If only we had a similar warning for what is coming our way in the future!

But with a rear view on what we went through in 2020, we can look towards a new year with more   and better understanding of how our day-to-day is characterised by both the unknown as much as the known.

One of the principle factors we all had to deal with during the year of Corona was the immensity of the unpredictable and the reliance on the predictable within that same context.

As soon as Corona sent us all packing, the only way to secure our future was to simply, stay put. As unpredictable as the situation was, the necessary action to bring us ‘back to normality’ was – and to an extent still is – the predictability of staying home, to stay safe.

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

Now the year 2020 tested our resilience to deal with stranger tides by asking us to go against our nature and isolate against an enemy that was not known, not visible and not predictable. It gave us no clear patterns on how it operated, and ended up evolving into something new just when we thought we were getting the hang of it.

What Corona herself has taught us though, if one wants to take a lesson out of her journey, is that evolution is key to survival. A Virus’ primary objective is to promulgate through us as vehicles. Through this mechanism it allows itself the opportunity to evolve through us, making it harder for us to control, understand and therefore maintain an upper hand in her struggle for survival.

So as much as we may dislike the thought of staying home, and maintaining physical distance, it becomes primary in our efforts to curb its stronghold on us and take the upper hand.

With the introduction of vaccinations things will definitely get better, but it is not going to be a silver bullet; The vaccine is still in its infant stage of development; there will be many people who may not be ever able to be administered with the vaccine in its current form due to underlying health conditions, including allergies and intolerances. And, there are those who for their personal choice, have decided not to take man made vaccines.

These are all choices. And choice is the one thing we can control. It is on this that I will emphasises my last message for 2020. Whether we like the choice or not, we always have a choice. The resultant decision will be  based on two things I always share with those we work with: What you CONTROL and what MATTERS MOST.

So for 2021, rather than  making lists of resolutions which – let’s face it – never make it beyond the 31st of January, focus on where you are going to add most VALUE to yourself, your families, your colleague, your friends, your communities. By foussing on where you add most VALUE you automatically orientate your decision-making (and choice) to where you feel your effort and energy will be of most benefit to those forming part of that decision.

Through our F.I.R.E. methodology we have been assisting numerous organisations and individuals to find their focus on what matters most to them (including decisions related to work, family, career progression, etc), so that they feel more accomplished and fulfilled, rather than stressed and stretched between the ‘inevitable’ work / life balance dilemma.

F.I.R.E. allows us to live a life of alignment rather than a perpetual balancing act between two forces working in opposition to each other. Throughout 2020 many of us have felt like we were walking a tightrope with the aide of a long, heavy balancing pole. We struggled and swayed in order to stay on the straight and narrow, ensuring our work commitments were met while continuing to provide for our families, and live our lives as normally as possible.

With alignment the struggle – no it doesn’t disappear altogether – is no longer perceived as a struggle. Instead we achieve a state of continuous ‘consciousness’; an elevating understanding of the complementarity of what you are doing in one situation (e.g. work) is contributing – automatically – to the other situation (e.g. home). Fantasy one may say? Not at all. Dedication, Commitment, Effort, Communication? YES!

At times when things seem inevitably close in our rear view mirror, and are catching up with us, taking decisions based on a ‘value-adding’ proposition could make the difference between stressing over questionable funambulism skills or achieving a meaningful common objective.

When we are at our lowest, we start to allow ourselves to become our own worst critics and bring in a number of ‘additional reasons’ for not taking certain decisions because they make us feel uncomfortable. If 2020 taught us anything else, is that when we are at our lowest, we come out swinging … together!

So let’s continue swinging into 2021!

On behalf of all at UP Ltd I would like to thank you all for your resilience, your commitment to each other and your trust in us to partner with you for your learning and development.

We are continuously working to expand and enhance our service offering to you in the new year, launching new products and services, in collaboration with some outstanding partners, as well as some other … OS upgrades.

In the meantime, I wish you a most merited, and restful holiday season; one which may be different from all we have experienced before, but one which I hope is just as … value adding!

Happy New Year from Julian, Daphne and Nathan