What did you learn in 2012, what will you do this year?

Vancouver shot on a summer early morning rendez-vouz on the beach

As we move into 2013, it can help for us to take a moment, breathe, see how far we have come, where we are, and what we would like to see happen moving forward.  This awareness of self helps to keep things in perspective, allow you to give thanks for what you have created and received, and form a roadmap of intention.

Though not necessarily a Buddhist practice or philosophy, I have found that asking some key questions at this time of year have helped me reach the point where I am now.  I recommend taking the time to do this, as it is amazing what you will see in your life, and more importantly, where you want to go.  Not all who wander are lost, but a path and map can certainly bring clarity and focus.

Following are thoughts from Aiden and Jean-Michel. Post your learnings in the comments!

What did I learn in 2012?

We use this question to look back, and analyze situations that, at the time may have been emotional, but now, we can clearly see the lessons they provided.  Some key things we learned are:


  • The most important thing in life is having motivation and the energy to act. Both come in various forms, so experiment, observe and pursue each ferociously.
  • Love isn’t an emotion, an ideal or an act. It’s a willingness to be 100% independent and to allow the one you love to be the same. Anything else in a relationship is attachment.
  • The world will open its windows to you and everything will be different than expected.
  • Keystone behaviours exist: simple acts that have wide reaching effects on diverse areas of your life. Meditation is one of mine.
  • A single idea can change your life.  It’s near impossible to know which idea will change your life. It’s important to record, express and cultivate each idea that is genuine to your desires.
  • You will achieve your goals. It’s important to recognize when this happens, acknowledge your progress and reframe your goal structures to achieve higher levels of success and personal growth.


  • I have the ability to help and contribute to others and society.  Despite it not being a career or a central focus in life, try on that by giving back to society, it will shift the focus of life from you and your problems, to kindness and contribution.
  • I can excel in my career.  So can you.  I love my career, and I love the interactions I have the opportunity to engage in.  I arrived in this place by never settling for something that I knew was not what I wanted.  Don’t give up on your dreams, they’re closer than you might think.
  • My friends and family care for and love me.  Often, it is easy to forget that others are there for you, especially when you are lost in your day to day challenges.  Touch base, call someone you care about.  They’ll be happy to hear from you.
  • Love and Connection with others is created; it does not exist on its own.  This is a topic on which I could write several posts.  Just remember that taking others for granted, and not putting effort into a relationship or friendship, and holding onto negative events and emotions is thought of the easy thing to do, but ultimately, it is much harder on your life.  Put the effort in to connect with people, and love them for who they are.
  • If not vigilant, I can be ruled by my emotions.  Mindfulness and meditation are the cornerstone to my vigilance.
  • I have much to learn in terms of intimate relationships with women.  I am always humbled and often, frustrated, in my intimate relationships.  Every time I think I have things figured out, I realize, I don’t!  Remember that relationships take 2 people, and that loving and caring for someone else means being happy for them, no matter what they decide to do or say.  Love is independence, “need”, as in when we say “i need you to be happy” is attachment, one of the roots of suffering.  Love someone and be ahoy for them, even if they don’t wish to be with you.

What is my new purpose and passion, going forward?

I routinely ask myself this question.  It gives me an underlying drive to the things that I do, and a statement that I can refer to when I feel that I am getting ruled by emotions.  If you align your actions and goals to your passion and purpose, you will be happy.


To contribute value to the world every day. To delve deeper into the human psyche and help people understand who they are, why they are and how they can become more of the person they want to be.


My purpose in life is to create peace and freedom wherever I can.  I do this be being a clearing, listening to what is important to others, and making a difference wherever I am.

What do I want to move forward in for 2013?

This guiding question helps set the tone for things I wish to accomplish, and helps me eliminate the things that may be a waste of time.  Be vigilant in your salvation!  Be vigilant in your life’s pursuits, as no one else shall pursue them for you.


  • Create an inspiring environment around me that cultivates value and creativity.
  • Allow myself to relax and truly enjoy a portion of each day.
  • Focus on big wins for my career: self publish my first book, publish my research on brain networks in renown science journals and collaborate with international research labs.


  • Bring a new standard of excellence to my new career (I received a promotion)
  • Write daily, and complete 75% of Aiden and I’s book.
  • Meditate daily, and attend weekly group dharma talks and meditation sessions.
  • Bring a higher level of health and fitness to my physical body.
  • Contribute to a cause I believe in by using the technical and organizational skills I have.  To start, I am donating a surfboard I shaped to an environmental cause.
Now that you have read about us; tell us about you!  Or, if unwilling to share on such a public forum, take a 1/2 hour and write them for yourself.  Share with someone you love, even share with a stranger!  Bring these ideas into the world and help others to create their lives and see that they can make a difference for themselves.

Thank you, and best of luck in 2013!

Vancouver shot on a summer early morning rendez-vouz on the beach


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