Reflection isn’t just what you see in the mirror. Consider it a light that can guide what’s in front of you and a way to more carefully examine what’s behind. In that reflection you can revisit what’s happened and ready yourself for what’s next.
For me, 2012 was full of the unexpected. Time after time I was reminded of the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.” Today I’m reflecting so that even if 2013 takes me on another grand prix, evidence shows I’m ready for the race. Let me share with you a bit about how the year started and what I did instead along the way.
I had intended on spending the year shoulder-to-shoulder with clients, putting an end to organizational work that sucks. Instead I had aggressive kidney-stone surgery in the spring. (All better now, thank you!) While I was on the ground for two months, we learned together that digging deeper could work from a distance. Complex transformations began over the social technologies we’d put in place. Ambient awareness allowed us to stay in step when we couldn’t sit side by side.
I had aspired to make this year the one when I’d publish more reports and articles, providing ample fodder to fill my blogs. Instead I assembled just a few key influence pieces, including the forward to Ed Brill’s new book, Opting In, and several posts on big data that went viral. I met with my favorite local newspaper journalist, Cindy Correll, to get insight on how to write faster. I honed my website’s focus so people better understood what I do. I was fully present as my son took a break from Minecraft and LEGOs to discover he likes to read. Yet there was more, and it was rough.
I had prepared to finish up my next book, about ingenuity and how to work through rather than detour around life’s challenges. Instead of completing it, I took my own counsel and dug into what was in front of me and inside me. Although I was able to write most of the chapters, I abandoned the rigid schedule of my previous books and stayed connected with my family even through many long days. By living what I was writing about, I proved to myself I really was on to something and that perhaps even if we can’t have it all, we can create what we need.
Now I need to take Cindy’s advice to stop writing before I’ve said it all. She reminded me that readers aren’t going to forget my serious writing if occasionally I post something short and personal. She reminded me sharing is an art form that needs practice as much as reflection.
Here’s to a new year where we all share less about what we’re going to do, growing instead based on action. Here’s to an unexpected, lively and joy-filled year ahead.
[Image: CC image by ThomasHawk, FlickrNation, Episode 2]