It’s that time of the year again. Instead of writing my goals for the next year (which I seriously think to ditch altogether) I thought to publish 100 things I made in 2009. Some of them are firsts, some of them are somehow exotic, while some of them are just personal things I did in 2009 and thought are worth remembering. And some of them are just things.
1. Wrote My First ebook
By far one of the most important things I did in 2009. And also a first. Being a blogger for more than one year is something, but writing a 90+ pages ebook is a completely different thing. I’m happy I did it.
2. Saw a Real Geisha
It happened in Kyoto, a great Japanese city (even more interesting than Tokyo, sometimes). Spotting a real geisha in Gion was like time traveling. I felt like a samurai. I really did.
3. Started a Gratitude Experiment
Again, a first one. Wrote down for 30 days each things I was grateful for. Although not very spectacular, it was a life changing experiment, read the conclusions here.
4. Hit a Bird With a Plane
The first and hopefully the last one. It was a really unpleasant experience. Had to fly from Los Angeles to Auckland and after we hit the bird we got back to LA and had to change flights.
5. Attended a Real Japanese Tea Ceremony
One of the most profound experiences I had. It can’t be explained and it’s something difficult to understand until you attend a real one. It’s the triumph of beauty and grace over structure and rules.
6. Flew Around the World in 2 Weeks
It was in September/October: I attended a personal development seminar in Las Vegas and thought it would be interesting to get back by the other side of the world, via Auckland, Bangkokg and Vienna.
7. I Did My First Massive Guest Posting
Which may as well be the first massing guest posting ever. Massive guest posting means publishing a series of related guest posts on a different blogs, all at the same time.
8. Spent A Week in Vegas
That was a first. Enlightening, more in the sense of killing a lot of mental representations of that city. It’s huge, spectacular and shiny, but in the end it’s nothing but just another city.
9. Attended a Personal Development Workshop
While I was in Vegas, of course, making this a second first, so to speak. I’ve never attended such a workshop before and it was interesting. Gave me the drive to start my own workshops.
10. Hit the Delicious Home Page
In every blogger career, hitting the home page of a major social media service (in this case, Delicious) is a big leap. I did it several times in the last few months. Thank you all 🙂
11. Visited La Gruyeres
A nice little castle in Switzerland. One of the most beautiful places I’ve been so far to. The fairy-tale-like atmosphere was extremely strong: made feel like a chevalier.
12. Lost A Few Enemies
Some of them by ignoring their actions (which eventually exhausted them) some of them by open confrontation. To be honest, I reconsidered the whole concept of enemies during this year: most of the time, they are just reflections of your internal, unsolved problems.
13. Learned How To Lose a Fight
It’s not that difficult, you know. You just have to acknowledge that you’re not always right. And even if you are right, it’s ok if you’re the only one who knows that. Let them think they’re smart. Doesn’t hurt.
14. Created and Held My First Blogging Workshop
That was quite of a challenge but I’m glad I made it. It was a complete success and made me realize that personal development happens also in real life, “in the trenches”, not only on the blog.
15. Visited Tokyo
One of the most intense experiences, mainly because of the cultural shock. Very different from what I expected but also extremely engaging. Will definitely go back to Tokyo sometime soon.
16. Created and Held My Mentorship Workshop
In the same league with the one above, only it was directed towards young online entrepreneurs. Already had two series and the next one, in January, is completely booked.
17. Visited Bangkok
Another first. Never been to Thailand and decided to go in a rush, on a Monday afternoon. The whole trip to Thailand was incredible but visiting Bangkok was somehow special.
18. Had My First Real Thai Massage
Of course, during my trip to Thailand. It was somewhere near Wat Pho, the temple where the real Thai massage was created and I felt great after the session. I can fall for an addiction to it.
19. Visited a Floating Market in Thailand
The actual touristic ride was disappointing, but the floating market in itself was very interesting. The Damnon Saeduk floating market is still a place to visit in Thailand, but I don’t know for how long.
20. Re-visited Paris
I can do it anytime. Visiting Paris for 3 days it’s like going on a trip to the Moon for me. I’m very close to this city, don’t know why. And don’t really bother why, either, I’m just enjoying it whenever I can.
