Beyond 2014

As a young professional in my mid-twenties I am drawn by the large number of options and opportunities in life. One of the key things I hope to do in my time on this earth is to experience all that I can, while at the same time attempting to leave a positive impact on the world around me. Having spent the year prior helping to build one of Ireland’s fastest growing startups and advising some of Ireland’s biggest brands on their Product PR strategies, in 2014 I began reaching out to young startups and dishing out what I had learnt.

This new freelance lifestyle, while not reaping the financial rewards of the previous year, was both an monumental learning experience for me and an opportunity to put my newfound flexible time to good use. Last year I went skydiving, mountain biking and surfing. Proudly, I managed to get Serve the City Limerick off the ground and  represented my country across Europe as part of the Republic of Ireland National Dodgeball squad. I’ve gotten the chance to drive some of the finest cars in the world and boarded far more planes than I would like to think about. I’ve traded business cards with Michael O’Leary and shaken hands with President Michael D. Higgins. I’ve advised numerous start-ups, spoken at events and reskilled myself. Best of all, I’m currently penning this note in Chicago where I came for a UX bootcamp last October and am sticking around to provide some UX consulting to American start-ups.

Last week, I put together a little video of my year, which to my surprise has raked up almost 500 views and has been shared by many of my friends, their friends and others on social media. This video represents much of what I achieved in 2014 and generated some really warm comments from my social circles, which really struck a chord with me, so as you can imagine this has led me directly to focus on developing and seeing through goals for the year ahead.

Of course, the obvious goals for 2015 come to mind: losing the weight I have added these past few months, travelling somewhere exotic, developing stronger connections with friends and family, and finding more ‘me’ time to unwind or gather my thoughts. But, it was noted to me recently that I’ve done a lot for my 25 years (I’ve had my 15 minutes of fame on TV, been a radio presenter, met some interesting people, travelled widely (and lived abroad), represented my country, created a meaningful organization which has had a powerful impact on people, etc). And, with that in mind I don’t want to slow down – I want to keep living, to keep pushing the boundaries and to explore, change and create as much as I can. I want people to look at my life in a few years and think ‘wow, I want to do that’. I’m totally aspirational and my friends will concur that I have a new mad idea every week but if I can see 10% of those ideas through to fruition beyond 2014, well then I’d be pretty damn chuffed! I think it helps in situations like this to just lay things down my cards for people to see (for example I wouldn’t be writing this to you now had I not told my mother of my plans to come to Chicago for the UX bootcamp and had she not berated me for the subsequent weeks about it). So here are my 2015 goals – these are the 4 life ambitions (which could easily be broken into 10) I am setting myself to complete for the next twelve months:

  • To get funding for, and create, a documentary that I’ve had in my head the past few years (and bring it to a film festival)
  • To ensure the sustainability of STC Limerick & to start another community initiative
  • To complete more speaking engagements (on a broader range of topics)
  • And to get fit, travel somewhere new, be a better friend/family member & schedule daily time for myself.

Now that I’ve come out publicly with this I’ll keep you posted over the year with my progress – if for no other reason, hopefully that will spur me to see these through!

Happy New Year Folks.

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