January and time to revisit priorities and goals, both from last year and for the year ahead. In December, I completed a reflection and retrospective of 2022. Now it's time to plan for 2023.
On Confidence, by The School of Life. Pub 2017
Nothing’s impossible, I have found
For when my chin is on the ground
I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.*
I first read On Confidence about a year ago, in the midst of an upheaval and change that rocked my world and my confidence. I saw this book in one of those "if you like X, you'll also like Y" section of a bookseller's website, and then a few days later saw it on display at a local coffee shop. All signs seemed to be saying, “read this now”. So, I did.
I chose this book, Big Feelings, by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, based on the social media hype and discussion about it. Many will be familiar with the illustrations and comics by this pair of workplace and development consultants. This is their second book (the first was No Hard Feelings from 2019, which looks at effectively expressing and controlling emotions at work - still in my to-read pile). This latest book looks at seven difficult feelings that can emerge at work and in life, and is especially relevant in the time of COVID (when the dominant feeling was languishing). Published in early 2022 and subtitled, "How to be okay with things are not okay", the book promised to be immediately impactful. And to some extent it was, but ultimately fell short of my expectations.
This book was a gift from a good friend and colleague, arising from a discussion last year wherein I'd said that I did not especially enjoy Manson's previous book as it didn't flow well (that book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, was essentially a compendium of his blog posts and so was disjointed such that it didn't seem to be about anything). My friend enjoyed this one and so gave it to me for Christmas.
The overall premise of the book is this: while hope is an essential motivator for humans, in the modern (i.e. first) world, it is almost impossible to hope for things to get better as they are already so f*cking good.
The Gifts of Imperfection is from Brené Brown – author, researcher, and personal growth magnate (and TED talk star) – and describes some of her own personal growth and reflections on self-acceptance, past guideposts of authenticity, resilience, creativity (among others). These encourage and enable self-reflection by the reader along a similar path to recognize and celebrate (not just accept) one’s own vulnerability and whole self.
Who is Robyn?
My career as a research project manager is rewarding, dynamic, challenging, and fun. I'm looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience in communication, organization, and common sense approaches in research management and leadership, and to enabling others to learn and grow in this exciting career.