[tywlife] A FY’14 Reflection – Achievements, Memories, Lessons Learned

Dear friends,

I cannot remember the last time I wrote a blog post, but it’s definitely been a VERY LONG time coming. To be honest, I drafted several “FY14 Reflection” posts… but never got around to completing them. I guess I just had WAY TOO MUCH that I wanted to share, then rethought what I wrote and decided not to share them (yet).

Opening Thought

From what I’ve observed over time, society has become more and more willing to share their personal lives online. Come to think of it, it’s actually really scary. Your life – completely online. I digress… Century, millennia, and eons into the future, our voices will be a speck of dust in the vast space called “the internet”. But hey, it’s like a part of us will still part of the past once we’re long gone. Is that how other writers view it? What if one day, the internet was completely wiped? Something else replaced it entirely. Have you ever thought of that? The internet completed archived. Now what would replace it?

So what’s our history…err experiences… if not shared while it’s still relevant to those around us? It may give us the enjoyment of discussions with friends, neighbours, and strangers.

The Past Year

Here’s my 4th or 5th and final attempt to reflect on the past year and share my insights. I’ve made this decision. I have 3 hours to complete my thoughts, so I’m “time-boxing” this activity.

Let’s jump – 14 months ago.

Some Awesome Memories (includes most of 2014)

  • Organizing all my team’s social events (for my 1st project)
  • Attending Deloitte League of Rock and Big 4 Battle of the Bands
  • Corporate Seats to a Raptor’s Game – AWESOME!
  • Friends helping me move and building my furniture for me (you all know who you are <3)
  • Initiating a friendship, a mentoring relationship, and eventually attending her wedding
  • Buddy Nights – fun and yummy dinners
  • Trying amazing restaurants: Auberge du Pommier, Canoe, Jacobs Steakhouse, Harbour Sixty, Ki Lounge, Bosk, Thompson rooftop, and North 44 to name a few)
  • Hosting friends for dinner and cooking for them (Awesome boys/girls doing my dishes for me after cooking them a meal)
  • Attended more weddings than I ever thought I would (Monica & Andrew, Yanni & David, Elsie & William, my 1st Pakistani Muslim wedding, etc.)
  • Talking life and hanging out with Mike Lui and Geoff C in HK. Showing Lizz around HK!
  • Fun Canada Day 2014 spent chatting with a friend for 12+ hours straight (and walking on the Humber Bay Bridge)
  • Winterlicious, Under 30 Opera tickets, Yo-Yo Ma performance, attending “Romeo & Juliet” ballet alone, Jay Z & Beyonce concert (1st actual pop concert!), Go Kart racing colleagues, trail biking on an Olympic course in Barrie (1st time!), played cricket (1st time!)
  • Working at Starbucks until 3am… ha ha. (It was fun – my colleague/friend even came to visit me!)
  • Babysitting (little Joshua) for the 1st time!
  • Thanksgiving Dinners with friends – in 2013 and 2014
  • Bowman September long weekends! (Kayaking alone for the 1st Sauna and river dips are the bestest.)
  • Sleepovers @ Shaista’s, Tewari’s, my place, etc.
  • Explorin’ Toron’!!
  • Spending Christmas Eve ’13 in Toronto with close friends (and surprise gifts!)

I can best summarize this year as saying that I had a lot to be grateful for. This list is in no way exhaustive, but as I flip through my day planner, I am glowing with smiles. Too many names to list and too many memories to outline, but it’s all the little things that have happened that make me feel supremely blessed. So many 1st timers!! Thank you to those who have been a part of my journey and for helping me transition during this chapter of my life. I pray often that God will place people in my life to guide me along His plans for me – so I know you’ve all been essential to it all. Godsends!

Proudest FY14 Achievements (July 2013-July 2014)

  1. Officially accepted a position with Deloitte Consulting
    > Fully immersed myself in the consulting lifestyle, the firm, and the city life.
    > Exposed myself to new and very exciting experiences (E.g. helped with my 1st TMT Prediction, organized/attended fun events, attended recruiting events, participated in a super cool video, met the coolest/smartest people, etc.
    > Developed a network of new friends/teammates/colleagues on different projects and endeavours.
    > Achieved the rating I set out to achieve at the beginning of the year
    > Completed my 1st project and developed long-lasting relationships (client & team) – Sept 2014
  2. Moved to a new city and built a life in Toronto.
    > Built a strong network of friendships and new friends (shout out to Grace Toronto small group and new mentors/family/friends)
    > Moved to 3 different places in the city and survived each move!
    > Found a home church downtown
  3. Learned to be independent
    > Travelling around on my own and navigating the city. Owning life responsibilities. (aka. chores and budgeting)
  4. Stayed true to myself in the corporate world
    > Shout out to friends who help me keep it real and call me out when I seemingly change.
  5. Balancing life with new Travel Experiences:
    > Vietnam (mother-daughter trip),
    > Hong Kong (another trip at a different stage of life),
    > Edmonton (visit and reunite with family),
    > Boston (organized the entire trip for my parents),
    > Waterloo (revisiting the city I once lived in as a co-op student)

Most of my proudest achievements this year are personal events. At different stages of our lives, we will accomplish different things. Sometimes people are so focused on having tangible, praise-worthy achievements that they forget about what is most important to their development – personal growth and the nurturing of oneself. Our growth in character. That is not to say that praise-worthy achievements do not come with life lessons that have built character. The focal point is where we place our focus, day-to-day.

Greatest Lessons Learned

  1. Consistently leave your pride/ego at the door. Humility is essential.
  2. Share your interests and let people know what you want to do. (Sometimes just ask!)
  3. Be a floater. Don’t be a groupie. Be inclusive and show it — welcome people to join you.
  4. Take time to reflect and have personal time.
  5. Do not be afraid to voice your opinion.
  6. Express your gratitude.
  7. Manage expectations and be specific in your communications.
  8. Do not be afraid of being taken advantage of. (But do not be a pushover either.)
  9. Develop a routine.
  10. Identify your support network and keep them close.
  11. Recognize who your true friends are.
  12. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your work – take a breather once in a while and make sure you have personal time for yourself.
  13. Work Hard, Rest Hard.
    Hard work pays off (maybe in hindsight). Know that you will push through it no matter what and that it will be so worth it in the end.
  14. Time box your activities — if you’re a perfectionist, it’ll help you GSD.
  15. Once in a while, try something new! Be spontaneous!
  16. Love someone.
    (Read as: Learn to love those around you. Ask yourself how they receive love best and how you are giving/expressing your love to them? Read related post on Love Languages here – coming soon!)

Truth: Once you start working, life goes at a pace so fast you can’t even grasp what is happening. Ditto. (Yea, you can say that again.) I can’t even believe that much has happened in the past year. Fine… 1 year and 4 months. In another 8 months, another year will have gone by and all I can ask myself is: What will my accomplishments be then? With that said, it’s time for me to get to it!

Closing thought: People often share reflections, but rarely their goal setting process. I actually think that would be invaluable sharing. I guess we’ll have to read more HBR blogs, watch some more TED Talks (the ones that aren’t yet diluted), and dissect more biographies/autobiographies for now.

“[May] the Lord bless you and keep you; [may] the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; [may] the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26

Feel free to reach out and connect with me at any time throughout this upcoming 2015!

*Note: This post was initially drafted on Nov 2, 2014.


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