New Year, New Beginnings, Lands of Opportunities, Bali...

Sometimes I sit and wonder and what could have been, how I could have done things differently whether at work, social setting or in relationships. But the older and assumably wiser I have become I like to summarise like this. Whatever will happen will happen. occasionally you can keep something going longer, stick that job out another 6 months or put in some extra effort to that relationship and make it a little bit better. However, what you realise as you get older is that you prefer to take your own advice earlier than society would pressure you.

That said, new beginnings or resolutions at this time of year are a great opportunity to jump out of your comfort zone, try new things, go to new places, meet new people and take a few chances. Why not? What's the worst that can happen? I often remember the movie "Yes Man" starring Jim Carey from years ago where he was in a job he hated, and was just coasting through life. For many that's normal and it's totally OK as well. But for me I don't like to coast. I feel I perform better when I am pushing and challenging myself. I took his character's mantra onboard in some instances where we all agree to say yes to opportunities that we would normally not take. No I don't want to go salsa dancing. I don't want to learn German. I don't want to eat that. I don't want to drink this. Normally we grow more when we are doing something we would not ordinarily be doing. And you know what, we often surprise ourselves. The wins we experience sometimes can be vast and really open ourselves to new things on the horizon...

Bali is me out of my comfort zone.

Set aside the fact I don't speak the language it's a confusing place on a good day for the local people!

But the challenges I face here all have solutions.

Some have simple, quick, easily achievable problems.

Others are much bigger, they require more complex approaches to thinking and finding solutions when we least expect to.

Learning to focus the mind on what is important is indeed a skill that we learn in life, all too often too late to allow us true happiness earlier in life. Learning to drop the hassle and drama, and focus on the good is a real life skill we should be teaching our children.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck is a great book worth reading. A lot of the take away messages already resonated with me before reading it. But I would often discuss the concepts and such like with Will over a morning coffee over the 6 months i worked for him.

I urge you to watch his video on Fault and responsibility here

I found this to be quite refreshing watching him make the video as we had sit and discussed the content at great lengths on a few occasions.

I think sharing common ground with people is important. In the way you think you know somebody even although you haven't met them before. We shared much ground, concepts, over morning coffees. I truly thank him for the time we spent together.

To play this video, view this post from your live site.

The attitude of the Balinese is great. In many ways they are limited on the fucks they give. If Balinese are giving fucks. Watch out! it's a big fuck! I haven't seen it yet, but they are just so happy I'm not sure it will happen.

Hard working people never fail to surprise me.

Whether it's digging holes, shovelling sand or moving rocks. Often they get stuck in with the same zest as the group, young or old, male or female. There is a real sense of community everywhere you turn and I love that.

If you need some help building or fixing your house, your neighbours help you out. Need some help with your car, somebody is good with Engineering and they get it moving again.

If we could replicate their mindset across the globe we would be a much better society.

I live in a block with 6 neighbours. Apart from my immediate neighbour across the hallway I don't know them. I've lived there for more than 8 years. OK, I travel, I'm not always home. But I'm not sure I could pick them out of a line up.

In the modern world we live so far removed from one another it removes that sense of community and I think it means when we do face challenges we are often on our own trying to find solutions. We don't have that local neighbourly network to help us out in our time of need. It's easy to get overwhelmed by these challenges. I think it's representative of Western society and culture.

We all have a nice car we drive around, in Bali if it has wheels and it goes then it'll suffice.

I have been to Bali many times now, spent months traversing the islands working and connecting the Vanillaism dots. I never saw a Ferrari yet, heck I'm not even sure I saw an Audi if I am honest. And I like that.

Disconnect I think as a concept gets a bit of a wanky connotation nowadays. Turn off your phone for a few hours, make yourself feel good about it. What nonsense. There is a time and place for it. But we are all guilty of going to a music gig or an event and taking the perfect photo for the gram. haha I am guilty of that. However I am also mindful of my reality too. I know for all the time I spend doing that, I am able to switch off and literally have no phone signal or internet access for days at a time when trekking the rainforests. I really can't recommend it enough. There is a real tough edge to climbing mountains and crossing rivers and valleys. It's hot sweaty thirsty work. But achievable and I have impressed myself a few times already on my Bali journeys.

Having launched and successfully crowdfunded the Vanillaism project just before this trip I have been buoyed by the support from our founding Vanillaists. It's been great to come here and explain to the farmers and their communities what this means for the project going forward.

We have some very exciting announcements coming soon which we will be sharing via socials in due course.

Bali is a land of opportunities.

I am excited to be bringing those opportunities to you.

Equally i am excited to bring you to the land of opportunities.

There are many things I would like to share with you, but I am terrible at keeping surprises so perhaps this is wise to sign off and ask you what you want to experience when you come visit us here?

Please click on this link to take the survey monkey.

I must fly off to Canguu now and fit in with the trendy instagram influencer mob, where I will sit quietly in the corner sipping my latte laughing at them trying to take the perfect picture of their lunch!

Peace out & Vanilla love!


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