We have now reached the end of the first six months of 2016 and I hope that all that you had planned for at the beginning of this year has come to fruition, or that all is progressing well. Since my post in January 2016, a lot has happened with me and I would like to take this opportunity to share some of those experiences keeping in mind that I work with youth, young adults and the community in general, some of whom follow this blog.
At the beginning of this year, I was provided with opportunities to undertake a number of roles at Western Sydney University (in Sydney, Australia) and as a result, I began working this year as a Project Officer, a Tutor, a Lecturer and a Unit/Course Coordinator (the teaching roles were under the Bachelor of Education course and the Master of Teaching course). A few of the roles were new for me which meant that in order to be able to navigate these new spaces successfully, I had to prioritise my time, keep my focus on my responsibilities, and work diligently to ensure that all that needed to be completed would be fulfilled in a timely fashion and to the best of my abilities. However, it was not just work that I had to prepare and plan for at the beginning of this year. I also needed to factor in time to fly home to New Zealand to visit my parents and my family and spend quality time with them. Accordingly, the beginning of this year involved a lot of planning, organising and forecasting on my part.
Despite the competing deadlines, I managed to deliver on all key objectives which were set at the beginning of the year. Consequently, positive outcomes were attained in relation to student academic achievement and key performance indicators were achieved. In addition, I was also able to fly home (Auckland, New Zealand) three times over the past six months and each time I did, I made the most of my time spent with my parents and my family – priceless! In turn, my family and I also experienced successes by which we are truly grateful for.
While my experiences within the first six months of this year seem like it was all positive, in reality this was not the case. There were just as many challenges that I encountered as there were successes. I was faced with obstacles along the way which acted as distractions or hindrances. However, through God’s grace, I managed to push through despite the difficult times. In saying that, I have some questions for you to reflect on:
- What do you do when you are faced with obstacles or challenges in your life?
- How do you deal with distractions or hindrances?
- If you have addressed any of the above, what was the outcome?
- What has been your greatest learning over the past six months?
- How will your new learnings or realisations inform you as you move into the next six months?
Over the years, I have found it particularly encouraging to have positive people, and people who will tell it like is, speak into my life. Allowing them to do so has provided me with their perspective on life which at times may differ from mine. In particular, when I am dealing with difficult situations, these people have influenced me to focus on the positives. My journey has been empowered with a support system as such. As a result, a lot of growth and personal development on my part has eventuated. I feel optimistic about proceeding into the final six months of this year. I hope that you are feeling the same too about what the remainder of this year will look like for you.
Below is a list of seven pieces of advice that I received over the past six months from my family and friends. I hope that the following will encourage or empower you in your journey just as it has in mine.
- Choose well and choose now – Everyone is presented with choices. Positive change comes when your choices are made in the direction of where you aim to go. Reflect on how your choices have led you to this point in time.
- Stay in your lane – Remain focused on your goals, your dreams and what you need to do in order to achieve it by the end of the year. Run your race.
- Maintain a life/work balance – Do not take on more responsibilities than you have time for. Prioritise your life so that when you are in a position to deliver outcomes (e.g. in family, work, study and/or other commitments) you will be able to give your best. Schedule in time to rest and enjoy the company of family and friends. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Do not sweat the small stuff – Nit pickers will always be concerned with or find fault with insignificant details and usually they do it in a petty way. Shake it off and keep moving forward.
- In all things give thanks – Despite any hardship that you may face, you will always be able to find something to be grateful for. Give thanks regardless of the situation that you are in.
- Remember to laugh – Life is too short. Do not forget to take the time to laugh freely and loudly! #LOL
- Read Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Keep in prayer about all things. Have faith in God’s promise.
As stated at the beginning of this year, I will continue to feature special guests on this blog. Please keep an eye out for the next special guest. Thank you for reading and/or following. I truly appreciate it. If you have any questions about this blog, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing you all the very best for the final six months of 2016!
Much love and respect,