21. Visited Versailles
For the first time. Again, not even remotely a fan of crowded touristic packages but this part cut away, Versailles is one of the few places on Earth I can always and openly recommend to visit. For its special harmony.
22. Ride on an Elephant
During my visit in Thailand. I wanted to mention it here because of its contrast with my Western culture, I’m sure it’s pretty common in other parts of the world. It was fun.
23. Ride a Tuk-tuk
Thailand traditional wheel transportation in busy cities like Bangkok. Didn’t really intended to, but got caught in semi-adventurous cruise on Chao Phraya which included some tuk-tuk riding.
24. Climbed the Eiffel Tour
For the third time. And I could be there every day. I have a huge fascination for high places (sometimes I think it’s pretty close to compulsion). Eiffel Tour fascinates me both as a building and as a high place.
25. Visited Prague
For the first time. And fall in love with it. I couldn’t describe why, but the whole atmosphere and the fact that I got there with my family too made it something really enjoyable.
26. Ride the Shinkansen
Again, this should be put in the “firsts” basket. The Japanese Shinkansed is not only a technical marvel but an incredibly functional and useful transportation tool. Great experience.
27. Visited Vienna
MeaningÂ I visited it at my leisure. Had fun in Prater and walked around. Again, being there with my wife and daughter made all the difference. It was a fantastic holiday because of that.
28. Joined A New Group
It’s called OpenCoffee and it’s a weekly informal meeting for young online entrepreneurs. A year ago I couldn’t see myself there.
29. Visited Schonnbrunn
Along with Versailles, Schonnbrunn should be visited by anybody planning a Europe tour. It’s just an important milestone not only in history, but in the way beauty was conceived and created.
30. Climbed Petrini Tower in Prague
Yes, I already told you about my obsession with highs. In Prague, there is tower named Eiffel Tour because it resembles to the original in paris, but the real name is Petrini Tower. It was fun.
31. Climbed Danube Tower in Vienna
That was most because of the rotating restaurant on the top. We ate there and had 2 full rotations during dinner. It’s fantastic to see Vienna from the the top AND in any direction.
32. Flew over the Atlantic for the First Time
Another first for me. I already crossed Pacific a few times (during my trips to New Zealand and Japan) but never been over the Atlantic. Of course this does not compare with a cruise, but still.
33. Visited Waiheke Island in New Zealand. Again
I can’t get enough of that place, period. Every time I’m in Auckland I try to steal at least half a day from my chores to run away with the ferry and just stare at the ocean from Litte Oneroa Beach.
34. Got My First Kindle
Which proved to be a massive help in my travels. I’m not using it very often now. Mainly because, as a declared Apple fanboy, I’m still waiting for Apple’s tablet which may (or may not) replace Kindle.
35. Started My Life Management Framework – ADD
36. Wrote my first 100 items list
And that would be 100 Ways To Live A Better Life. Shortly followed by another 3 (4 with this one). By far one of the most important and effective blogging exercises I ever made. And it’s not only about blogging, it’s more about getting over your self imposed limitation.
37. Visited Budapest
As one of the cities in which we stopped in our family holiday this year. Had a very nice cruise on the Danube river and a nice walk on the old part of Budapest.
38. Changed the Domain Name of My Blog
From dragosroua.com to dragosroua.com. That proved to be one of the best decision I made in terms of strategy. Since then, the blog started to grow at a very sustainable rate. More details here.
38. Reached One Year of Blogging as a Pro
And also shared what I learned in the process. From making money on how I promote it and what were the personal benefits of it. One year of blogging is an important milestone.
39. Turned 39
And I tried to share at least 39 things learned through experience. I still find that the way we measure our age is just a number. I think some people can squeeze in 1 year more than others can do in a lifetime.
40. Started a 30 Days Exercising Challenge
Which ended before even reaching to the half of it because I injured my ankle. After I got better I started to exercise regularly, at least 3 times per week. And I still do this now.
41. Learned Another 7 Things From my Daughter
Each year I realize so little I know compared to my daughter. We’re not here to teach our kids, we’re here to learn from them what we forgot in the process of growing up: how to enjoy life.
42. Quit My Raw Food Diet
After 9 and half months. I did mainly for social reasons,. Especially during my trip to Japan I found it extremely difficult to cope with it. I will start it again (maybe not so strict) next year.
