Don’t be too focused on what’s next

What has been your major lesson(s) for 2023?

One of my key messages in most conference keynote presentations I deliver is the importance and power of personal reflection.

We get so caught up in ‘what’s next?’ that we often forget to invest some time in reflecting on, and learning from ‘what’s been?’

This is my only blog post for December 2023 and as I reflect on my own lessons from what’s been and now gone through the year, I hope you don’t mind me sharing just one slap-in-the-face-reminder that life thought I needed to relearn.


In the early hours of January 23, I woke up experiencing excruciating pain in almost every joint and muscle in my body … a pain unlike anything I had ever experienced and at such a level that I wasn’t able to move. Liz phoned for an emergency ambulance which arrived within 10 minutes and after administering pain killers which sedated me, my next memory was being in hospital with a team of specialists trying to work out what was going on.

No need for me to go into detail here, except to say life decided I need to now live with an auto-immune condition that will require daily medication to ensure no repeat of what happened on the 23rd of January.

There are good days mostly, and the occasional not-so-good days. I’m grateful that my work hasn’t been impacted (modern medication is amazing), and while it’s taken almost the entire year to sort out the right balance of medication, I’m now returning to an adjusted exercise regime to claim back my focus on health and fitness that has played such an important part of my life.

The Lesson: Don’t take what really matters in life for granted.

So … I share this with you in this post, not for pity or to air my own therapy, but as a reminder to you that none of us knows what the future holds.

This year, more than most others, as I reflect, I am so grateful for what really matters in life and I am intentionally and mindfully not taking these important things in my life for granted.

And that’s the real life lesson … Don’t take the things that really matter for granted.

  • Don’t take your health for granted … celebrate it.
  • Don’t take whatever you own for granted … be grateful for it.
  • Don’t take your achievements for granted … be proud of them.
  • And, don’t take your relationships for granted … nurture them and be nurtured by them.

Signing off for the year

As I wrap up this final post for 2023, I wish you and yours all joy for this festive season and may whatever 2024 bring, that we all strive to be the best versions of ourselves and live more meaningful, flourishing and prosperous lives.

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