Yesterday it was Christmas Day, 2020. Today is the first day of Kwanzaa. No matter what holidays you celebrate – Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. I think it is important to take a deliberate rest from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and keep a few days a year focused on introspective celebration.
To that end, I also took a break from Agile Best Self posts. I’m just reading Brian’s Christmas Day post. The post, entitled A Fresh Take, contains a quote from his Uncle Buss circa 1930: “If you can touch it, you can get it.” Brian does a nice job of contextualizing and re-imagining this quote for his situation.
This post connects some threads and brings together several other recent posts. For the jump-right-in people like me, Brian’s post regarding crafting a New Year’s intention (as opposed to a goal) immediately set some ideas in motion. For more careful and considered people like Brian, he is still working on defining his intention for 2021. My intention is to lead with optimism. Spending 2021 honing my optimism skills seems like a simple, yet rewarding use of my time.
Agile Best Self Principle #10: Simplicity – focusing on what energizes your best self — is paramount.
For me, optimism has been a tough skill to learn. And I am still learning and experimenting. However, I have found that setting the stage for optimism also helps other positive feelings thrive. Optimism’s entourage includes: positivity, serenity, joy, curiosity, creativity, flow and exploration. In the pursuit of optimism, I have focused on getting sufficient sleep, engaging trusted circles and having conversations within like-hearted communities. This pursuit of optimism has encouraged optimism’s entire entourage to flourish. In an environment staged with a well-rested, psychologically safe and creatively challenging connections, my best self is fully energized.
It was in an energized and creative state that I read Brian’s post from yesterday. His Uncle Buss said: “If you touch it, you can get it” and I chose to re-imagine that quote in the context of our Agile Best Self work as “If you can feel it, you can get it.” I know what optimism, creativity and energy feel like because I was able to show up mindfully and intentionally most days in 2020.
Agile Best Self Principle #6: The most effective way to be your best self is to be mindful and intentional.
The year 2020 was a year of firsts. For me, it was the first time I have worked from home for 8 months with everyone else on my team also working from home. First time I have gotten divorced from a partner of 20 years. First time I have been less than 30 miles away from a murder and ensuing riots that kicked off global unrest. First time I have had to balance being a single parent and full time teacher in a remote school world.
It is also the first time that I am spending this much time and energy taking my learnings from one year and rebuilding my world and intent for the New Year. After the year we have had, I don’t think a year of optimism, creativity and energy are too much to aim for, or too much to ask for. Simple, yes. Easy, no. What kind of feelings do you want to feel? What kind of magic do you want to make in 2021?
Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson