|It is one of the great paradoxes of our time that, even though many of us feel as though time is dragging and we are swimming through days made of honey, we turn our backs for a minute and we’re midway through the year.
The obvious task, when faced with the reality of another year half-passed, is to do a check-in: Are we on track with the goals we set at the start of the year? What do we need to do differently?
I did exactly this last week. I looked at my one-page ‘plan’ for 2022 and all I could do was give a weak chuckle. Some of the personal and professional goals that I set for myself six months ago seem positively outlandish today.
Goodness knows what I was thinking, but last December I was looking back at 2021 and expecting 2022 to unfold in a similar trajectory. The Covid pandemic seemed to be under some level of control, things were returning to some level of normality and there was some sense of hope all over the world.
Who knew there was going to be a war that would throw the world into disarray and plunge economies into a tailspin?
Who knew that smallpox would be making a comeback in the form of a distant relative, Monkeypox?
Who knew world leaders would reach new depths of disappointing behaviour? (Well, we could probably have predicted this one.)
It seems the only thing we can be sure of is that we can’t be sure of what is going to happen next.
I listened to a keynote lecture by a business professor from the Swiss Business School, IMD, right after ‘revisiting’ my goals and felt much better as I realised that I wasn’t alone in making the mistake of looking back to plan forward. Because, as Prof Arturo Bris pointed out, the past has passed, and we can no longer rely on it to foresee the future. We are living in an unpredictable, unconventional and (dare I say) unprecedented time.
We need to let go of attachment to how we want things to look and instead continue to do what we have been doing so well since the start of 2020: reacting, adapting, and solving the problems that come our way gracefully and graciously.
My plan for the rest of this year is to be as creative, agile, and responsive as possible to whatever appears in my path. I’d love to hear about how you plan to tackle the next six months.