Farewell 2007

It’s New Years Eve and this year for the first time in a long time, I’ve chosen to trade the pandemonium for tranquility. Is that a sign of the times (my times)? I feel that maybe I’m heading for that quiet time in life that some might even call retirement! Well rest assured, I am not in that space, although the past few months I’ve managed to grab a slice of what I perceive it will be and I have mixed feeling about that, but let’s not discuss that right now.

I made a decision in the summer that I would look to change the way I work, change the way I live and change the way I look at life.

I left my job at the bank, not to hop into another similar position, but to take a look from the outside-in and try to understand why, in this rapidly moving information age, I was experiencing that feeling of deja vu far too often, more often than ever before. I guess it’s what you might also call routine and some people are made for that, but I know that I’ve stuck around too long knowing that would happen, it’s called the comfort zone and I hate that.

I was part of an organisation that did well throughout the good times and the bad, even now in the current credit crisis we (they) have survived this year, of course there were losses, not huge in comparison, and not enough to hit the headlines resulting in casualties from the top down, for the time being anyway.

Each year, we focussed on the rising cost base and aim to reduce it through cuts only to reverse the process sometime through the year and inevitably practice the same cost cutting exercises at the same time of the following year. It begins to get boring year after year, and clearly no ability to stick to a strategy if there ever was one. Maybe this is a trend, but I see other organisations in the same competitive space making progress, where my peers are working towards a plan in a community that collaborates to reach the same goal, the same culture and ultimately successful results.

So, I’ve taken the decision to move on, as they say, and seek that opportunity that begs to evolve or move at the pace of change not by repeating the same rules, but by progressing and learning from those bad decisions and mistakes.

Here’s a prediction for 2008, now I’m no analyst (professionally) but I’m going to forecast that my previous employer is heading for an acquisition. They will be acquired. I see that in H2 2008. How can I say that? Well, whilst reviewing my employment history, I see that every organisation I’ve worked for has been acquired! Maybe they will change this tread that seems to follow me, but I doubt it, many analysts reports and articles I’ve read recently see that the latter half of 2008 will be an acquisition fair throughout, not just in the financial sector. Additionally prior to the sub-prime crisis in August, there were due diligence exercises being performed across the city, headliners such as ABN and Barclays, but some under the radar that luckily did not proceed.

There is a thought that I should stick around for this? It could be lucrative after all. Then again, I’ve been through a few and whilst they do bring a lucrative reward to some, what follows is pure frustration if you stick around. Ask the people at Bankers Trust who are still around in Deutsche Bank or those from Chase Manhattan who are still around at JP Morgan Chase, if they consider themselves part of the new merged organisation or still in a culture of the old, operating under an new name?

Of course this is a hot topic in my head right now, as I seek to find the next big thing. Considerations are to land myself in a new organisation, but one that aims to be acquired such as an innovative start-up firm or a large multi-national that will survive the years to come through their ability to evolve.

On another subject, as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve reverted to religion not in a preaching sense, but like many people to simply practice my faith. Not something new for me being raised as a catholic, but I’ve found that going back to church has created a new avenue in my life that has called for me to believe in something and to have faith, it helps me to look at my life in a different perspective. It astounds me that I got this point just simply by going with the flow and following the routine, I call it a rut, but to me, I haven’t travelled very far in the last two years, I didn’t really have faith and I didn’t believe in myself because I think I felt defeated to some degree, but more often than not I felt I was simply in the wrong place, around the wrong people trying to achieve what I felt was right without the support and collaboration that is needed in a large organisation, if that makes sense. Of course I had achievements, but for me, these took too long and looking back (as you do), there really is no need. I’ve talked about pacing myself, but when no progress is made during lengthy periods, I cannot accept that and get paid for it.

I’ve come to the end of 2007 and suddenly I know so much more about myself. I am relaxed and I find that when I am relaxed I can think much more clearly and the thoughts are beginning to make sense. My weakness right now is my lack of concentration, but I’ve identified that and will work on that. I know my strength is my creativity (possibly not in my writings) and motivation is my ability to work with innovative people in a team that will make a difference.

Earlier today I played a gruelling game and a half of golf. During the game I thought to myself, golf is not supposed to be gruelling, why am I in this frame of mind? The gruelling part was indeed simply my perspective of the game. I began to relax, and enjoy the game as it should be played and surely enough in my positive frame of mind my shots were on target as I intended them to be. Later on in the game, I injured my foot (yes it can happen when you’re just walking!), and I although I was enjoying the game my thoughts switched to the pain and went downhill again, but I kept talking myself though it and learnt to work with the pain and surely enough my game came back and I began to enjoy it.

At home after golf today, my attention was drawn to one of my fish in the tank. It had been drifting on its side for a while, not constantly, but it was becoming more frequent. I’ve had this particular fish for about 4 years now, and, well, I can’t see it making it to 2008, but what I did notice, was that a younger much smaller fish, would occasionally swim into the drifter and they would swim around together for while until the smaller fish was diverted and the drifter would go back to drifting on it’s side. What I saw there I translated into me, sometimes I am can be the drifter, but also the smaller (notice I didn’t state younger) fish. I hate to see people fail and will push them to get the best out of themselves, and on the other side of the coin, I like to be pushed to. I saw emotions in a fish tank!

Maybe I have too much time on my hands 🙂

Well actually I have and I’ve decided to use it well. I’m going to work harder, I’m going to study further and to kick that off, I’m off to Singapore to visit my sister who has been in the region for nearly eighteen years and always visits me each year and I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been there. This time, I have no excuse. Besides, I really enjoy their company and I love the team spirit we exhibit when we get together and the intellectual motivation I get when we mix. Not something we can do right now on a social network, but I’m sure this will come in time. So that’s what I call enjoying hard work 😉

Time to conclude. To all my reader (not a typo) Have a great time tonight and I wish you a very successful 2008, farewell 2007.

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Faith

Since I had the encounter with the Indian fortune teller, I’ve decided to visit the big man upstairs each week and pray (as advised).

Today I was reminded that whilst we all aim to succeed in our careers and in business, most of us would like the reward of wealth that goes with it. However, the effort that is sometimes needed at an organisational level or team level is sacrificed by those who look for the personal reward and ask the question ” what’s in it for me?” This attitude towards success is simply wrong – obviously!

Pulling together as a team or organisation brings reward to all and those who are team players, ignore selfishnesses and believe in the goal, are not distracted by personal greed.

There are many theories about the road to success. Some have it and some don’t whilst others spend a lifetime trying. Some say it’s down to nature and some say it’s down to nuture.

For me success has arrived many times through my life so far. At school, at college, at university, at work and at home. I measure my success by achieving the goals I set for myself. That doesn’t mean I’ve achieved every goal, but those that I fail to meet provide me with the ability to learn from them and helps to set a new goal.

More recently, I’ve been achieving success through thought. My sister recently sent me Golf is not a game of Perfect and through some very simple target focus tips my golf game has improved immensely, but not only golf, everything I approach now involves attitude above ability.  Highly recommended.

Today, a new thought entered my mind. Success is a reward to those who have faith! Simple as that.

To help you understand, have a look at this. Thanks to Haran to for pointing this out.