Derek HermanJanuary 08, 2016
Topics: News

Top 5 lessons from my year past

It's that inevitable time of year when colleagues, family and friends alike reminisce about the months just past (good riddance or what a fabulous time) and anticipate what new adventures await for the new year. A perceived fresh start, even if it's only calendar driven, holds so much fervor in our collective minds that there is a seemingly endless list of idioms that we effortlessly bandy...

  • ...out with the old, in with the new
  • ...make a fresh start
  • ...when one door closes, another door opens

But for every ounce of energy spent discussing this topic for the first week or two of the year, how many of us make empty resolutions for which we’ve already abandon long before January has expired? Perhaps it’s because we focus on the expectation of seismic individual change vs. small achievable adjustments or because we devalue or overlook the lessons learn via the journey we’ve already traversed.

The odyssey (and yes I mean to use such an epically strong word) I have traveled over the last calendar year was so immensely radical (literally every major aspect of my life changed); however, these life-altering changes were not initiated by myself, but rather spurred by other circumstances. What’s the point? Everyday whether we consciously work towards a resolution or not, happenings transpire around us that allow us to either rise to the occasion or sink under the perceived guise of a raw hand dealt.

Could I look back on 2015 and say it was a rough and crazy year, one that I might not like to repeat? Sure, but then I would be ignoring all the amazing personal and professional growth that was a result of the obstacles that life presented. Even when I wasn’t the initiator of great change it didn’t mean that I couldn’t grasp the opportunity for transformation.

So instead of promising to do better in 2016 or saying farewell to 2015 I would like to share with you my Top 5 things I learned over the last year:

1) YOU are responsible of taking care of you.

It's not noble to be selfless to a fault. By setting appropriate boundaries and keeping yourself happy and healthy you actually will be able to do more for everyone!

2) Failure is NOT a bad word

In fact, one should fail everyday! Fail but learn from your experience and redirect your actions appropriately. Only by self-reflection and the ability to evaluate one's actions can you truly grow.

3) Choose to be REFINED, NOT DEFINED by your experiences

Remember it's the journey not the destination.

4) It literally IS all about Perspective!!!!

Negative things in life will inevitably happen, but how we choose to deal with them and what we focus our energy on directly corresponds to our happiness or misery.

5) NOT NORMAL is the best compliment one can be given!

Who wants the moniker normal when you're blazing trails professionally or personally?! New ground can't be broken if your touting the status quo. Dare to step out from the safety of the masses.

Thank you to my PHENOMenal colleagues from whom most of my lessons in 2015 were learned. Who knew that one year ago when I made my first foray into IT start-up life that my world would be enriched as much personally as it would professionally, for this I am thankful and would not forgo the trials of 2015 but rather celebrate the growth they have enabled.

For all of you I hope that you embrace the daily opportunity to learn and grow into better versions of yourselves - Best Wishes for a Wonderful New Year!

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Derek Herman

Derek leads the Marketing Communications initiatives at Phenom People. He engages with Phenom customers to spotlight their stories in the media.

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