43. Finished a Year Long Promotion on My Blog
That was a very special thing I’ve done, marketing and monetization-wise. It was a really interesting idea and surely one that taught me a lot. It also became the main source of revenue for this blog.
44. Been on Tokyo Tower
Also known as the biggest tourist trap in Tokyo. If it wasn’t for my highs obsession, I wouldn’t even consider to go there. If you’re keen on seeing big cities from above, go there, if not, go to a temple instead.
45. Attended A Toastmasters Meeting
While I was in Vegas. A totally first for me and a very nice experience. Will do it again.
46. Slept in A Hostel in Kyoto
And felt fantastic. A first one for me but definitely something to consider doing again. I met a bunch of interesting people and had a great time. If I will travel alone again, that would be my first option from now on.
47. Met a Personal Development Blogger Friend in Real Life
The very talented and supportive Ian Peatey. Became friends. It was my first real networking effort in real life (as opposed to social media). Proved to be a very nice experience.
48. Gambled in A Vegas Casino
It’s been a while since I broke up with gambling and I’m really glad I did it BEFORE going to Vegas. Had a lot of fun gambling in Vegas casinos, especially since I didn’t lose ;-). Wouldn’t do it again, though.
49. Built a Small Fence in My Front Yard
An afternoon project but fun enough to be remembered as a nice thing I did in 2009. Every time I come home I see the fence and I like it. I’m such a DIY junkie…
50. Planted a Vineyard in My Back Yard
14 roots and I have great expectations from them. Joking, of course, but happy that all the 14 roots were pretty well during the year. Expecting the first grapes next year, though.
51. Ate in Montmartre
“Chez Gigi”. Twice. Highly recommend his avocado salad. I don’t know if it was the pastis or the food but I clearly remember that place as one of the most “fulfilling” to visit in Montmartre.
52. Reconnected with My Son
It wasn’t something big, just the fact that we re-connected and started to talk again. The main roadblock in our relationship (my bad relationship with his mother, that is) is slowly starting to melt. And I’m happy about that.
53. Been On an Artificial Island for the First Time
It’s called Odayba Island, in Tokyo. As every other Japanese attraction is a little bit difficult to grasp at first, but the simple fact I wet my toes in Pacific while sitting on an artificial beach was enough for me.
54. Climbed on Top of Sacre Coeur. Again.
I think this will be something I would have to cross off my to-do list every time I will visit Paris from now on. Combine my attraction to high places with the challenging climbing and you’ll get something I just couldn’t resist.
55. Reached the Highest Point I Ever Been: Mount Fuji
Technically, I wasn’t to the top, because the weather sucked and to be honest I didn’t see much. But a fact is a fact: I’ve been much higher than the 2000 something altitude of mountains I had in Romania so far.
56. Ate Fondue for the First Time
In La Gruyeres, an old medieval Castle in Swizeland. Fondue is a sort of melted cheese you ate directly from a heating device. Didn’t make me roll on the floor in excitement but it was nice.
57. Officially Got Over GTD
Or, in a more flexible approach: I remained GTD over the hype. GTD is a nice methodology but it was clearly overwhelmed by its own hype. If you need to really implement it, start by going away from it.
58. Started a Mastermind Group
With Adam Baker from ManVsDebt and Glenn Allsop from VyperChill. I met Adam on a trip to New Zealand and I guess that would make him the second blogger I met in real life.
59. Visited a Japanese Zen Temple
Amazing experience, again. By reading about those things you barely get a shallow representation. Experiencing a Zen temple in reality was enlightening.
60. Saw a Double Rainbow in my Backyard
After a summer storm. I can remember it just by closing my eyes. And yes, that was another first for this year, I don’t remember seeing a double rainbow before.
61. Started a Closed Coaching Group
It’s mentorship, combined with workshops and coaching. A closed group in which I coach several people at once, smaller than a mentorship class but bigger than a 1 on 1 session.
62. Had My First Reiki Session
It was a long distance session with a Reiki master located in US. Again, didn’t write much about it because, although the results were quite sensible, they weren’t pass the placebo effect. Will dive into Reiki more next year.
63. Friends and Money Doesn’t Work Together
It was one of the few disappointments I had during this year. Whenever you get on a different level of income, usually bigger, you should be very careful of who pretend is your friend.
