A to-do list for this year
This is not a bucket list or a series of life goals. Nor is it a list of things vital to success, happiness, or even anything in particular.
This is just a public list of tasks — albeit big tasks —that I’d like to complete this year, outside of my professional endeavors: public because I am luckily connected to a group of doers who are always making my ideas bigger and better and more feasible, and a list because I’m Type A.
Apropos of my birthday, here’s my side project list for this year, expanded from a list I scribbled in the backseat of a cab:
1. Build bridges.
Physical bridges. This past year, I’ve become more involved with Bridges to Prosperity to help share their incredible story — starting with my trip to Haiti in March. I’m committing to helping them raise awareness to continue to build footbridges, eradicating poverty caused by rural isolation and improving economies, healthcare, and education. I’d like to personally raise enough to build at least ten bridges around the world.
2. Build a house.
A physical house. It won’t be my primary residence. It could be a surf shack in Hawaii, a villa in Spain, a riadh in Marrakesh, or something I haven’t dreamt of yet — it just has to be somewhere the creative and entrepreneurial people I love, admire, and respect can go to relax, connect, and open up their minds. More on this later, but I am already massively overwhelmed by my architect and designer friends who have offered to pitch in, offers of land around the globe, and general enthusiasm for this place that I’ve been dreaming of building for close to a decade now.
3. Climb mountains.
In particular, Mt. Everest. I started to plan this trip last year but was derailed by my move to London, the new job, and general lack of focus. Everest Base Camp is by no means a path less taken, but still something I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time. If not Base Camp, then the Kilimanjaro summit, Mont Blanc, or the Torres del Paine circuit. And a hell of a lot of hikes between now and then. Anyone up for joining?
There have been few things more fulfilling than working with brands, startups, and individuals to help them grow. This year, I’m continuing to do more of this, but committing to focusing on the ones I really believe in and formalising several of those relationships as an investor, advisor, or both.
5. Write more.
Much to my own surprise, I hid for a weekend this summer and took up a 72-hour writing residency in Paris, spurred by a friend submitting a Dear John letter of mine to the organiser. I emerged from the Eurostar in complete amazement of how much I’d enjoyed it and vowed to keep it up. Seriously, I mean it — this post is a start, right?
6. Cook more.
Even once a week is an improvement from zero.
7. Fly more.
Less big planes, more little planes. Time to renew the pilots license, add a European conversion, and continue the only hobby that’s held my attention for the greater part of my life. I’m talking about spending less time jetting to farflung destinations and more time exploring places closer to where I live (like countryside destinations that are only 30 minutes via Cessna 172 but 3–4 hours by car). Every time I get in the cockpit, I ask myself why I don’t do this more. So I will.
8. Learn Mandarin.
Like every to-do list, this is the one thing on this list that I should do, think about doing, but keep putting off. Here’s to becoming at least conversational by the time I hit the next birthday.