The Art Of New Beginnings

Today is my birthday, I’m becoming a 40 year old chap. Last year, on my 39th anniversary, I wrote a list of 39 things I learned in 39 years. Since doing a 40 things list on my 40th anniversary would have been ridiculously predictable, I decided to do something else today.

Namely, to write in free form whatever crosses my mind. Well, more or less in free form. There are already a few things that I’d like to talk about, they just won’t be in the form of a list.

Numbers

First of all, the way I feel today is the most consistent proof that numbers are misleading. Not only I do not feel like the “common” image of a 40 year old, but I highly doubt that this number-age combination has any meaning whatsoever. In terms of physical health, I’m 25 (and I mean it). In terms of mental freshness, I don’t think I ever crossed over my first 16 years. I still have the ability to see everything as brand new just as I did when I was 16. And when it comes to experience, if I take a look at everything I did, good or bad, clever or foolish, profitable or not, inspiring or boring, if I look at all the mistakes and all the breakthroughs, all the miracles I created and the disasters I survived, well, I could be easily taken from a 100 years guy. I’ve been through a real war, I created and sold and online business, I flew around the world to open a business in New Zealand, I wrote books and iPhone apps, I loved and have been loved, I got married (twice) and divorced (once, with the second one unfolding as we speak), I created and spent fortunes.

Good thing I kept my mental freshness, because otherwise I would have spent the rest of my life only thinking at what I did until now. Which will be not only boring, but utterly stupid too. And I hate stupid.

To make a long story short, I can testify that this linear, measurable way of seeing time is only an illusion. There’s no difference between 30, 40 and 50 years. Other than the difference you’re willing to assign to these numbers yourself. If you think people at 20 are stupid, then you’ll do stupid things in your twenties. And so on.

Plans

They say that if you want to make God laugh, you gotta tell him your plans. I think this is true. But that also means that if you don’t make any plans, God won’t laugh. He’ll be sad, in other words. And I don’t want a God who frowns at me because I’m not entertaining. So, I’ll continue to make plans, if only to put a smile on the face of my creator.

That being said, I still want to move to New Zealand, but this time by myself. Which will make this move a little more impermanent than I initially thought. Basically, I just want to live a few months a year there and the rest of the time in Romania, where my kids will be (most likely).

I also want to grow this blog and to continue to create a business ecosystem around it. In the last few weeks, things have turned out in a very strange direction for me and this change affected my usual posting routine. Just rest assured I’m not going to stop it. On the contrary, I do have, like I said, big plans for it.

Now, the last plan may sound strange to you. For a few days, it seemed really strange to me too. But, after I looked back in time at other times when I had this type of sudden goals, I realized it’s ok. It’s just the way I am. Basically, I want an airplane. A jet, to be more specific. I don’t care if it costs 17.9 millions dollars. It’s an experience I want to have in this life. I’ve been in a similar position before, wanting something that seemed incredibly distant  from my current position. And yet, eventually, I had it. In the next post I’ll describe how goal settings works for me and I’ll hopefully give more details for the curious ones.

Gratitude

The third thing I want to talk about is gratitude. Because this is the dominant feeling for this birthday. I am grateful for my kids. Grateful for the time I got to spend with them. Grateful for their mothers, for their love for me that allowed those kids to exist. I am grateful for my friends, even some of them I’ve never seen in real life. I still consider them my friends. Sometimes more reliable than those yesmen who are just hanging around until they get a loan they forget to pay for years.

Gratitude is a very special type of fuel. A fuel for the things you’re enjoying. The more grateful you are, the farther you can go along with those things.

And if I had to pick only one thing that I’m really, really grateful for, that would be the ability to start fresh. To ignite a new adventure every time everything seemed like a total and definitive disaster. And that’s what I call the art of new beginnings. That’s what kept my mind to the freshness level of a 16 year old.

If you came to this article because of its title, now it’s the moment to find out what the art of new beginnings really is. Don’t hold your breath, because this art is much, much simpler than you think. It’s made of only 3 simple sentences:

  1. Accept defeat as well as victory.
  2. Trust yourself and move forward.
  3. It will be ok.


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.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I'm blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You're invited, by the way.

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. Well first – Happy Birthday!! 😀

    I turned forty this year also, for me it was a time of reflection the past and what I want my life to become in the future… my “new beginnings”, since then everything in my life has been examined and adjusted.

    I love those three simple sentences you have, and especially the last one “It will be ok” because no matter what the situation, it always will be! 😉

    I hope you have a most fabulous birthday and year to come.

    Best,
    Heather

  2. Dargos,

    Wishing you very happy 40th birthday! You have achieved and done so much in your 40 years of life, it is amazing.

    I read your blog on and off but do not leave comments always as I should. 🙂 I like your wisdom in this post! Hope you have a great birthday with family.

  3. Happy Birthday, Dragos! I love that you have the freshness of a 16 year old. That enthusiasm is such a precious gift.

    Your three simple sentences are spot on and an important to remember since impermanence is a natural part of reality.

  4. Another post to be proud of Dragos…Happy Birthday! Having turned 50 last year I definitely agree with you that there is no real difference between 30. 40 and 50 except perhaps a little wisdom and a bit more battered at the end of every decade. But as you mention in one of your 3 lessons ‘accept(ing) defeat as well as victory’ is important…for me I guess this was one of the hardest but the greatest lesson so far. Only then can you move on and only then will it all be ok! Y’know… I can picture you with that 747 Airbus filled with all your followers and friends heading for the horizon and beyond …Have a wonderful day today 🙂

  5. Hey Dragos,
    Awesome post and HAPPY HAPPY birthday:)

    Sorry to hear about your divorce…it scares me, the idea of getting married. That is why I want to develop my mind and my desires as much as possible, that I know what I want and am emotionally rock-solid. I think that is the best way to ensure a good marriage, but of course I have zero experience in that field:)

    It’s my birthday next week, and since I’ve never written an X things I learned in X years, I’m going to write one. It’ll be interesting to look back on 5 years from now.

    You’re doing great with your blog, and I know if you keep working at it you will turn it huge! As you know, I’ve decided to take the leap and work online full time. I’m making little right now, and I have given myself 13 months to build a business and income big enough to live off. Scary but exciting at the same time. I know I’m going to succeed. No doubt about it:)

    Best of luck and have an awesome day!
    Diggy

    1. thanks for the nice words and don’t worry about the divorce, it’s for the best 🙂 Looking forward for your x things learned in x years post, mate 🙂

  6. 3) … it will fly !
    and I want to be one of the lucky guest-passenger on the first inaugural Dragos-Airline’s flight from BucureÅŸti to Wellington 😉
    très amicalement, ML

  7. Hey Dragos, a birthday is a great day to be grateful and count our blessings. I feel the same way whenever I make it through another year. The big 4-0 now, eh? You don’t feel any qualitative differences whatsoever? Good for you. I can only hope and pray that I feel the same way when I hit your age. It’s always good to have the mind of a 16 year old, usually they are better learners than 40 year olds. 😛 (no offense). I just passed 22 in September so I am going to be fighting uphill in another decade or so.

  8. Dragos, great to read your post about your 40th birthday: you’ve done quite a bit of living, and have quite rich perspectives. It’s exciting to see you setting big goals for yourself. This is a challenge for me, and it’s great to have fellow bloggers who blaze the trail ahead. I also loved your focus on gratitude: we truly do have much to be grateful for.

  9. […] wisdom from Dragos Roua on how to truly measure your online reputation, and the art of new beginnings, as well as 7 sneaky demotivating habits that may be coming in between you & your […]

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