I'll be 49 tomorrow. I think a lot about life and stuff generally and I've found myself this week really looking back on the person I have become and things I have done since I went into the big open world on my own; when I started my first ever job on the 1st July 1992 at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Considering I was told I would not amount to much (I was told I'd be a road sweeper), I can say with confidence and a sense of pride, that I have blown those comments out of the water. I have had some thoughts on the things I am most grateful for:
1) My own little family - my wife Anna and daughter, Raffaella. My family unit is everything that my childhood was not and in my wife I have found a strong, supportive and loving person, to spend the rest of my life with. Our relationships and the love in them are, and will always be, the most important thing in my life and the thing I am most proud of and grateful for.
2) Being a father - the most important role of my life. The last 6 years have flown by and seeing her grow up is the biggest blessing. Doing school runs, reading books and dancing and going for walks together, make each day a gift. And when she laughs, it just makes you smile and its the greatest sound on earth.
3) My humility - I am a really lucky guy. I have been lucky, made my own luck and taken advantage of opportunities but I remain humble, not taking any of it for granted and working daily to invest more of myself into being better the next day. Being open to constant learning and being able to understand that I am not the finished article in any facet of life, keeps me pushing forwards.
4) My homes - I believe that environment is important and I am lucky to have homes that provide great environments for us as a family and especially for Raffi; something I did not have growing up and something I value very highly now. Having a home in Italy, in nature, was a dream that started for me in 2004 when I did a Tony Robbins event and it proves to me that what the mind can see and believe, it can achieve.
5) My career - I love my work (but not the admin part) and I am fortunate to work with the clients that I do. They also help me look at things in different ways, and inspire me, I am so happy that I get to do this for as long as I can. I don't see myself retiring as I am super passionate about the work and the role it can play in the life of others whilst providing purpose and meaning for me.
6) My key friendships - I do not have a lot of friends but the ones I do, I value tremendously and we've had lots of fun over the last 3-4 decades and I'm looking forward to more of that!
7) My health -apart from ongoing gum disease issues, I have had 49 years without much go wrong with my body or my health. I am acutely aware of really looking after it more than ever though as I'd like another 49 years from it. It's very high on the list of daily priorities.
8) Therapy - marrying a therapist has obviously helped shape me positively but doing my own work on myself has been a real highlight over the last 6 years and personal development is really important for my life. It has helped me work a lot of things out, has created a huge amount of self-awareness and provided me with the confidence to rid myself of toxic people and relationships and be more vocal about what I need and establishing boundaries. It has also helped me believe in myself and that I am deserving of all that I have. I have made sure that I have broken generations of negative behaviours and that has huge upside for Raffi and how she views herself and the world.
9) Memories - I've done so many great things, seen wonderful places; more than I probably imagined when I was a young pup of 18. We've got loads more memories to create but I am already deeply satisfied with the experiences I've had. Everything from here on out is a bonus.
10) The future - it has been a strange few years and certainly right now, there does not seem a huge amount to be positive about. Its easy to get dragged down by the news and I am optimistic on the future being bright; lots of change to adapt to and no doubt, some tough times and struggles ahead but being alive, at this time, is a gift. I am always humbled by the odds of being born as a reminder of when I am taking life a little seriously. The probability of being born comes out at about 1 in 102,685,000, or 10 followed by 2,685,000 zeros. Or in other words, virtually zero! Puts things into perspective and that every day really does count! Here's to the next 17,897 of them.