Every year it happens. During the last few days of December, people talk about their reflections. They talk about what happened and how their year has been. Then in the new year, they start talking about to-do lists, reading lists, new year resolutions. Social media posts and messaging platforms get flooded with me-too fads such as being authentic, taking care of oneself, living life 'in the moment,' and so on. But then a few weeks go by. Then comes February, when things start to wane. People go back to the routine.
Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mean to be rude here. Many genuine souls follow through, and they mean all of this. But for the most, this hype is seasonal. And I feel there is a better way to manage all this. So let's talk about the three best ways to thrive this year.
Learning happens to people when they are at the edge of chaos!
Before we do that, let me tell you about an interesting phenomenon in physics. We call it static equilibrium. So, when a system is in an ordered condition, and nothing much happens, we can say that it is in static equilibrium. It's not very interesting as such. A complete opposite to this state is chaos. Things happen at random, and usually, there are many 'push' and 'pull' forces. And in a way, that is also not very interesting. But in between the two states, we have the edge of chaos. An interesting mix of order and chaos. That's where most interesting things happen. You get the order. You get turbulence. New flows, new forces, new structures start to appear. And most importantly, learning happens to people when they are at this edge of chaos. So we can also say this is a transformative state.
Now the good part is, 2022, in my view, is exactly that - the edge of chaos. And a lot of learning can happen if you play your cards right. Learning, however, is not the same old method anymore. It has become more experiential, and it needs different ways to be effective. We want to be using our time efficiently.
So the first and most important thing we can do during the whole year is "experimentation." Conduct as many experiments as you can to learn and chart your course of action.
1. Focus on experimentation and conduct as many experiments as you can to learn and chart your course of action.
Many people confuse experimentation with trial and error. But it is not the same. When we are doing trial and error, we don't know what we are doing. We are simply trying things out and learning from the errors or mistakes. However, experimentation needs a thoughtful approach. It means we must know what we are doing; and why we are doing it.
It is easy to get lost in online noise and media brainwashing. But, unfortunately, that's the world we live in these days. Knowing the difference between trends, fads, and present-day reality is the superpower we can have or develop. The key is understanding the difference and learning to spot what is what. This ability can help us link things with what we are doing or set to do. That, in turn, can help decide the best course of action at all times.
Fads come and go, trends indicate a direction, but the present-day reality is the one we always live in. We don't want to live based on vaporware, not in 2022 or ever.
2. Know the difference and learn to spot trends, fads, and present-day reality.
The thing is, one size fits all approach doesn't work anymore. It never was, and now it's even rare. People continuously talk about what is changing and what needs to change. So much of the change is overhyped in the short term and underestimated in the long run. It overwhelms us.
So when most people are busy talking about what is changing and what must change, why not focus on what is not changing? Why not think about 'that' one fundamental principle of our business, work, or life in general, which will not change this year and many years to come?
If we find out what that is and plan all our activities around it, we face less disruption. I am not saying none, but far less than those who run behind what is changing.
3. Choose wisely and find that one pivotal point in your own world. And when you find it, build everything around it.
So, these are the three things I am certainly going to do this year. And I am also going to help as many people as I can to do it.