Ducks on the Pond

Ducks on the Pond

In the game of baseball, the phrase “Ducks on the Pond” means that the bases are loaded. The hitter coming up next has a great opportunity to drive in up to four runs with a hit — a grand-slam home run would be awesome! It also conveys a sense of optimism – when teammates call out this phrase, it’s really anticipating something good happening, even if it doesn’t always work out.

So, here I am on New Year’s Eve and I feel like I am about to come to bat with Ducks on the Pond. I have made it through the most challenging year of my life for reasons we all share. At the same time, it was full of inspiration and innovation as so many people found ways to connect and serve others differently. My observation is that these changes happened so quickly out of sheer necessity — we had to find a way to pull through. This is a great demonstration of resilience. Resilience and optimism are key ingredients for awesomeness ahead!

There are a lot of reasons why I feel like my 2021 is going to be epic. I will share here the three top reasons, and it is not really a surprise that the Agile Best Self principles were used to shape this list!

Reason #1 – A New Foundation

Agile Best Self Principle #5: Create a best self environment of motivation, trust, and support for yourself and others.

I spent a lot of time and effort rebuilding my foundation in 2020. When the pandemic hit, like for a lot of us, the floor under me got a little shaky. The world and workplace had changed radically, and suddenly what I had in the toolkit needed to change. I talk about this in a previous post in more detail. This involved not just skill development, but intentionally accessing networks and my trusted circle. It also required me to better manage my inner narrative. The Inner Critic was definitely working hard at the beginning of the pandemic, often sending messages that provided excuses for delaying or avoiding things because of the pandemic. But there were still big opportunities to help others, so I pushed through. Some great outcomes resulted that helped many people improve both at work, and beyond.

I am happy to report that I end the year with a new, expanded toolkit, so now I am better equipped to handle whatever new wrinkle 2021 might throw at me, plus the experience and confidence to know that I can fill the gaps.

Reason #2 – A New Intention

Agile Best Self Principle #6: The most effective way to be your best self is to be mindful and intentional.

I have been building up to forming my New Year’s Intention (versus a New Year’s Resolution) in the past several posts, after proposing the idea several days ago. After doing the work, I finally landed on my intention for 2021.

“2021 is the year of boldness.”


This really feels good — one simple word. Something to focus my intention every day before my feet even hit the floor. One of the things I really like about the word boldness is that it has two different meanings when you look up the word in the dictionary. Michaele pointed this out to me, since we were using my example to work through our upcoming Intention Workshop. Check it out:

Notice the first definition — it’s what I first think of with the word boldness. The second definition is interesting, and definitely applicable. It’s aligning well with my North Star — to be a light.

Reason #3 – A New World

Agile Best Self Principle #2: Welcome change with curiosity.

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about 2021. Probably the reason we all share, is that have vaccinations on the horizon, which are the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Science, for the win!

I am looking forward to getting to enjoy the things I enjoy – connecting with others, the ability to travel, enjoy a baseball game, and generally just being able to move about without fear of infecting someone unknowingly. As I wrote in this post, getting to do these things will be like homecomings — moments of sheer joy following months of anticipation. I can’t wait.

However, I am not expecting a full return to normal. I think the new norms and innovations will shape the post-pandemic world for the better. But, what will that look like. This is what I am curious about. What will this look like for all of us, in general? And, what will my world look like. I don’t know, yet. But that’s OK. I am ready.

I’m ready to jump in the batter’s box that is 2021. The ducks are on the pond, I am ready, and I expect many home run trots ahead.

Happy New Year!

Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by Brian Hackerson

My personal philosophy is to be a light.

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