Yeah, I don’t do New Years Resolutions but I have a habit of listening, and reviewing, the lessons of the previous year and looking at my life compass and setting a direction for the new year. Over the past month, with the demands I’ve talked about that tackled me to the ground roughly in December and November, I took a good deal of time to do a deep amount of soul searching over the Holidays, as a very full year wound down to a close. 2017 told me I want to work more on my career path with the clear goal of becoming a cloud architect, a better husband to the man who has been my partner for many more years than our legal marriage, spend even more time outdoors in nature, a better friend and active community member in multiple spheres and to find a better milestone than running races to keep me on a heart healthy path, and strong, in the face of cardiac artery disease.
After talking to one of my Christmas Day guests who is a friend and former colleague of mine from Cardinal Solutions who is now running her own business, I took her advice on seeking coaching. It’s intuitively what I asked of my new therapist who I engaged to help me through the cardiac anxiety issues I am dealing with that have been pulling me closer to depression than I’ve ever been. The therapist asked me what my expectations were so I said, “I want you to challenge my beliefs and make me try to see things in a new light.” If I understood what Stephanie said to me on Christmas Day, that’s the role of a coach. So I’m reading a couple books right now. One of which is titled “On Managing Yourself,” a curated collection of Harvard Business Review articles intended to make you a better person and professional. The first article had a bit about taking the time to not just be mindful but to dedicate a chunk of time daily to find the purpose, meaning and value of life. While I already know who I am at this age, through some hard fought battles with past selves, I found that idea resonated with me deeply. Secondly, as a semi regular journaler and list maker, there was advice in the second article about creating a bell weather of sorts. Using the following list to measure our success and make alterations when necessary.
- What are my strengths?
- Meaning feedback analysis where you write down an intended outcome for every meaningful choice we make and then come back to review that iteratively. Which sounds like a whiff of Agile methodology to the developer in me… and a great way to apply that in real life.
- How do I work?
- Or are we a listener or a reader in how we interact with the world and people around us as knowing that will help us to better communicate with everyone, ourselves included, in all aspects of our lives.
- What are my values?
- What do we see as our ethical responsibilities to those around us in all contexts? One example being does the company I work for have values that align with my own? If not, then it’s time to change jobs. Same thing with relationships and people.
- Where do I belong?
- I took this as seeking out work and contracts that align with our strengths, work styles and personal values.
- What can I contribute?
- Based on the previous question, once you find the right fit, ask what is required and add value to the degree that you are capable and let others do the same thing.
While I’m only two articles into this tonight, on the first day of the year, I am energized by the type of dialogue it’s presenting. It’s one of those moments where you can almost feel the bell going off in your heart that you are hearing what you need to at the right moment in your life. It definitely gives value to the idea that at the end of every night there is always dawn… and hope for change.
It’s great career and life advice that I’d highly recommend to anyone seeking to either define, or redefine, themselves.