It’s My Birthday This Week – So Here’s A Year’s Worth of Reflection

It’s my birthday this week. Yet another rotation around the sun on this amazing planet. I’m older, a little lighter (thankfully), a little wealthier (again thankfully), and a little greyer.

So this week I’m going to break pattern and offer you all something a little different. A ‘special edition’ if you will.

Here’s some of my observations from the last year. In no particular order, and around no particular theme.

Take from it what you will. But do let me know which ones have you nodding your head in agreement.

  1. If you aren’t doing something you love today, when will you do it?
  2. But even when you work in something you love, some days still suck.
  3. There is nothing quite as special as being greeted home by a two year old screaming “Daddy!”, who then proceeds to aggressively hug your legs. I’ll miss it when it ends.
  4. Too many organisations are, on the whole, afraid to trust their people.
  5. Bringing home lollies and chips from the office for my little ones created an unhealthy expectation in more ways that one. (Consistent rewards have diminishing returns, and can divert attention in undesired ways.)
  6. There’s such a dire need for organisations to explore what breaking away from time-based thinking and structures looks like.
  7. Mentors are invaluable, but paying them in cocktails is a reasonable consolation.
  8. Don’t be afraid to challenge your mentors. Sometimes you can see what they can’t.
  9. Writing two books at once was crazy, but surprisingly doable.
  10. Hitting the top new release and best-seller lists was extremely exciting, but the excitement faded after just three days. We humans adapt so quickly.
  11. There’s a lot of time for mental reflection while playing dolls with my girls. Plus physical play can sometimes be exactly what I needed to clear my mind.
  12. If you want to get something done – hire someone to help you achieve it. Not only will they bring new energy, but they will also hold you accountable.
  13. Being ignored is worse than rejection.
  14. You can blink and miss your own growth. It’s so easy to forget where you were just 6 months ago.
  15. Organisations enforcing ‘return to office’ plans are missing the point.
  16. The progression of rewards that we seek from our work seem to follow a pattern. This is: Money → Validation → Impact → Legacy.
  17. You won’t know what other people value about you unless you ask. (Receiving positive feedback from leading minds from across the world is a hell of a way to start a day).
  18. There is no software silver bullet, no matter how much it costs.
  19. Most of my disappointment this year has come from vendors, not prospects or clients. Apparently under promise and over deliver is a lost art. (The exception to this are small vendors whose name is directly linked to their brand.)
  20. Many US podcasters appreciate us Aussies. Many US software companies see us a peripheral joke.
  21. Forced isolation is both easier and harder for a hermit. On one hand you are used to the solitude. On the other, now everyone knows how to get a hold of you virtually.
  22. I’m not a hermit. Or an avid entertainer. Or an introvert. Or an extrovert. I fluctuate depending on the day, the time and the people. I suspect we all do.
  23. We often love to simplify – it’s the translation into action that we tend to struggle against.
  24. Hunger is fleeting, passion fades, but aspiration is a reliable source of ongoing energy.
  25. Clients have a tendency to self-assess better than reality, painting a rosier view.
  26. The ‘Great Re-shuffle’ (it’s not a resignation as the workforce isn’t shrinking) is primarily hitting those organisations that are expecting to ‘return to normal’ again.
  27. A small group of disenfranchised people will use almost anything as an excuse to make some noise and inconvenience others. (If they aren’t enjoying things, then why should anyone else!)
  28. Work shouldn’t just pay well, it should also be interesting.
  29. When you reach broadly, speak openly and stimulate ideas – it’s amazing who you meet. It’s also amazing how your global network grows.
  30. Ideas evolve, and evolve, and evolve as you test and apply them.
  31. I am grateful for every day on this spinning rock.
  32. A birthday is a great excuse to sit back and reflect.