Birthdays are usually a cause for celebration, but at the same time a pause for reflection.

I like to try and figure out what I’ve accomplished in the past year that makes me a better person today than I was 1 year ago

Without a doubt, it has been a great 33rd year for me. It almost seems like I’ve gone through an accelerated life experience. I’ve done a crazy amount of travelling for one. Be it weddings, funerals, setting up new businesses, keeping existing ones growing, putting together a new place, new business relationships, new friends or losing old ones. I’ve also had to deal with a lot of issues that one usually wouldn’t come across at my age. I guess “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” holds very true in this case.

One thing that really helped me focus was to constantly ask myself if I was happy doing what I was doing. If I wasn’t, that meant I needed to change something. More often than not, this has helped steer me in a more positive direction. It also gave me the courage to make tough decisions and want to change things for the better.

I’ve also realised that I’m one of the privileged few-I actually have a passion for what I do and I enjoy it tremendously. Running an organization is never easy, and no one teaches you how to do it. But it is through a constant desire to want to improve and to evolve that sees you take on new responsibilities and increase your standards. I guess in life, it’s the same thing. If you’re equipped with the ability to think and learn on your own, then I figure you’re going to do just fine.

Live life without any regrets, for every single experience you have gone through makes you the person you are today, and equips you for the challenges of tomorrow.

If it’s been an awesome 33rd year for me, I can’t wait to see what 34 has in store. I’m sure it’s going to be tough -it always is- but if I believe in the general goodness of mankind, and do my part to contribute to it, then I figure I’m on my way to making this world a slightly better place.