the future.  Everyone grab a glass!  I’ve listed a few things that I think everyone should consider in this coming year.  I’m not one for new year’s resolutions but I feel that these points are extremely important.

Take chances – Don’t put things off or say you’ll do something and never get round to it.  Take the bull by the horns and just do it.  Book that flight! Buy that ridiculously expensive geeky gadget!

Travel – I’ve travelled a lot but I’m totally not satisfied yet.  I’m already planning a whole range of other trips for the next year.  Don’t think you’ll be able to do it in another few years time.  The oil will be gone and only the five richest kings in Europe will be able to afford to fly!

Do what you love – There is no reason that we cannot do what we love and still pay the bills.  If you are into cooking pancakes then start a pancake video podcast.  Just do what you love and everything else will take care of itself.  It’s the people who constantly worry about bills who are going to be the most unhappy this time next year, and the guy/girl who took the chance on their dream will not give a toss.

Don’t be doing the same thing next year – I’m writing this now and I plan to look back on it in one years time, however I doubt I will be sitting in my kitchen with a cup of coffee and putting off an essay that needs to be in by Monday.  I could be on a beach or up Mount Everest, who knows?

Grow a Beard (Sorry ladies) – You don’t understand the power that comes with a beard, you can do anything with some hair on your chinny chin chin.  Just try it.

Don’t be cheap – Nothing pisses me off more than someone who is tight with money.  If you worry about every little penny then you’re setting a cap on the possibilities of life. Why worry about spending money when we only have a short time on this earth to spend it.  Go on, just splurge and buy something crazy every now and again!

Don’t make false promises – If you have no intention of going through with something then don’t say you will do it.  Letting people down is one of the worst habits and I absolutely hate it.  If you promise someone something, then do it, regardless if it’s hard or you don’t feel like it.

Answer your emails – If someone went to the effort to write you an email then the least you can do is reply.  Even if it’s just ‘thanks’ or a short reply, it means so much.  It shows you care and gets you mega brownie points.  Just take the advice of Gary Vaynerchuk who gets thousands every day but replies to every one.

Your Thoughts?

Let’s get a bit of conversation going here.  What are your thoughts for 2009? Anyone doing anything exciting or weird? Any tips for the world or anything you see happening?

Comments (32)

  1. Brian Burns

    4 Jan

    That’s an inspirational post if ever I read one Paddy! Really good read. You made some excellent points about living life to the full and not worrying about silly things like money.. you come into the world with nothing and you’ll go out of it the same way. I too am looking to broaden my horizons this year, I’ve the US, Australia and a Euro-Rail trip marked in for later in the year. Good Luck with all you’ve got planned for 2009 and also with your Belgian exploits!

  2. Paddy

    4 Jan

    @Brian – Thanks! Good luck with all your travels. If you stop by Belgium then give me shout :)

  3. Pat Phelan

    4 Jan

    Great post Paddy
    keep up the great work and have an even more amazing 09

  4. Awesome post Paddy. You’ve given me a lot of food for thought. I think you’ve inspired me to SHAVE my beard as I think I’ve had some form of facial hair for the last 5 years. I’m afraid though that it is the source of my power :s. I’ll let you know if there’s any truth in it.

  5. Zsolt Balla

    4 Jan

    Great post, and a great source of inspiration, pal! (just gave a thumb up @ SU)

    Keep up the good work and whenever you come near Hungary (by a smelly train or whatever else), drop me a line, and I’ll show you the best place to have a beer in Budapest

  6. Paddy

    4 Jan

    Thanks everyone! Always glad to give a little inspiration.

    @Jonny – I anxiously await your results ;)

    @Zsolt – I will definitely give you a shout for a beer if I ever make it to Budapest. Cheers!

  7. Cheers Paddy, what great kick up the arse that was, just what I needed. I wish you every success for 2009. BTW got the beard sorted, I know what you mean about the inherent power facial hair has.

  8. Lee Munroe

    4 Jan

    Have fun in Belgium sir. Am going to have to stop by and taste these Belgian beers :)

  9. Bought my first Mac and iPhone this year, visited New York again with my son, and started my blog.
    I’ve got the beard and already buy the expensive geeky gadgets, but the rest of the things are on my list now…but how to escape the 0800-1800 day-to-day of retail management?
    Please continue to live the life I’d like to live by proxy for me and I will try to keep up with your updates – very exciting! :)

  10. Pavan K

    4 Jan

    First I was inspired by your icons, then your slick looking blog, then your tweet interviews with O’Reilly & ProBlogger etc… Now by your clarity and motivation to get the bull by the horns.

    Good luck on your move Paddy. Best of luck with the new year and thanks for sowing more positive seeds of inspiration.

  11. Gary Quinn

    4 Jan

    Enjoy Belgium Paddy and good luck with everything. Beards do have special powers and Lekker is the main dutch word for eveything.


  12. Liam

    4 Jan

    Ah the power of the beard. Change it often and keep it trim.

    Great post Paddy. Wish you all the best in your travels and new home :D

  13. Paddy

    5 Jan

    Thanks everyone for the kind comments!

  14. Totally agree with all of your sentiments. I look forward to hearing everything you get up to. Wishing you all the best for 2009.


  15. Man, I’m a syndicator of your blog for such a long time now, and all of a sudden you are coming over to work at Nascom here in Belgium?? Did a holiday job there few years ago and still have some friends / old classmates over there. Trust me, you’ll love it – it’s a neat gang. But it’s such a small world!! =)

  16. Paddy

    6 Jan

    @Robert – Great! Yeah, it is a small world indeed. I’m really looking forward to working with them, they seem like a great bunch. Thanks :)

  17. PS: guitar lessons are available at Nascom, just ask Robby, Wietse or David :P

  18. stu

    6 Jan

    Great post & good advice. What a year! All the best for Belgium!

  19. Ronan Murphy

    7 Jan

    I know if I grow a beard then my life will change for the good. Let the growing commence. Heres a thumbs up to you good sir, I shall miss your visits to Dublin. =]

  20. Great Post pad, things for you to do next year…

    1. Become motivational speaker
    2. Buy me belgium chocolate

    Have fun in chocolate land sir, no more paddy and kyle adventures.

  21. Bella

    10 Jan

    Hi, I dont know you but this is twice I have come across your blog and love reading it. I think you will love this site You can send letters to your future self or other people, written now, but posted out at a time you choose for the future, say 1 year or 5 years time. This is not email but real hard copy letetrs – hope you like it! Bella.

  22. Paddy

    10 Jan

    Thanks everyone :)

    @Bella – Good stuff! You can subscribe to the RSS Feed to keep updated on all the stuff that happens here. The Post to the Future idea sounds great, I might have to try it out!


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