What a year 2019 has been. Particularly for those who care deeply about clear and independent thinking it has been a year of unparalleled confusion and uncertainty, sending out chilling ripples of doubt and dismay to all of us whose lives are touched in any way by British politics and government. And now the UK election result has triggered a fresh tsunami of dismay for many, a subject far too complex to discuss here, but requiring even more robust and resilient thinkers for the future.
So with just a couple of weeks to run before we begin a new decade, with everything that will bring, both expected and unexpected, this feels like an ideal moment to stop, reflect and notice what has been good and productive personally during this year. Last week in Dublin on a TTT Coaching Course we asked and answered this question:
‘What is one quality in yourself that you’ve noticed during this year that will support you next year?’ Answering this provided that rare thing, some immediate personal insights. Do ask it of yourself, or share it in a Thinking Pair?
Being there offered me the chance to take this stunning photo of the Customs House on the Liffey. During my 1960’s Dublin childhood this would have been a sight beyond imagining, yet there it is, a glorious, confident, creative statement aimed equally at locals and visitors that can only quicken the pulse and gladden the heart. Taking time to stop, notice and ‘be in the moment’ with whatever is immediate, beneficial and real is another vital, accessible exercise that supports our capacity to be truly resilient thinkers.
And remembering that we don’t know what the future holds, that we are naturally more inclined to dwell on the negative rather than the positive reality and that the human mind is capable of almost anything is encouraging now too.
What else do you notice that has supported you during 2019? Which book, TED Talk, event, speaker, podcast, learning, professional and/or personal encounter has most triggered you into joy, gratitude, interest, reflection? I’m making a list, as part of what I want to take with me into 2020. It includes books by Hans Rosling, Gretchen Rubin and Malcom Gladwell, many regular TED moments, hearing Gina Miller speak to the How To Academy recently, the courage and independence of Greta Thunberg and other young people; conversations on LinkedIn and in real life; above all perhaps the independent minds and hearts of those I’ve met on various TTT courses during the year. How lucky am I to do this beautiful work, and meet with you all?!
Which is why I like writing this short newsletter every month. It keeps me in touch with you, and often inspires you to respond. I look forward to more of that next year.
In the meantime, this comes with my warmest wishes to you for a peaceful, joyful Christmas, and for the best possible beginning to 2020.