With approximately 8700 hours in a year to do things, I like checking back on how I spent some of those hours. Here are some of my favorites from 2014. You can also check out past years’ bestofs.
Best Achievement – 100 87 Speaking Engagements
For the second year, one of my primary goals for the year was to do 100 engagements for Humor That Works. I only hit 87, but I’m still happy with the results considering the engagements included some awesome events (see more below).
Runner-Up: 2 million pageviews.
Best Personal Development – Start Being More Mindful
One of my 5 daily habits this year was 5 minutes of “meditation” or just counting my breaths. I started noticing that, in an environment where you can always have external simulation of some sort (namely from a cellphone), I had lost the ability to just do nothing but think / take in the surroundings. While I’m still pretty bad at the habit, just trying it was a great start.
Runner-Up: Getting more honest in my tracking.
Best Business Decision – Apply to Facilitator Role
I received an email via LinkedIn about a group looking for an experienced facilitator. I decided to apply for the role since it was a limited time commitment and I ended up getting it, which ultimately led to me working with a great organization doing events in Seattle and Madrid.
Runner-Up: Perform 30 times in August.
Best Personal Decision – Go to the Philippines
While technically I headed to Manila for a speaking engagement, it was very much a personal decision as well, particularly to stay for a week+ and with a friend. It was a great overall experience and my first time visiting Asia which led to a lot of learnings, fun, and only slightly embarrassing attempts at learning some of the language.
Runner-Up: Visit LA for Nate’s Birthday
Best Speaking Engagement – TEDxOhioStateUniversity
There were a number of great events this past year, including some with ChangeLabs, a full day with Nationwide, PMI, and FunnyBizz. But the most important event for me was the TEDx talk I gave on humor at work. It was a blast to do, was well-received, and has now racked up 25,000+ views online.
Runners-Up: ChangeLabs, Nationwide, PMI, FunnyBizz
Best Personal Performance – Comedians Coming Home
My very last show of the year was my favorite for a few different reasons: 1) It was in Cincinnati in front of some friends and family, 2) The material was well received, and 3) It ended with an interview with Rajiv that included a number of puns.
Runner-Up: The 30+ Shows in August
Best Travel – Madrid
I took 36 trips in 2014, with 115 days on the road and 94 nights away from NYC. I saw: Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Vincennes, Columbus, LA, Boston, Milwaukee, Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Providence, DC, Spain, Philippines, Scotland, England, Copenhagen. I enjoyed all of these trips but Madrid was probably my favorite given the event I did, the food I ate, and the best Gin & Tonic I’ve ever had.
Runners-Up: LA, Manila, Copenhagen
Best New Restaurant – Good Stuff Eatery
I enjoyed a number of great restaurants throughout the year but my favorite was Good Stuff Eatery in DC as it included my favorite combo of foods: burgers + fries + shakes.
Runner-Up: Mandy & Joe’s Delicatessen, Gray’s Ice Cream
Best New Food – Spanish G&T
It’s not technically a food and it’s rather bizarre that I’d choose an alcoholic drink, but the Gin & Tonic I had in Madrid was the best I’ve ever had and led me to do a lot of research on the history of G&Ts.
Runner-Up: Cabinet (aka Milkshake)
Best Live Show – No Man’s Land
I enjoyed watching my buddy Rajiv in his one man show about love / relationships. It made me laugh, smile, and want to do a one man show of my own…
Best Movie (I Saw) – Guardians of the Galaxy
I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for the Marvel movies. They have action, great lines, and superheroes. Guardians of the Galaxy with Chris Pratt was the most entertaining movie I saw all year with good performances, humorous writing, and a nice soundtrack.
Runner-Up: Dr. Strangelove
Best Book (I Read) – Fun Home
An incredibly well done autobiography done in the style of a graphic novel. It was very honest and revealing, more so than any book I’ve read in recent years.
Best Tweet – Math Perspective
While I’ve selected my 20 best tweets from 2014, here’s my top pick:
Life is about perspective. They aren’t math problems, they are math opportunities.
There you have it, my Best of the Best from 2014. See you next year!