It’s the last day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. This is the time for many of us to reflect on the last 12 months, and some will make resolutions for the next.
First, I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of my journey. I hope I will continue to be part of yours in the future.
I seldom share my yearly reflections in public but this year, I am making an exceptions and hope to find more kindred spirit here. My list is long so I will only share the top reflections. Bear with me, folks.
1. All in the mind. I had only 1 in-person training in 2021 — it was in January and the very next day, a lock-down was imposed. This was before the vaccination programs. People were saying (and still are saying), that wearing a mask the whole day while conducting training is difficult because ‘we cannot breath properly.’ A very good friend once told me ‘It’s all in the mind. Once you set your mind, it’ll be ok.‘ And so, I completed 2 days of training with socially-distanced activities wearing a mask and did not die of suffocation. ——– Throughout the last 2 years, many lament on the volatility of the situation. With each lockdown, we fear its negative effects on us. Accept it, embrace it, adapt to it. Sometimes, you don’t need to ask why. (By the way, I also use the mask at the gym and have not suffocated as well).
2. Stop being divisive. It’s human nature to be. In recent times, the world has been divided explosively over many Covid-19 virus matters — its source, lockdowns and control methods, masks or no masks, whether to vaccinate or not, which vaccination is best, booster or not. We express this divisive nature in all aspects of our lives. There are times we need to individualism and there are times, we need to be communitarian. It’s a matter of choosing being responsible for others over your own entitlement and rights.
3. Roller-coasters are roller-coasters. The year has been like a roller-coaster ride. We started with the lifting of a lock-down but saw many other forms implemented throughout the year. Most of us were not vaccinated in the beginning of the year but today, we are in the booster stage. Some of us thought the pandemic will be over by the middle of the year. Today, we hear of new and newer variants. We thought we will go back to in-person meetings and training for good. Today, we all accept that this can change anytime. In all that sharp declines, and slow ascent in this roller-coaster ride, we have grown in terms of understanding, knowledge, skills, and adaptability. (We are a resilient species.) As we reflect on the year, we have been through a roller-coaster ride but with each dip and spike, we reach higher. Nobody says it will be a smooth journey. Continue to be strong while we pace towards our goals. (yes, pace yourself)
4. Do something new. Regardless of the situation, there will always be opportunities to do something new. In my case, I continued my learning journey with formal and informal ways. Sometime in the next quarter, I will gain a new certification as a Brian Tracy Trainer. A friend of mine completed his Masters and is now a PhD candidate. I have also learned in informal sessions and these help me sharpen my axe. People say it’s a slowdown. So what do you with the extra time? You can always volunteer. I decided to volunteer my energy with a food bank cause and also with the International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry Malaysia (#IWFCIM) and their CSR programmes.
5. Open up. I challenged myself to write everyday for 21 days earlier this year. It turned out I managed to do it for more. I was very shy about sharing my thoughts because I felt like an imposter sometimes. The experience has helped me be more open and to be more confident. It has also helped me organise my thoughts better.
6. Cleanup. Sometimes, we attract and gather a lot of dirt along the way. The recent Klang Valley flood has taught me a lot about cleaning up and the need to discard. What you don’t need in your life, throw it out. (Folks who have visited my house know that I have not perfected this yet. 😉 ) But it’s the journey that counts.
7. Be gentle with yourself. My latest lesson happened a few days ago. I was talking to a friend and shared some private lamentations with her. And she asked me, “Are you expecting yourself to be perfect?” We can be our worse critic – we want to be the perfect spouse, parent, trainer …. Acknowledge our strengths and embrace our weaknesses as part and parcel of our authenticity and uniqueness. Learn and improve.
I did not want to put this last bit in a numbered list because this deserves a place on its own. So last but actually foremost ….
Relationships. Family and friends are the foundations that we are built on. Some will point you towards the Almighty’s ways, some will lend you their ears when you need it most, some will lend you a hand in many ways, and some will cheer you silently. They are there. They see you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Have a blessed and safe New Year. May this year be a launchpad for our next to achieve greater heights.
About the Author: Gina Phan is a consultant and trainer with Zinfinity Consulting. She currently conducts courses in workplace performance skills. Click here to know more about her.
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