An Honest Review for 2019

Do you remember the moment sometime last year where we felt hopeful and inspired to start afresh in 2019? We then proceeded to jot down our goals for the year and went into the year feeling that 2019 will be a defining year.

Fast forward to the end of 2019, I guess it felt like de jevu, all over again, back to reviewing the past year, goal setting and encouraging ourselves that the new year will bring new changes.

Some of our goals will be achieved while others will seem like a “failure”. Personally, I did achieve some of mine but I remind myself not to put myself down for not achieving the rest.

There is a fine line in making sure that we are accountable to our commitments and goals and bashing ourselves and making it more than it should be, thus demoralising our own spirit.

So this post is just a quick reminder on the importance of goals, an honest reflection and the way forward.

1. Goals

As the name suggests, they define our goal posts, areas for us to score, so that we know we have achieved something. Without them, we would be aimless. Thus, to have a successful year, we have to be clear with what we want to achieve.

2. Reflection

Reflecting on our past years help us identify bumps on the roads that caused us to not reach our target and goals. Reflecting gives us perspectives and at times, takes away the subconscious guilt that we do place on ourselves for not achieving something. Reflection (honest one) gives us knowledge and power to set us up for probable success in the new year ahead.

3. Way Forward

The simplest way would be to list a new sets of goals for the new year. However, a more effective way and efficient one would be to use the information gathered from our reflections (point 2) and implement strategies to help us cope and ensure the rate of success in achieving our goals rises.

Every “failure” and moments of work are great learning experiences. While many of us (in this perfectionist and well informed society) may not like the trial and error process, great inventions and moment of brilliance in life were still products of this timeless strategy. We should never let lack of information or the need for a perfect strategy stop us from moving forward.

I guess the best way to look at 2020 is to head into it with renewed hope, an improved strategy, and the guts and tenacity to do our best to make it better than 2019.

Be Authentic, Be Real, Be Tactful – Part 2 (Success at Work Series)

We define ourselves.

No one can describe who we are accurately. Only we can do that. Only we, ourselves, know the us that is being shown to the world and the us that is behind closed doors. Something even our spouses cannot accurately do.

To have sustainable success at work, in my humble opinion, is to be able to carry oneself truthfully and honestly, with full embrace of one’s weaknesses, and the clear knowledge of one’s strengths.

When I say truthfully and honesty, I am not referring to standing on some moral high grounds. Rather, I am saying that to weave web of lies and create stories to be successful is unsustainable. We should want success that brings happiness, balance in life and the ability to share this greatness with others.

As we are clearly aware from movies and real life examples from people around us, success through these shenanigans will only last as long as the person’s deceitfulness and cunning ways are not exposed. Then again, I truly wonder how satisfied and happy one can be if they always have to cover their bases and tracks, and to ensure that their lies and cunning ways are not exposed.

Therefore, as part of my simple and happy life mantra, success at work is best to come from honest work, a humble spirit and an ever willingness to take responsibility and learn from one’s mistakes.

I have many weaknesses in the early part of my career. I am still not perfect even after been at it for more than 10 years. I am very sure that I will never be perfect. The point is, it is a continuous learning journey.

Perfection is my guide but not my destination.

I know that I speak too quickly and during the early part of my career, my downfall was that I can be too direct and controntational with my superiors. That is why in this mini-series, the title includes being tactful. I was never a really good listener. I am still working on it, even more so now.

Good intentions without proper strategies and wisdom will never amount to any good.

Whether we are speaking to our bosses or our team members, it is important to be conscious of our words. I am not emphasizing on “cunning-ness” here. I am talking about wisdom. We have to mentally craft our speech to ensure the effectiveness of that which we want to communicate.

The difference between a wise speaker and an irresponsible one is in his choice of words.

There is no value to try to steamroll an idea to your superiors. Equally, it is useless to force it down on your team members without proper thought. Information are passed down through effective communication, thus the many courses and books available on this subject.

I hope that I am slowly massaging the importance of strategy, as well as, good intentions (honesty and authenticity) into you. We will explore more practical examples and strategies from my own career journey soon.

Until then, take care and have a beautiful week ahead!