A New Decade

NL_dec20092-225x300This is the very last week of 2009. Can you believe it? This year has gone by faster than any others. It was a year of extremes: extreme lows and extreme highs. Too many people lost their jobs, their houses, their loved ones or their spirit this year.  Every great project manager knows the value of a retrospective – reflecting on the past and learning from it.  Here’s mine for 2009.

My most extreme week was in March this year. One weekend I am flying to the Netherlands to spend some (most likely last) days with my best friend who was losing her battle with cancer, only to receive the shocking news at my stopover in Chicago that she didn’t make it through the night. My plan to say goodbye to her became a final goodbye at her funeral. That very next weekend I find myself in Japan to assist in a leadership workshop as a way to hopefully start a long term business relationship. The people are amazing, their gratitude and sincerity overwhelming. Talk about emotional low and high within a week.

In July this year, I realized that I needed to kick myself in the butt. My objective has always been to live a conscious full life; however, 2008 and 2009 had managed to get my spirit down. In the end, we are the architect of our own life and I realized that in my friend’s honor (and others who have lost their lives), I should live every day to the fullest. Even though this might have been a tough year, we should consider ourselves lucky for being born in a western country. That by itself puts us in the top 5% level of lucky people in this world. Whatever we deal with on a daily basis in our work and lives is nothing compared to those who try to survive on a daily basis without food, water or simple basic needs.

Only this morning it dawned on me that we are not only closing a year, we are closing a decade. A brand new decade is starting in four days. So instead of just reflecting on the last rough year, take the time to reflect on the last decade. Count your blessings and if there are areas for improvement, you are the only one who can change your life and improve it. Change is scary but also always holds opportunities.

Take the Agile approach to life, which means using your ability to both create and respond to changes in order to succeed in a turbulent business environment or live a satisfying life. During the last week of 2008, I blogged about living life smarter (read here): next week I am meeting up with a very good friend of mine to look at the new decade ahead of us to go through a goal setting exercise, prioritize them and start executing. I invite you to do something similar to chart your course through the year and decade ahead. Don’t wait.  Take control of your life and take action!!

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1 thought on “A New Decade”

  1. Good advice, Nathalie! This life we’re living – it’s not a dress rehearsal! My intention is to look back on my life as I take my last breath and say “I have no regrets!” . . . or at least as close as humanly possible. And that goes for the way I collaborate in projects, too. When I need to take a risk, I’ll take it. When I need to keep my mouth shut to avoid being right, but ineffective, I’ll zip it. And when I fail to stick to my own guidelines for the kind of leader I am committed to being and the kind of life I am entusiastically engaged in living, I’ll do what my 83 year old friend advised me on New Year’s Eve last night . . . “GET UP! KEEP GOING!”

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