Success or Failure in 2021? Its Your decision.
The festive season allows us all to reflect on the commitments that we make to various aspects of our lives and how we shuffle our priorities. Like a fifth weather season, we look forward to this period well before it sweeps us up; and with it comes a chance to recharge, reflect and reinvigorate ourselves either alone or with our loved ones.
Even putting COVID aside, if you felt like this year was hard work, you were right. While research suggests that people are at their most optimal when they work no more than 39 hours per week, almost 50% of employees over the age of 15 worked more than 40 hours a week this year. More than 75% of workers feel that stress adversely affects their physical health, and 64% report an impact from stress on mental health.
People are working harder and longer than ever before, and so when the festive season arises, those fortunate enough to get a break from the usual rhythm of society are provided with a moment of intellectual and emotional respite. It is no surprise that around 60% of us take the opportunity to examine the goals, drivers and aspirations that fuelled the year just gone, and set new goals for the year ahead. Human beings make 35000 decisions a day. Perhaps the best one we can make this season is to allow the joy of children, of family, and of societies willingness to experience goodwill to infect us just a little. 2020 will be there when we return.
The Value of Setting Goals
That voice in the back of our heads right now about what we want to achieve in 2021 matters. Listen to it, because the value of goals exceeds the aspirational. They are good for our health, for our workplaces, and ultimately for our society. Nietzsche once wrote that “if we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how” and there is compelling evidence to support it. Having purpose and meaning is a robust predictor of both physical health and longer life. When we set a goal and we pursue it, we are healthier and we are more valuable to society.
It is tempting to think that our goals are merely about us, rather than shaping the environment in which we all live, but consider this: We are, as we embark on this new decade, fortunate to be living in an era where some of the best questions in history require answering. In the next ten years, society will consider the power and obligations of its institutions; technology will converge discussions of efficiency and innovation with the protection of individual data and the rights of the individual; our methods of communication, our sources of energy and the nature of the way we transport ourselves will change, and we will be asked, in aggregate, to re-solve some of the more complex historical political economy questions ever asked around equity, efficiency, the role of the State versus the individual and the counterpoints of liberty and the benefits of central coordination, and some of our past answers may change.
These aren’t easy questions to answer, and you could ask what impact your decisions, your goals and your actions would make to those huge problems, but the answer is more simple than you think. We start simply, by orienting ourselves towards the world with our goals.
At Old Man Strength, we live our values. We set clearly our purpose and meaning, and we decide the standards we agree not to walk past. We do this for a reason. Decisions made by the people least acknowledged by the powers that be become the social license of tomorrow – a definable, unspinnable and unavoidable test of ultimate authenticity for corporations and the people that run them. As a small business, we value family, loyalty, authenticity, hard work, austerity and the ability to overcome. We don’t sugar-coat the struggle, and we respect like hell those who face it head on, even when they get beaten down in the process. Sometimes, it really is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
We take strength from the size and passion of our OMS community. Each of us knows that through our individual goals we consider our why, we define what we stand for through our actions, and we set out to defend our core values and principles, and through the power of aggregated action we express our expectations of ourselves, our society and on each other.
In 2021, lets continue the journey, and lets do it together. If you are feeling it this festive season, and you need the support, call on the community and post in the OMS group. Over the next few weeks, when things calm down, set your goals carefully and deliberately, and your purpose meaningfully for 2021, as if what we all do and aim for matters, because it does. You cannot hit your why if you aren’t aiming for it, and your why has never been as important for us all as it is today. As Albert Einstein once said, “nothing happens until something moves”. Lets move in 2021.
Stay old man strong.