Making 2013 The Best Year of Your Life

When I was in High School, I always felt like something was off. Most of the time I could simply glide by and my grades were fine. I never received a 4.0 (the highest grade point average for most High Schools in the United States) but I generally did well and made up for any issues by excelling at extracurriculars. College (before I dropped out) was mostly the same.

The game changed when I entered the startup world. The pace sped up dramatically and I could no longer simply glide by. 70 hour weeks became the minimum and crazy work environments were glorified. (Think Amazon with door desks and Google with the garage office.) It took me years to realize that this also wasn’t my personal speed limit. My thought process was that formal schooling had been too slow so surely the better path was to move much faster. Not exactly.

It wasn’t until this last year that I was able to identify a trick.

The key to optimizing my personal output has been actively fighting against the pressure to match my personal pace with those around me.

Output is not something you can simply measure with a speedometer and set with cruise control. It is more like driving an unknown road. You need to adjust for your circumstances, not simply follow the speed set forth by others.

After I was able to internalize this, I have been able to better optimize the speed at which I work.

I still feel the pressure to work beyond my means when my co-workers are wildly working into the night but now I allow myself to take a quick power nap to recharge. I now don’t feel bad about working when I randomly wake up in the middle of the night and no one else is awake. I am lucky in that I no longer have predefined work hours.

If I am not feeling creative, I don’t force myself to complete creative work. If I am not feeling systematic, I don’t do systematic work.

I have finally found a lifestyle where I can work when my body and mind are prepared to do so.

Sometimes things go slow, other times things go incredibly fast. The key difference is that now I set the pace that is right for me at any given moment. I no longer allow other people or institutions to set it on my behalf.

So what was the outcome of this?

The answer is simple. My ability to complete my goals has dramatically increased.

Below are the 2012 adventures that I celebrated this last New Year’s Eve:

I attribute all of these to finding my optimum speed and to choosing a specific purpose for my life.

2012 was the best year of my life thus far and I look forward to taking my new learnings and applying it in 2013.

I wish all of you a very happy year to come!

The second part of my Antarctica story will be coming up next. I wanted to get my 2012 recap post out as close to 2012 as possible :-p

13 comments… add one

  • Annette Dover Jan 10, 2013

    You are one terrific person. Wish so many I know and love could learn from and follow in your footsteps. I think their lives would be so much more productive and also happier with themselves. Not for me to tell them how to live. Just want you to know how proud I am of you and all you have accomplished. Looking forward to the Antartica report.
    Love you, Babap

    • Danny Dover Jan 11, 2013

      Thank you :-D I am sure you have a lot to teach. I appreciate you spending part of your day reading about my journey. I wish you the best Babap!

  • Kassie Seaton Jan 11, 2013

    Danny, your website is amazing and inspiring. I have spent the better portion of my last two days admiring your blog and all of your adventures/accomplishments. It truly does show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Keep it up, I look forward to reading more.

    • Danny Dover Jan 11, 2013

      Hey Kassie! Good to hear from you!

      I wish you the best of luck in 2013. Let me know if I can support you with anything!

  • Emma's Bucket List Jan 19, 2013

    What an amazing year… It’s amazing what setting your intentions helps you to achieve! I hope 2013 is even better for you

  • Miakepia Jan 22, 2013

    Is that you in the photo? Hot!! …Oh, and great article! ;)

  • Rob Moore Jan 24, 2013

    Me and my friends have just written our own bucket list and your blog helped us with lots of ideas, hopefully in a few years we will be just as successful as you have been with yours.

    • Danny Dover Jan 26, 2013

      You are starting off right! It wasn’t until later in the process that I found out how helpful it was to do bucket list with friends. Best of luck!

  • Rohan Ayyar Jan 28, 2013

    Visited 14 Countries … and “one other” – ? Transdniestria? You should go there you know!

  • Marco Munich Feb 26, 2013

    question:
    where did you take all the money to travel around?

    • Danny Dover Feb 26, 2013

      Hey Marco!

      I do this in two ways. First I cut down on expenses (I don’t own a car or apartment. I also don’t own very many extra things) and I then make my actual nominal income through online marketing classes and consulting. You can read more about that part of my life at http://www.makingitclick.com.

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