2011 - Sean's Year In Review

I have high hopes for the year ahead. I always do. I’ll tell myself – This is the year. It’s time... It’s time.

The words carry profound resolve and belief; yet at the same time harbor a seed of inadequacy. I’ll inevitably feel as if I didn’t do enough, that I could have done more. The New Year beckons and once again I’m enamored with its anything-is-possible, be-all-you-can-be type optimism. I have a passion for possibility.

And while yes, anything IS possible, without defining what that “anything” is, even vaguely, it’s difficult to evaluate our progress and we risk feeling as if another year is over and nothing has changed.

For 2012, I’ve decided to write down both specific goals I plan to realize the year ahead, and also less tangible goals that are associated with a feeling I’d like to embody one year from today. In reflecting on the past, trying to gauge just how far we’ve come, it’s easy to focus on “the numbers”– mountains conquered, countries visited, workshops attended, hobbies acquired – I think it’s equally if not more important to reflect on how these achievements impacted us. Did they add to us, or take away? The aspects of our life that typically add a more profound sense of contentment are not as easy to measure – for example, our personal and spiritual growth or our friendships and connection with family.

In writing goals down for 2012, my hope is that when 2013 approaches I can look back and see how I grew.

But first, I thought it would be beneficial to reflect on my 2011. I’d forgotten how much happened – thanks to Google calendar for reminding me.

An incredible highlight of the year came in January with the premiere of our feature length documentary, One Week Job, on national Canadian television (CBC Documentary Channel), and at the Pacific Cinematheque theater in Vancouver. It was sold out, with a line up down the block! This kicked off the One Week Job Discover Your Passion cross country tour.

From there, the tour continued and I spoke at 43 different colleges, universities, high schools, and companies across Canada. From Vancouver to Halifax, it was an epic road trip in the middle of a Canadian winter. Brrrr…

At the end of the tour, I headed to Hawaii with my family to celebrate my mom’s retirement. Way to go, mom!

From there I headed to Mexico to meet up with a group of friends to celebrate one of my best friends birthday - a great way to finish up the tour, and kick off spring.

In spring, I was honored by my Alma Mater, Capilano University, with a One To Watch Alumni award. I also started running in preparation for a 31km Stroke Awareness run inspired by stroke survivor Ernie Kasper who asked me to run with him. At the 29km mark, Ernie had a seizure, but still found the strength to finish the run afterward - very inspiring!

This past summer was a year of weddings and workshops – 5 weddings in which I was the MC at one (my first time!), and 3 workshop retreats on the beautiful Cortes Island at Hollyhock Resort: Social Change Institute, The Art Of Leadership, and African Drum and Dance.

I also turned 30 with an amazing 80’s themed party boat celebration with 50 of my closest friends - it was truly special, and no doubt the highlight of my summer!

I was fortunate enough to once again attend the Burning Man festival in Nevada. 50,000 people come together to create a temporary city, based on a gift economy. Something to experience at least once in life.

This fall I was back on the speaking circuit with another 18 speaking engagements, the highlight of which was speaking at TEDx Vancouver in November. A beautiful theater, Chan Center for Performing Arts, packed with 1000 inspiring people all with interesting ideas to share.

In December we launched One Week Job: Australia. Our first international market with 24-year-old, Paul Seymour, setting out to find his passion working 52 jobs in 52 weeks throughout Australia.

And as for the immeasurable 2011?

In short… this New Years Eve I was lucky to be with some very close friends. At one point in the evening, the six of us found ourselves in a circle arm over arm. I asked the group, “What is one thing you are grateful for in 2011?”

As the question went around, I tried not to think of what my answer would be, to just listen and trust that when it was my turn to speak the answer would arrive. It did.

I closed my eyes and heard myself say, “I’m grateful to be one step closer to loving myself unconditionally.”

As I start 2012, the intention I will hold is this – “Live your love.”

This is the year. It’s time... It’s time.

- Sean