“New Year”

It’s fashionable at this time of year to do a “my past year in review” or “my plans for the coming year” blog post. 

I’ve never really seen the point.

The “past year in review” ones remind me of those appalling Christmas Family Newsletter things that some people seem to include in their Christmas cards – a strangely narcissistic activity: “Tarquin went up to Oxford this year to study Economics, and Daisy has just started her photography business in Barcelona. How are your loser kids doing?”, that sort of thing. I’ve always wanted to do a spoof one for me and the family, and maybe I’ll get round to doing it sometime: “Mike has now got into sherry, and rarely leaves his local park bench. He’s also got a Botox habit, which is expensive but fuck me you should see his cheekbones. He’s given up on museums and now spends his time working with arms dealers. He isn’t as happy but at least he’s filthy fucking rich”. 

As for the coming year and plans: well, many of them, but I’m not sure articulating them in public helps anyone. I’m realising at this rather late stage in life that I’m a bit ADHD when it comes to how I spend my time: there is so much I’d like to be better at and so little time that I spend a lot of my life jumping around from thing to thing and failing to do anything terribly useful. But, really, that’s ok. I’m not sure a strategy of any shape is going to help that – I know what I want to do with my businesses and in my personal life and articulating it in a “plan” isn’t going to help me or anyone else. 

Besides, even though I’ve spent 30 years doing strategic thinking and project managing, I think there’s some wisdom in the “No Plan Survives First Contact With the Enemy” quote. Life happens – you can have a rough sense of direction, but actually I think it’s normally better to just go with your gut. Instead of setting out in a direction, just see which way the journey takes you. 

There is one mantra that keeps working its way into my brain, in large part inspired by metta practice – and it’s this: 

Be more kind
to more people*,
more of the time. 

I think that’ll do.

Happy 2024. 

(* actually maybe better as: “more beings” – this includes animals…!)