64. Learned How To Better Control My Reactions
I guess it had something to do with a certain maturity level I reached. Nevertheless, it was clearly a breakthrough for me this year: avoided so many possible fights, misunderstandings or just plain troubles.
65. Made A Lot Of Good Friends
Most of them online, but, surprisingly enough, a lot of new, real people entered into my life this year. I’m grateful for all of them. I’m always grateful when I make a new friend. A real new friend.
66. Learned How To Appreciate Life More
Instead of just having money and spend them, which is what most of the people think enjoying life is. Sometimes we need violent events in our lives to realize how much do we really have. I didn’t have a violent event in my life, but I realized how much do I have.
67. Sailed a Long Tail Boat in Thailand
I was only on Chao Phraya, in Bangkok but it was quite an experience. It’s not very different form a normal boat, but it’s kind of exotic and strange. Also, the whole context was a little adventurous, so all in all was a very nice thing to do.
68. Made Pancakes with My 3 Year Old Daughter
I suspect she’s better than me at this. Nevertheless, we did this on a number of occasions and the result was so tasty that it couldn’t resist on the plate for more than a few minutes. Like, really, the pancakes were actually disappearing inside ourselves.
69. Started To Host Guest Posts on My Blog
Technically, this will happen only next year, but the decision was taken this year. I’m really looking forward to this as it will open a lot of new ways to my online interaction. And not only online.
70. Visited Yvoire
A nice medieval village in France. I will always remember the little streets and the strange atmosphere. From time to time, Bianca would stop at some of the artisans shops and we ended up buying a lot of worthless little souvenirs.
71. Visited Annecy
Another French medieval village, this time more commercial. We ate fondue and we walked around the small streets taking pictures and trying to avoid the snow. Both Yvoire and Annecy were parts of our new year trip to Switzerland.
72. Witnessed a Glitch in the New Zealand Banking System
Meaning my bank made a terrible blunder, debiting my account by mistake. Took me a few months and a special visit to Auckland to straight things out.
73. Wrote My First iPhone App
Didn’t published it. Yet. In fact, there were a few apps ready during the year but none polished enough to worth an upload to the App Store. Writing apps for the iPhone is one of the strangest things I did as a programmer.
74. Built A Huge Aluminium Shelve in My Garage
The climax of my DIY addiction. Took me more than a week, days of planning and a lot of noise and chaos. It spreads over an entire wall and it’s one of my most secrets reasons of pride. Just don’t tell anyone. 😉
75. Made Raw Chocolate for the First Time
Using cocoa powder, dried dates and cashews. Although it was really tasty I was the only one around to enjoy its benefits. Will do it again soon, I’m sure.
76. Ate Onegiri for the First Time
If you’re living in Japan and read this, you might find it strange, I can admit that. But for me it was a first. I know it’s not a big deal – the closest concept to it is the hamburger, I suppose – but for me it was a real nice diet compromise during my visit to Japan.
77. Changed My Home Office Room Twice
Not even remotely as important as starting my own blogging workshop or flying around the world on a plane, but it was a fact that somehow influenced my working patterns. Now I only have a desk, a couch, a chair and book shelve. And it’s great. 🙂
78. Gave My First Interview As A Personal Development Blogger
It was on this blog. To be honest, I felt a little bit strange. Been interviewed before, but as an online entrepreneur, when I had my online business in Romania. Well, I guess I’ll have to get used to it as a part of my blogging stuff.
79. Wrote An Interview with Yourself
That’s right, you, the reader on my blog. Because you’re important, that’s why. I wrote 33 questions for an interview with yourself and I was so happy to see the answers, not only in the comments but on other blogs that picked up this challenge too.
80. Been On A Human Powered Amusement Park
Well, almost. Many of the amusement attractions were powered by physical human reffort: for instance, in order to make a mery-go-round spinning you had to run on a platform. The park was in Marquartstein, Germany, near the border with Austria.
81. Visited Kitzbuehl During Summer
One of the most exclusive ski resorts in Europe, Kitzbuehl proved to be a quiet and elegant small city during summer. We saw a local parade and ate at small restaurants. In between, we hiked around the city. Beautiful view.
