Time for reflection

For many of us the summer vacation has already become a memory. We’re back from the beach, the mountains or wherever else, we have been spending time taking a much deserved break and getting some distance to work.

Personally, I have been back for a few days after spending 3 weeks vacationing with my family, and I feel both recharged and focused going back for what’s promising to be both an exciting and challenging – in the most positive way – second half of 2022.

Notice that there are two distinct states in what I mentioned: Being recharged and being focused. And while recharging during vacation should be a very familiar concept to everybody, I wanted to take a few moments to address the other part – the focus.

What I often find lacking with a busy work schedule is the opportunity to properly reflect and set a focus for my immediate future. With everything that is going on, it’s just so super easy to get so caught up in the fire fighting of things that those important moments, where you look a bit beyond the horizon and figure out what your plan is going to be, gets pushed to the side and never really revisited.

Getting a fighting chance to address these things and reflect about what you want to do and how you want to prioritize going forward requires some distance to your day-to-day work. And what better time to get that than while you’re on vacation.

Be sure that I am not suggesting you take work with you on vacation or that you spend your vacation thinking about tasks at work. What I am suggesting however is that you find those pockets of time when you’re on your own to reflect a bit of what you just got a break from, how it’s been and what you would ideally like to change going forward.

Changing your forward path may mean a lot of things. Obviously, for some it will mean looking to do something entirely different. But for most of us it will mean making some adjustments into what we want to focus on as being the most important both to the work that we do and how we help others achieve success but also to your own professional and personal development.

For my own part, while I have been out running for myself I have spent a bit of time reflecting on how I could best focus and structure what I would love to focus on and how I would like to go about it in order to also move myself forward, and I now have a pretty simple but good idea about the kind of work, I am going to focus on and how it (hopefully) helps put my employer and my team colleagues fast forward but also helps guide me in the direction, I personally have a big interest in going.

It hasn’t required a ton of thought. More the breathing space to allow little, existing pieces of the puzzle to try and find their places to give a sense of how it could all look and come to fruition. A perfect little personal project fitting in nicely with those leisurely activities, you can enjoy while being on a break, and where you’re not being torn apart from others trying to get your attention or wanting you to do certain things.

I highly recommend, you try it too. It is a super healthy exercise, and it helps you not only to get back fully charged but also with a clear view of where you want to go both professionally and personally in the months to come. But remember that whether you’re going to be able to stick to your plan is an entirely different matter.

(Photo by Lili Kovac on Unsplash)

Question your self

Personal performance discussions is one of the most energizing things, I know.

Why?

Because when you sit down to discuss your personal performance with your manager, it’s a great opportunity to reflect upon what you have learned, look inward and figure out where you want to go from here in terms of your personal development.

For a curious person such as myself that brings a ton of energy. Because I am not only curious about the world around me, ideas, technologies, trends and solving problems that affect people. I am also deeply curious about myself.

Which is why I always take these discussions very seriously.

Having said that I have found that there has always been a part missing from these development discussions or – more precisely – personal reflections:

The difference between stating an intent and asking a question.

Let me try to explain, as I think this is super important as a differentiator for your ability to truly grow both professionally and personally:

When you state an intent, you say “I will do xyz…”. You paint a picture of a desired future state.

The problem with doing that is that it’s entirely non-committal. It hinges 100% on your discipline in terms of following through on the actions you need to take to get to that desired future state.

And we all know what tends to happen with discipline towards personal or professional growth? It’s fun for a short while, we start to loose interest, and before we know it we have more or less abandoned our desire and replaced it with more of the same.

Maybe it’s a bit taken to the extreme, but I am sure, you get my point.

Now, what would happen if instead of stating an intent, you framed it like a question for yourself instead?

Instead of saying “I will do zyx…” put the question “Will I do xyz?” to yourself instead.

I think doing this accomplishes two very important things:

First of all it forces to be brutally honest about your desire for that future state, the question refers to. Because if the answer is just “No”, you have no desire to do it, and it’s not really a personal growth goal for you.

You have been lying yourself, and you’re given an opportunity to stop and come up with something that is more true to what you really desire.

Second, by asking it as a question, you address all the potential barriers to your growth target up front. You will be saying to yourself that “Yes, I will but only if this this and this don’t get in the way”.

The beauty of that is that you can then start your growth journey by addressing the very things that are keeping you back and which you already know will be at the core of why you risk losing interest.

In other words: By getting rid of the barriers to your growth, you increase your chances or success in achieving your goal by a great magnitude.

Or at least so I think.

Which is why I will be using this approach for myself going forward.

Yes, it will put me on the spot in different situations. And some of it will be beyond my comfort zone, I am sure. But honestly; isn’t that what all kinds of personal growth and development is about?

One thing is for sure: It doesn’t happen by doing nothing.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Happy New Year

Could 2021 be any more miserable than 2020 was?

Of course it can – things can always get worse.

But lets not go there.

Let us instead enter 2021 with a positive frame of mind and just tell ourselves that it will take something to make the new year worse or more challenging than the one, we’re (happily) leaving behind.

2021 have everything working for it to be great even if its for no other reason that it’s NOT 2020.

The only way is up; onwards and upwards from here.

Light the candle, and let’s get underway!

I will not so much remember 2020 for Covid-19 as I will remember it as the year, where the physical interactions human-to-human came to a minimum – and the realization just how important they are for our overall wellbeing.

Even though many are busy heralding the marvels of technology and its ability to help us keep the wheels in motion, let us also make sure 2020 is a reminder to us all of just how limited technology can also be (and will likely always be);

It. Is. No. Replacement. For. Real. Relationships. Between. People.

It is my wish for the new year that it will be the year, where we keep this rediscovered sacred knowledge in our hearts and use every opportunity we can to reach out, connect – and be human to one another.

Happy New Year!

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Happy New Year!

2019 is running out and now is a good time to reflect on the year gone by and looking ahead to 2020.

May 1 I joined inQvation as Head of Studio. It has been an amazing and hectic experience so far. When you are trying to build something from scratch, there is a lot of heavy lifting that needs to be done – a lot of things you need to figure out. I have learned a lot, and overall I think we’re a lot wiser on what works and what doesn’t going into 2020.

We’re very ambitious about 2020. This is the year where all the work, we put in, and the experience, we have gainedm, should enable us – and you too – to start seeing the first real results of our work. Not the end product as such, because building a startup is an ongoing process. But we will be signaling intent and trying to make our mark in some very interesting spaces. I promise. And I look so much forward to it.

Happy New Year!

(Photo: Pixabay.com)