I've been taking a short timeout to look forward to the year ahead and just to let some thoughts percolate a little. Most companies encourage their employees to set down some commitments or objectives for the year ahead on a professional level, and this is a good thing, right? It helps to focus the mind, prioritise and manage conflicts and measure performance at an end-of-year review. But we rarely take the time to do the same for our personal life. I truly want to set time aside on a regular basis for a little self-appraisal. To look at who I am and who I want to be. To be intentional about my life and not have life simply be something that happens to me.
As I took a quick lunchtime walk around the campus here in Redmond and enjoyed the brisk air and mountain views, it reminded me how much of a rush everyone is in. In just a few short minutes, I saw several drivers speeding around campus in a mad dash to get to the next meeting, someone reading a book on work/life balance whilst they sped-walk to their next building, the general hubbub of people speed-talking their way through lunchtime meetings, and literally nobody else taking time out. This is a campus filled with people in the prime years of their life, and everyone is speeding through their 20s/30s in the mad race to work hard / play hard. The upshot is that I know too many people who have been burnt out by this lifestyle, and even more who are tetchy, stressed and exhausted by the unsurmountable workload.
I wish I had some straightforward answers to this - I could then write the next self-help book that would sell by the truckload and retire early to some luxury yacht moored just within WiFi range of beautiful coastline. In the meantime, I've put together a much more humble set of personal objectives that I'm going to try to live by.