Woah. What can I say about 2015? It came and went, like a set of exploding fireworks being fired from a monster truck that was driven by a tiger in a Top Gun flight suit….. Awesome.
It was a year of firsts, seconds, and once-is-enoughs. 2015 took me to new heights and far off places, literally. I’ve learned an incredible amount that cannot even begin to be quantified or put into words, but I will try. Rather than try to force wisdom upon anyone, I’ll just stick to how my goal that I set for myself turned 2015 into the best year of my life (so far).
The goal: Live every day to the fullest and without regret
A few events happened in my life that realized that I needed to slow down and live in the moment more than I was. There are no guarantees in life, especially that we will wake up to see tomorrow. So in my moment of revelation, I made that goal. But you can’t reach a goal, without laying out a plan to achieve it, right? So I wrote down four items that I would practice every week, and after about one month, it became second nature to me.
- Be open to trying new things
I easily get addicted to everything I do, it can be a very good thing and can easily become a dangerous thing. But that’s neither here nor there. So when anyone invites me out to try something new activity or event, especially one where I can put my athletic ability to the test, count me in! In 2015 I ran with the Bulls in Pamplona Spain, began skiing, learned rock climbing, attempted whitewater kayaking, struggled with slacklining, and many other things! That list was not meant to brag about what I’ve accomplished in a year, but to show that all of us that there aren’t any limits to what we can accomplish if we give it our all and enjoy the lessons we learn from them. Which, 9 times out of 10, I realized the lesson is always to have patients.
- Start saying NO
You might be thinking, “Wait, didn’t you just say you tried everything by not saying no?!” And you would be correct. But I also had a problem with feeling guilty about saying no to anything people invited me to, which caused me to overcommit to everything. I know a lot of people also do this, which is why I’ve taken the advice that Tim Ferris once gave on a podcast. And that advice was to only have two reactions to situations that you are invited to, either “No” or “Fuck Yeah”. So if response isn’t the latter of the two, then don’t do it. Its was so simple and really effective.
- Enjoy the moment
It’s a great feeling that I know I locked this one down during 2015. I can’t tell you how many times I’d get to the first great view on a hike and just stop to take in the moment. I probably looked really funny during most of these “moments” because I would be in pure bliss. I made a note, not just to do this on my adventures, but even in everyday little things that go by without us knowing. For example, taking pleasure in being able to watch the sunrise every morning on my way to work, or receiving a text from a family member about good news. I realized that life isn’t only made up of the monumental achievements of summits and accomplishments, but everything that goes into making those possible.
- Film more
This one was crucial to me following my passion. I used to, and still do to some degree, get nervous and embarrassed about filming in a public place where I might get judged or looked at weird. So to help with this, I began to film everything I could, even if I had no intention of putting it into a video. This way, when the time to film something great came along, it was second nature to reach for my camera and begin recording or taking pictures. This one I still have trouble with, because I am not ready to give up doing the things that would be “in front” of the camera while still being “behind” the camera. I enjoy being the subject just as much as the storyteller, and one day, I hope I can make both of these work just as well.
I cannot wait for everything 2016 has in store for me, my friends, and my family. It’s going to one incredible ride, so keep coming back to the site to follow along on the journey.
My name is Zachary Kenney and I’m an adventure filmmaker & photographer. My passion is to tell stories that will hopefully motivate you to go live a more adventurous life. Whether that is to experience the view from the summit of a mountain, or wandering through a new town on a road trip. Currently based out of Park City, UT.