Lessons learned: 2014

At this time of year, when all is festive lights, carol singing and weather warnings, it’s hard to avoid the “this time last year…” thoughts. For quite some time I have resisted spending too much energy looking back, but sometimes it is a great exercise to think about what has been learned from past experience.

I would really like 2015 to be different from – and better than – 2014. Physically, emotionally, professionally and spiritually this has been a year not to repeat. Details are unnecessary, but I thought it might be useful to share ten lessons I have learned. Or at the very least, lessons I have identified that I need to learn.  I think they are generalisable to whatever context is most relevant for you.

So here goes:

1. Risk-taking is fun; falling victim to that risk is less so. So I need to make sure that if I’m taking a risk there need to be folk around on whom I can call if it all goes wrong. 

2. Introductions are important. If I am going to do something which has an impact on someone else, I need to make sure they know and trust who I am and the experience I have that puts me in a position to intervene. But mostly who I am. That means I need to share something of myself with those I am relating to and not hide behind a role. 

3. People are generally more willing to help than I am willing to ask for assistance. I need to practise this.

4. When I don’t understand what is happening, why it’s happening and what is expected of me, I feel intensely vulnerable and anxious. I suspect I am not the only one. I need to bear this in mind in my interactions with others. 

5. I am not necessarily being given the whole truth, even by those I assumed I could trust. I might do well to ask more questions at the beginning.

6. I am not defined by what I do. I should have that tattooed* somewhere as I keep forgetting it. 

7. There are some things that I can’t fix, even if I use all my skills, expertise and influence. This does not necessarily reflect badly on me. Nor does it mean I shouldn’t have a go.

8. I may or may not decide to get back in the saddle (figuratively or literally) and put myself in a position to risk further injury. The important thing is to balance the risk against the opportunity and make an informed choice. 

9. Scars last. Where there has been an injury there will always be a sensitive spot and sometimes some residual aching; but those scars are also evidence of healing and of resilience.

And last, but probably most important:

10. Real friends are amazing and to be valued highly.  Thank you.


So, what has 2014 been like for you?

What have you learned that would be good to take into 2015?


*not really.

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