What are you going to do differently next year?
Over the holidays my dad sent me a picture from a Chanukah party in upstate New York. It showed an aunt and uncle I hadn't seen in many years. My uncle was wearing one of those t-shirts with a tuxedo painted on the front.
It was a funny shirt. I laughed.
My mother's brother is a pretty no-nonsense kind of person. He is a doctor and takes his work seriously. But never too seriously to be a little humorous. To help the family or community. My aunt is similarly a "mensch."
I saw an old friend around the same time. She too was down to earth, relaxed and happy. It was like time had never passed.
How do you think about your personal brand? Do you draw up strategies? Or do experiences just fill you up like gas, until you exhale and take your life in a different direction?
For me it's usually the latter. I have a vague idea, then interactions and observations wake me up a little.
My plate was a little too full last year. I made it that way, trying to do it all, all the time. Seeing that photo and my friend was like the final shot of helium to burst my balloon of working too hard. Narrowing activities, and kicking back now and then, is good all the way around.
Next year, with G-d's help, I plan to do the following:
1. Professionally, focus on a few key items and execute them consistently and well.
2. Personally, take a little time to relax and breathe.
3. Methodologically, as a life process, avoid naming or pinning down my exact direction - let it be natural and creative and evolve.
Embracing a few realistic key ideas or elements is the core of any good brand strategy, personal or organizational. You cannot and should not try to write a dissertation or to accomplish one.
When you choose your own simple steps - or allow them to choose you - it enables you to achieve concrete and meaningful progress.