82. Visited a Witch’n Water Park in Austria
It’s called Hexenwasser and it’s almost on top of the mountains. I’m not a big fan of this, but, apparently, Diana and Bianca enjoyed their stay. Dunno if I’m going back but nevertheless it was quite an experience.
83. Improved My Self-Discipline
Although I quit my raw food diet and traveled a lot, this year I experienced a big leap in my self-discipline. Which means for me: doing as much as you can from what you want, while still managing to have a life.
84. Re-ignited My Twitter Account
My initial twitter experience, under edragonu, was a little bit of a blunder. Got overwhelmed by all this information and had to stop it and start clean with the dragosroua account. The most important lesson: let it grow organically.
85. Wrote My Personal Mission Statement
And followed it ever since. That should also go to the “firsts”. A few years ago, a personal mission statement would have seem shallow and stupid to me. Now it seems shallow and stupid not to have one.
86. Been The Subject of a Random Act of Kindness
In between planes, on the Hong King airport, a few months ago, I badly needed an adapter to plug in my laptop. My New Zealand, Thai and Japanese adapters didn’t work, Hong Kong had a different one. A stranger who had to leave in 5 minutes just gave me his adapter. Don’t know his name, but I thank him.
87. Had a Nest of Birds in my House Walls
This is really strange: in the spring, a family of sparrows made their nest in a small hole of one of our bedrooms’ walls. Every morning we were waking up with the (real) tweeting. Even hold a small sparrow in my hand for a few minutes and so did Bianca.
88. Ate Kumara for the First Time
During one of my visits to New Zealand. Kumara is a potato variety, but so sweet that if don’t wear gloves while peeling it, you get sugar in your hand’s skin for several days. It was delicious (my friends there are one of the best cooks I know).
89. Had Online Access while Being on a Plane
Happened while I was in the US this fall. I was so surprised to actually have online access on the flight between New York and Las Vegas that I barely wanted to try it out, thinking it must be a scam or something. It wasn’t. I actually worked during that 6 hours flight.
90. Stopped Complaining
I still have the “need” every now and then, but overall, I think my complaining times are over. Yes, I hit some things I didn’t like this year. Yes, sometimes life is not fair. So what? Learned that if you start acting instead of complaining you may actually have the chance to change something.
91. Cruised on Vltava
That would be Prague, if you don’t know that already. That was one of the funniest cruises I ever had, with a guide sober enough to remember all of the 4 languages in which the tour had to be told, but drunk enough to mix them adorably.
92. Published My First Book
As in printed it. Again, technically, this will happen next year, but all the bricks and mortars have been laid out this year. Yes, it will be available through Amazon and yes, I will make sure I’ll give a link to anyone interested, thanks. 🙂
93. Fully Worked From Home
That was my first year ever working fully from home. Yes, I had the workshops which I had to held outside, but other than that, everything was done from my home. I enjoyed it. A lot. I’m not sure if I’m able to come back working on a regular office anymore.
94. Made My Own Rules
And stuck with them. Some people around were a little upset. Working from home or traveling the world was so different from what I used to do. But, hey, that’s life.
95. Openly Expressed My Emotions
More than ever. Yes, there were some really sad moments this year. Yes, I was angry at times. But I didn’t deny my emotions, nor did I tried to avoid them. If you let it inside you for too long, it will rotten.
96. Published My First Guest Post
On Alex Fayle’s great blog. In fact, I published 2 guest posts on that blog and this really helped me understand a lot more about my own writing. I’m going to this more often in 2010.
97. Got Introduced To EFT
EFT as in Emotional Freedom Technique is an alternative way to reduce stress and improve health. Didn’t talk much about it on the blog because I didn’t experience it deeply, just got introduced to it. Looks promising.
98. Had A Blog Post Translated
In fact, there were a few, not only one. Some of my posts were translated in Dutch, Italian and even Myanmar. Thanks everyone, I’m happy you found value in what I do.
99. Had My First Akashic Reading
That was a total first for me and a mind blowing experience. I’m not a stranger to the esoteric realm, but this one was all new. Will do it again next year.
100. Lived My Life Like A Holiday
In the most accurate sense. Work was the same thing as holiday for me during this year. Probably the most empowering thing I did in 2009.
That was a slice of my life. Feel free to write yours, you’ll be surprised how many wonderful things you did.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.