2014 has been marked with some of the worst disasters we have seen in the region’s history. Media was abuzz and rightly so. Indeed we do not even have to look very far to appreciate the disaster of Malaysian Airlines Flights’ MH 17 and MH 370. These were disasters that are likened to a lightning striking twice in the same place within the same year. These unfortunate occurrences do prove that the worst things can happen not only once, but twice! Shortly after, just before the end of the year, the airline disaster of Air Asia QZ8501 gripped us! Lives were lost, families were affected and eventually business and everyone is affected.
On a lighter note, the year also brought about the shocking news that Hello Kitty is not actually a Cat; Despite being a Kitty! The news had taken two generations of people aghast with those who always thought Hello Kitty to be everyone’s lovable pet. In more recent news, Instagram’s Bot Purge had caused Justin Bieber 3.5 million followers! It seems like he had a population of followers who were not actually real people. I could not help but crack a smirk at this bit of news only to find that Kim Kardashian is faring a bit better than the Bieber. Some celebrities seem to be taking things worse than others; perhaps coming to a stark realisation that they were not the big leaders they thought themselves to be. This was a bubble well popped!
The Philippines, had taken another hit from mother nature via typhoon Ruby and came out better this time around with much less damage also owed to the lessons of the previous year.
2014 was an interesting year which was highlighted both by major and minor tragedies. All of which should be lesson for all of us. We need to take the good along with the bad, as many would say but how does this affect your life for the better? Personally, this writer has seen better years. Out of some of the debacles, come some of the best learning moments in my life. What could be a loss in the more obvious fronts such as career and money, on the flip-side could be one the greatest wins in the game of life. In a previous failure, I forced myself to recount what mattered most and came up with three things: Faith, Family and Friends. With the constant undulations that life brings it is good to look at these three things as a constant with maturity begging for more discernment as time goes by. 2014 has been an exceptional teacher in this regard.
In the backdrop of your personal life lies the usual business of the day, but this does not mean that you have to leave everything you learned at work once you have left the office. Whether we like it or not, work is a part of us and occupies most of our waking day and the same strategies and metrics that apply in the workplace can be carried over to your personal life. Life needs to be managed just as anything that occupies your time. With some of the woes that come with life, come some of the greatest gains in learning. Here are some of what take the top spots on my list.
- Focus on What Matters: While saying “money isn’t everything” could be considered a cliche, much of it rings true especially when the chips are down. As said earlier Faith, Family and Friends tend to bring back disproportionate rates of returns when considering what you get back in exchange for the time invested. Keeping an eye on the three also help us manage the paradoxes of earning and quality of life. Back in 2012, I racked-in the most billable hours in my consulting career only to fail the stress test on my annual physical exam. Top that with not being mentally and emotionally present during the most important moments in family’s life. A year lost in connecting with your love ones cannot be replaced by money, especially with those who have passed away. We spend so much money on stuff rather than spending time with people. In the end you may have fat account, fat around your waist and still be emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. When a downturn occurred during the following year I found my Faith, Family and Friends with me through my trials. They helped me get back on my feet, encouraged me and even helped me venture towards things that I love to do. I am doing them right now as I write this article.
- Let-go of Heavy Baggage: You will find things and even people are not necessary to take on your journey. I have found that some of the same people who have patted my back during my career highs were the same ones that were biting it when I was weak. In the end you will realise that we spend too much time with people who are only with you due to strategic interest. Some were with you because of your material generosity and your image. You will find that once they get what they want in one way or another (which sometimes does not include you), they are fast to step on you to advance themselves. They disguise their advice under a veneer of honesty and sometimes with twisted principles. In the end they are full of negativity, unmet needs which you cannot fill and jealousy. Know the signs early, accept the brutal facts, forgive them, and move on.
- Find What Ignites Your Passion: Another life paradox is finding what you truly love during the worst moments of your life. When things take a downturn, you will suddenly reconnect with your forgotten talents. They were hidden deep all along! Some of them could be a bit detached from what you do for money. What you realise then is that having a job could be different from making a living. Try to use this time to realign your career and priorities. Try to identify things that you would be doing anyway, with or without the money. Get in touch with your God given talents and strengths, combine them with your zealous passion and you will find that the amount of effort will yield exponential returns. Turn your talents into a competitive advantage by applying the time to develop them. Know your talents and passion and do invest the time to develop them!
- Multiply Yourself: Connect and Collaborate with others. Share your passions and invest in fruitful relationships that develop your interests and open new perspectives to create new possibilities. Commit to a positive change beyond yourself and beyond your shores. Be accountable to the people around you. Take the lead if you must, but lead responsibly.
Many great things could come out from the worst. It is a matter of perspective but anything you do always remember to be authentic. Always keep your Faith, Family and Friends. Keep your eyes on the horizon and your feet on the ground. Live simply but love extravagantly!