Simon Terry

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Give Yourself a Gift

‘Tis the season for giving.

One of the best gifts I ever received I gave myself. What will be your gift to yourself this season?

Six years ago at a year end function after a day of making plans for the new year, the team gathered for dinner. Towards the end of that meal my then leader, Matt Lawler said:

‘I’ve been asking you all for commitments all day for next year. Tonight I want you to commit to one thing for yourself next year. What commitment are you going to make to yourself next year?’

That’s a powerful ask. The answers given by the team revealed the value of taking a moment for yourself and committing to something.

My commitment that night became a new habit and the basis of a much better way of working. I committed to make breakfast for my family at least 3 workdays a week. Now it seems a very small commitment, but at the time I was travelling 3 or more days a week. I haven’t been perfrct but I’ve exceeded that commitment in most weeks since.

Why did such a simple gift make a difference?

  • A gift of time: time is the ultimate way to allocate priority. It never comes back. Time with family is precious.
  • A gift of change: By making this commitment I had to change the way I worked. My new habit pushed out old lazy ways of working and gave me voice to argue for better ways for the team to work
  • A gift of perspective: the commitment helped me realise why I was working and where I got pleasure in life. That ultimately drove to the changes that led to the wonderful work & life I have today.

I’ve told Matt since how much that personal commitment gave to me. Here’s a chance to experience a version of same in this season of giving:

‘What are you going to commit to do in 2015 as a gift to yourself?’


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