The quiet time between Christmas and
New Year has been a special time for me to bring closure to the previous year
and intentionally prepare for the next. I often find that my days are so
full throughout the year that I lose myself in the grind and neglect to
recognize how much I have accomplished and grown in a given year and what major
events and memories have helped shape who I am.
This tradition started five years
ago when I went through some painful events that, frankly, I found difficult to
process, bring closure to, and pick myself up from. It was during this time
that I borrowed a workbook my father had purchased from the Michael Hyatt
Company on bringing year-end closure.
While initially I was skeptical that this would help, I found that I loved
the process that Michael had outlined, the clarity and perspective his
questions provided, the way I was able to see the good and lessons learned in
the midst of pain, and ultimately the way I was able to tangibly see and track
my own personal growth.
Over the years, I have refined my
annual review process and have experimented with additional
methodologies/questions that I have added to the core list that Michael outlined.
I’m always tweaking to adapt to my needs in a particular year, but here’s a
look at how I’m currently closing out 2019:
In May, 2017 I embarked on new stage of my career as a Customer Success Manager and more recently, a Service Manager, for The Walt Disney Company. This was really a dream come true! My family is a big Disney fan and I’ve always dreamed of working for the company that brought so many wonderful memories, stories, lessons, and adventures to me and millions more around the world.
been a whirlwind 2+ years at Disney and I’ve learned a lot through my
time. As I reflect back on the journey,
I decided to share a few lessons I’ve learned on the journey. Through the
course of getting my thoughts in writing, I decided to split this post into a
mini-series to keep it at a reasonable length.
Look for the “Pixie Dusting” moments
If you attended one of the orientation days for new employees, you might hear the term “Pixie Dusting” referenced. “Pixie Dusting” means those magical (pardon the pun) experiences that you can only get as a Disney cast member. In essence, it’s when the fact hits you that “Oh wow, I actually work for Disney!!!”.
The reality is that
no matter how good the company is, some days on the job can be harder than
others and it can be easy to be bogged down by the technical details. When I started at the company, a dear family
friend who also works at Disney encouraged me
to take advantage of every opportunity I can to keep myself inspired and
remind myself how special it is to work here.
That bold statement by Jocko Willink on the Tribe of Mentors podcast resonated deeply with me and sent me on what is becoming a year-long journey to understand the meaning of discipline and better apply those principles in all areas of my life (not just productivity). Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s podcast, Happier I set “Discipline” as my one-word theme of the year.
Throughout the past six months, I’ve been struck by five observations about discipline:
Discipline needs a positive reward
Discipline is inherently hard. It’s the act of denying ourselves something now for future benefit. Charles Duhigg shares that every habit has a reward that reinforces that habit in our brains. We can effectively change our habits and be more disciplined by being intentional with how we use those rewards. My favorite example of this is the jar of chocolates Duhigg has on his desk that he can only eat from once he’s finished a weekly review.
Have you ever thought through your philosophy of rest? Is rest something to be achieved after the work is done or equally as important as the work itself? Are you intentional about deciding how to rest? These are some of the thoughts that have been swirling through my head in the aftermath of the GTD Summit. I mentioned in a previous post that one of the quotes that hit me hard during the Summit was:
Last week I had the
incredible privilege of attending and participating on a panel at the 2019 GTD (Getting Things Done) Summit in
Amsterdam. This was a special
opportunity for me as I have grown up with the GTD methodology my whole life
and was able to participate on a panel in the first GTD Summit in San Francisco
ten years prior. David and Kathryn Allen are dear friends of my family and it
was wonderful to see them again and hear how the productivity techniques they
developed have helped so many people.
I have been blogging ever since I was nine years old. Yes that’s right, nine years old! We setup a blog for our robotics team, the LEGO Imagineers and I became a regular contributor there and for our family blog.
Initially I was
skeptical of the value of blogging and it felt like a chore, but over the years
I’ve become convinced of the value of blogging.
I often see posts that promise incredible financial benefits from blogging,
but I want to share five other reasons why I found blogging to be invaluable:
This is the second post in a mini-series on practical tips for the church pianist. Many of these notes were taken during a seminar with John Martin at the Grace Music Collective hosted by Grace Baptist Church and are shared with permission.
In the previous post, I discussed the heart of the church musician and the importance of keeping the role of a pianist in perspective. But once we have the right view of our role and the right heart of service, how do we practically apply that? The piano is probably the most versatile instrument in the band. We have the power to completely obliterate the band, but we must control ourselves and our instrument and determine the best ways we can contribute to congregational worship.
John shared that there are various areas we should consider and gave us suggestions of tools in each area we can use in any song. These areas include:
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the first Grace Music Collective, an instrumental workshop designed to train musicians how to better serve in the church. The seminar was hosted at Grace Baptist Church, and sessions included acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and keyboard.
I was so excited to be able to attend the “Keyboard in Worship” session by John Martin! While piano was my primary instrument in college, my training was primarily classically focused and, for the most part, did not prepare me to play in a modern worship setting. I’ve been trying to teach myself, but as playing by ear doesn’t come naturally to me, the task has been daunting.