Writing and reflecting have been tools that have helped me immensely in many ways such as growth, self-awareness, and setting goals.
Much has happened in 2022, which means there is a lot to learn from.
So I’m keeping with this tradition and will share some of my Lessons Learned, Victories Accomplished, and Future Improvements to Work On.
Last year I said it was the biggest year of personal growth in my life. This year I will say the same. We all have challenges and opportunities that are different, but we can take what life brings us and seek to learn what we can from them. Here are a few things I’ve been learning:
- We all need support from others. I’ve largely been a pretty independent person in my life, capable of pushing towards goals and achieving them. Yet the last year there have been many times I’ve been stuck, confused, or lacking motivation on my own. I found I needed the support and accountability that could only come from being connected to others. This came in the form of friends, family, paid coaches, and even my clients who could sometimes pick me up when I was feeling low.
- Freedom is about the ability to choose. There is a lot of talk about financial freedom, freedom of time, etc. When it comes down to it, freedom to me is my ability to choose. Am I able to dictate where I spend my time, money, and resources, or is someone else doing that for me? When I have the ability to make my own choices, I feel free. The next thing is, however, I need to decide what to choose! For some that’s even more scary, because there is uncertainty and we need to take responsibility for our own choices. Learning to lean into that will be important as I move forward.
It’s helpful to not be so rigid in my thinking. I have a history of a lot of black/white thinking. Things were either right or wrong in my world. Yet, I’m finding that there is a lot more gray area and nuance than I ever imagined, which can open me up to understanding others (and myself) much more fully. Take, for example, the idea of being content with my progress. Isn’t that a good thing to feel good about what I’ve accomplished? Yes! And yet, don’t I always want to look for more ways to improve, and therefore never be quite satisfied? Yes as well! These ideas that seem like they are opposed can actually be true at the same time, and I can embrace it all.
I love reflecting on wins and growth. Measuring backward is the way to go, as it helps me see how far I’ve come.
- Created a new program called Ambitious Engineers Edge! This program was different than my typical Engineering Career Accelerator program, as it wasn’t about making career changes, but rather about helping people grow their mindsets, productivity, leadership, and network where they are now! Two amazing cohorts went through the program (one in the Spring, and one this Fall), and I’m extremely grateful for their insights, vulnerability, and the opportunity I have to see their progress!
- I was a guest on >20 podcasts this year! It’s been amazing to connect with so many wonderful people doing amazing things to help engineers, career builders, and more! Some of these new connections have become new friends, others I’ve deepened relationships, and some I’ve just learned from. Either way, I’m grateful! You can go check out some of the podcasts I’ve been on lately at https://jeff-perry.com/podcasts/.
- More Than Engineering turned 3 years old! Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is still happening. When I started out (and was struggling a lot), I simply said, “I want to be able to get paid to help people.” That’s basically what I’m doing. And usually, people get way more value out of the programs than they pay. This year we had people reach goals of getting jobs closer to family, doubling salaries, launching and growing businesses, and recharging their careers with confidence and improved mindsets. What an honor to help people reach their biggest goals!
Future Improvements to Work On
While I’ve definitely grown and improved in many areas of my life, there are some I have neglected and need to work on even more in the coming year. Here are a few:
- Changing my relationship with food. My relationship with food is not always healthy. I don’t have an eating disorder or anything, but I often eat too much, then regret it, and then eat to numb the pain. It’s a coping mechanism. I love food and I hate food. I’d love to do the work to change how and why I eat in a bigger way this next year.
- Be more present. While I’ve done some work on this and increasing mindfulness in the last few years, there is a lot of work to do here. Being present with people or on tasks that I’m performing, I need to stick with it. All too often when I hit a snag or feel discomfort, I seek distractions. Not helpful. Being present will allow me to increase productivity and improve relationships.
- Change how I see and use time. I’ve been fascinated by the idea that time doesn’t need to be linear. I can create time, move faster, and invest time now that frees time later. Essentially moving from Newtonian time to Einstein time. I want to learn more about this idea and change my mindsets, beliefs, and actions around how I use time in my life.
The items I share in a post like this are not all-inclusive, but highlights. If they bring any insights for you, fabulous. Mostly, it’s an opportunity for me to be more public and share some of the things that are important.
Perhaps in doing so, each of you who reads this can be part of my support group as I continue to progress and become the person I want to be.
Here’s to another fabulous year of growth and learning!
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