Birthday Reflections 2023 – Lessons, Victories, and Future Improvements

Birthday Reflections 2023 – Lessons, Victories, and Future Improvements

Better late than never, eh? My birthday was almost 2 weeks ago, but I was traveling and spending a bunch of time with family and friends, so just now getting to writing this. 

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 2023, 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.

Lessons Learned

It seems like every year I feel is the biggest year of growth ever. I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m quite pleased and hope that is always how it feels. It means I’m not just sitting around and hoping things change, but am leaning into the challenges and opportunities life presents. Here are a few things I’ve been learning:

  1. Vulnerability is a superpower. I’ve spent much of my life protecting myself from vulnerability. I’ve wanted to hide my flaws and showcase to the world only what I want them to see. Yet when I do this, I’m suppressing me and my growth. I’m leaning into the power of vulnerability. This doesn’t mean I need to share my deepest feelings with everyone, but finding people I know and trust to actually know me. All of me. And in so doing, I am accepted as I am. It’s a beautiful thing.
  2. Life is about becoming. Often I’ve put a lot of focus into achieving certain goals and tasks. From grades in school, to getting a job/promotion, or winning a game or competition. I derived my value and looked at my progress only in terms of what I’ve achieved. I’m learning now that it’s not about the achievement. It’s about the process of becoming who I’m meant to be. Sure, goals can help me do that. But the goal is not the end. In fact, there is no end to becoming. It keeps going and going. And that is exciting!
  3. Great relationships are paramount to a great life. I’m working on developing and deepening important relationships in my life. I’ve learned that research confirms that the quality of relationships is the absolute greatest indicator of a great life. One study you can look at is explained in this TED talk. This is especially strong for me at this moment as I’ve returned from a trip where I was able to rekindle many old friendships and strengthen new ones. And those relationships, I can already tell, are what are going to help me continue to become the man I have the potential to become.

Victories Accomplished

I love reflecting on wins and growth. Measuring backward is the way to go, as it helps me see how much I’ve progressed personally..

  1. I wrote and published a book in three months! This was a massive undertaking, and when I first thought about doing it felt impossible. But it happened. I decided I would do it in late July, and The Intentional Engineer was officially published on October 23. It still kind of feels surreal, but I’m getting great feedback from many people about it, and hope to spread its message far and wide as I continue forward!
  2. I’ve mostly retired the brand More Than Engineering, focusing on my personal brand! I realized that while I have big dreams, I’m not out to build a company, I’m out to build my thought leadership practice. So I moved More Than Engineering to jeff-perry.com, and continue to lean into my uniqueness in doing so. Right now I’m still focused on helping engineers and tech professionals grow in leadership and careers, but that could absolutely change at some point.
  3. We welcomed our 4th child! We have two girls and two boys in our family now. Wow. It’s a beautiful thing. The first year with a new baby is always hard, from the wake-ups in the middle of the night to the constant bottle cleaning, it’s a lot. But I also can’t imagine life without him. His smile warms my heart. It’s also amazing to see my amazing wife be such a trooper. She, as all mothers, has literally sacrificed her body in miraculous ways for these kids, and my gratitude and admiration for her is huge.

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:

  1. Upgrade my physical health. My health has been something I work on a bit, but it’s never a key focus. It is easy to push it to the side for other things. I plan to change that this year.
  2. Improve my spiritual life. I spend time most days reading scriptures and in prayer/meditation, but it often feels like an obligation rather than a deeper experience. I plan to change how I approach this part of my life to improve my relationship with God and spirituality in general.
  3. Think bigger. When it comes to the impact I can have on the world, I often limit myself with my own linear thinking. I believe I can be the best, and that will translate into huge transformations for me and those I interact and work with. No more playing small.

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 to me.

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!

Take Intentional Action

Want to celebrate my birthday? Go buy a copy of my new book, The Intentional Engineer. Even better, read and apply the principles inside!

If you already have done this, send me a note and let me know how you are changing!

Accelerate Your Progress

If you want to explore ways we can work together to help you or your team progress in leadership, mindset, careers, culture, and more, just send me an email at jeff@jeff-perry.com and let me know what you’re trying to figure out. Then, we can explore what the right next steps are together!