Turning 40

I wrote this the day after I turned 40.   I forgot to publish it, but was coming in to write some thoughts about Summit 15, and decided that it was worth posting after I reviewed the comments — so here it is.


Yesterday I turned 40. As I do every year, I look back over the past year and think about my successes and failures. Where I was strong and where I need to develop myself further. This introspection is one of the ways that I strive to make myself better each and every year.

Successes

  • Strong and deeper friendships. While this isn’t something I struggle with, letting people in and trusting them to see my real thoughts and feelings is not something that I do naturally, or easily. Taking the time this year to really let a few select people know me better is something that I’d like to highlight. Even through ups and downs in those friendships, getting to know a person better, and letting them know you better is always a positive in my book.
  • Career Change. This is something that I struggle with, and in some ways this year I took a step backwards professionally, and was forced to adjust my expectations on the next steps in my career, and how long my goals might take me to achieve. It’s not that I’ve given up on getting there, the route just isn’t going to be as direct as I’d like it to be. My career has evolved as the company has grown, while data is still my passion, I’ve grown to the point where I can no longer do everything that needs to be done. Learning to trust other people, and rely on their good decision making, while ensuring that there is support for them when they don’t know the right direction is something I’ve worked hard on during the past 12 months.
  • Peachtree Road Race #4. I completed my fourth annual Peachtree Road race. My time was significantly worse then in previous years as I took no time to actually train for the event. Even without training I completed the 6.2 miles in just under a hour and a half. To help me push for next year I’ve begun organizing the next run as a “team” event at work. That way we can have a group of people run together to push (and pull) one another to the finish line. I’m really looking forward to next year.

Failures

  • Personal health. Each year I talk about making this a priority, and for a short time I try, but I always seem to “fall off the wagon”. Whether it’s work, friends or just personal disinterest that derails me I seem to last about 3 months, before I fall off the wagon, and start back into the “bad” habits I’ve had for the past 5 years.
  • Personal Finances. This is something that we’ve always struggled with as a family. We want to make sure our children have everything they want, sometimes at the expense of making wise financial decisions.

Personal Goals – 2015 / 2016

  • I have a friend that says “Live strong, and love fiercely” on a regular basis. I need to be better at this. Remember that tomorrow won’t come if you don’t have a secure grip on today, and that no matter how dark a cloud is at any given moment, your mindset is the ultimate controller on how you will interpret events, and the actions of the people around you.
  • Run a 10k + or – 10% of a hour. Finish it strong. Do the damn thing.
  • Continue to have the courage to express my opinion. Back my opinion with research and facts before espousing it.
  • More discipline in finances.

Ultimately I believe my 39th year was successful, the company I work for made the Inc 5000 for the fastest growing privately held companies this year, and the challenges that being a fast growing company bring are above and beyond that which working for a smaller company did. Those challenges are interesting, and will continue to drive me forward for the months and years to come.

Mike

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