As I was thinking about what I wanted to achieve next year in both my business and personal life, a memory popped into my head which I would really like to share with you.
In 2004, I spent a short time volunteering in South Africa for an organisation which cares for vulnerable children and alleviates the suffering of families affected by HIV, AIDS and poverty. Whilst I was there, I got to know a young boy who lived in one of the 22 poverty stricken villages covered by the organisation. He was a very intelligent boy and spoke excellent English despite it not being his first language. Sadly, I cannot write as positively about his personal circumstances. Both his parents had died in the previous year and he was having a tough time living with his grandmother who was verbally abusive towards him and frequently threatened to hit him. This was his life in the developing world.
One day this boy said to me that he had a dream to study engineering in England. Wow, I thought, what a fantastic ambition for a young boy living here! However, as I reflected on this, I realised that in reality it was extremely unlikely that he would be able to pursue his dream. Given his circumstances of living in a poverty struck village in the developing world, career opportunities and choices were limited. His future career was largely out of his control.
My intention of sharing this with you is to provide you with the motivation to start reflecting on the changes you want to make next year and to think about the opportunities and choices available to you. My last blog was about your past and current life story. It is now time to write your 2011 story! Write down what you really want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. Simply make it as specific as you can and ensure that it is within your responsibility. Unlike the boy in Africa, you have a great degree of flexibility and control - use it to your advantage and conquer that Sunday evening feeling!
On a similar subject, you may be interested in reading my article ‘Feeling good about your career in the New Year’. It is written for lawyers but don’t let that put you off! The article can relate to everyone’s working life!