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2010 Retrospective

December 31, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, I find myself reflecting upon past events of the year, things I accomplished, and what I should probably do differently next year.

Why is it that we  need some external device like a holiday or calendar change in order to undertake such self assessment?   In our professional lives, the processes by which we operate, allow us to manage our projects and tasks and provide  measurements and points of control.  How much have we accomplished?   Are we on schedule, on budget, and fully achieving our planned objectives?  We answer these questions on a regular basis.

Why then do we seem to often drift along for days, weeks, and months and only upon these calendar milestones that spark a bit of personal retrospective, do we take stock of whether we are  achieving our goals and making measured progress in our personal journey?

For me the future is a bit uncertain – where is this leading?  I really like many of the things I’m working with in applied social media – developing a community, expanding into different languages and cultures,  incorporating new technologies that create a collaborative workflow, while trying to understand the underlying human element that really matters the most.  The relationships.

At the same time, I really enjoy building things and would like to carve out more time to pursue those interests.  I have perhaps a decade of projects stacked up, and am having trouble facing the reality that I really won’t get to do them all and will need to choose.  So many ads on Craigslist, ebay, and in hobby forums bear the similar rationalization and conclusions from the sellers – these items for sale are the projects they have elected to pass on to others.

How do the last two paragraphs fit together?  I guess I’m trying to figure out what really defines me and where I’m going in life and what I most want to be doing.  I’ve always been a hardware geek of sorts – whether it was tinkering with hot rods, or building PCs.  As my career has evolved, I’ve shifted more to working with people and ideas and have less time for the hardware.   Which of these two worlds most defines me?  I suppose that is what I’ve been wrestling with.   While it seems academic, it comes down to thinking about where the next five or ten years of my life and what I most want to do.

So, a bit more thinking to do, and then perhaps time for some new resolutions…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2010 8:39 am

    Many years ago I had the same thought as to why we would be having these calender milestones(Festivals) in India, I asked the same thing to my Grandmother who answered that Life was not only about living the way as it is but also to strengthen our values and relationships.This is where holidays come in!

    I proudly get to tell my buddies that Ive got so many good friends across the world due to the forums!And it has also been one of my aha moments!


  2. December 31, 2010 1:58 pm

    Thanks Vijay! Making friends in other countries through the forums never really entered my mind as a reality when I planned them. So obvious now in hindsight.

    Growing up, we knew little of people in other countries, especially those that one really wouldn’t typically go visit as a tourist. The internet has been great to help connect with people in Germany, Russia, India, Australia, Canada, Argentina – so many interesting people!

    Sometimes perhaps, it is the things that develop because of our plans that turn out to be more important in the course of our lives than the thing we planned to do itself.


  3. January 3, 2011 10:11 am

    this sounds like a familiar conversation.   being at a similar crossroads myself, i can’t help but wonder what lies ahead: future, fate, or failure.   it’ll either be a year of new opportunities, the same old stuff, or living out of a cardboard box.

    it has always seemed odd to me that one tends to set personal resolutions at the beginning of a new year rather than quartered intervals like businesses.   is the lifespan of a business measured in “dog years” with a multiplication factor of 4, or is human lifespan 4X slower than that of the business who employs him or her?   taxes used to be filed annually rather than quarterly.   annual reports are still common but we now see quarterly reports in addition to them.   so, should humans start basing their personal actions on Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 milestones?   hmm…

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