Kicking off 2018: One word, one song, and one purpose

David O'Hagan
4 min readJan 9, 2018

Incredibly, a full year has already passed since I chose a word, a song, and a resolution for the 2017 year.

My word last year was partner, my song was Brother from NEEDTOBREATE, and my resolution was to ask Am I doing this out of love?

2017 was a year of transition, with a couple grand ones (relocating to the Philippines from Bali, and kicking off a new business, Kick Fire Kitchen — with a fantastic partner Niña Terol).

It was in many ways my best year yet, not only professionally, solving challenges and generating innovation for clients; but also with life in general, creeping closer to my life’s purpose and living life as richly and as selflessly as possible. (I definitely still have a ways to go; but with faith, guidance, and love, things have a habit of moving in the right direction. For which I’m truly thankful.)

I still love the song Brother, and continue to actively seek new and creative ways to partner with people — developing long-term relationships with clients (and partners), as well as strangers in the community, both those that ask for help, and those that do not.

In hindsight and with honesty, my resolution (even though it was just a single resolution) of asking myself ‘Am I doing this out of love?’ was difficult. Difficult because like at least some of you, I don’t actually do everything I do out of love. But it was also difficult since the resolution is a somewhat awkward question to ask yourself on a regular basis.

Asking the question though during the last year did definitely cause me to reflect on my actions and thoughts, and genuinely consider whether I was doing things more for myself and my own gain, or whether it was a genuine act of helping, supporting, or loving others.

2017 was a great year of change and growth and service, but let’s dive into 2018.

One word

My word for 2018: Push

Push my own boundaries of knowledge, experiences, as well as my comfort zones

Push myself to be even more curious and creative

Push myself to serve and love, particularly when it’s uncomfortable

Push others (gently, if required) to envision and achieve more for themselves and their lives

Push for more enthusiasm, positivity, and innovative thinking in the world

One song

My song for 2018: In Awe, by Hollyn

I came across this song last year and love her hauntingly lovely voice, as well as the message. A message about living in awe of a selfless love.

There is plenty of room in our world for overwhelming and selfless love. But I also know that the giving of this type of love isn’t for everyone.

But it’s a new year and it’s worth pausing to consider the downside to boosting your level of love in the world. You might end up smiling more, you may go to bed at night feeling more fulfilled and inspired, you may become more successful at whatever it is you’re doing, while some people may go out of their way to do good things for you.

One purpose

This year I’m changing ‘resolution’ to ‘purpose’. Resolutions are tough to make work, and having a strong and clear purpose will provide a strong foundation for any goals, priorities, and even resolutions that you set and pursue.

My purpose for 2018: Help others enthusiastically see solutions

The longer I live, the more I see that life is truly a work in progress. Particularly when it comes to things like purposes, and as visions and missions. We get clear and comfortable on a purpose for us, then we do some work and live life for a while, and then realize we need to adjust that purpose — each time getting clearer on who we are and how we want to lead our lives. It’s a nice progression.

As an example of that evolution:

  • My purpose in January 2017 (which I really liked at the time): To be the spark that reignites the flame under a complacent world of mediocrity-settlers
  • Today’s purpose: Help others enthusiastically see solutions

Today’s purpose is for me:

  1. Simpler
  2. Clearer
  3. More positive
  4. More actionable

We all have challenges in various areas of our lives. Some big, some small. These challenges build character, allow us to learn and grow, as well as ideally mold us into better people.

These challenges can either cause us to move forward and progress, or cause us to fall into varying states of frustration, depression, or lack of action.

All these challenges have solutions, but the solutions are definitely not always clear to us. Cultivating a solution mindset is key for long term success, and making the choice to pursue solutions with enthusiasm is to me a more superior approach. (Choosing negativity rarely works out better than choosing positivity, even if it’s tough to be positive.)

Although your purpose may be wildly different than mine, join me in a year of enthusiastically pushing ourselves to find innovative solutions for our lives and the world.

“Many a false step was made by standing still.” — Fortune cookie



David O'Hagan

On a mission to find: innovators, status quo crushers, culture builders, hungry creatives, and warm sandy beaches