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December 27, 2016

#MTtalk: Highlights and Lessons from 2016

Yolande Conradie

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I've been thinking about the lessons I learned from 2016 for a few weeks now. Every year it's part of my ritual when I start setting goals for the new year. It's also part of my closing rituals for the old year.

As I re-played various scenarios in my mind, the lesson that I kept coming back to was the importance of learning from my mistakes.

I don't like making mistakes and I often feel despondent if I've made a mistake. At times I even feel like a total failure. Here's the shocker: I think that all of those feelings are justified if I don't learn from my mistakes.

Here are a few thoughts on what I've learned about making mistakes:

  • While I'm defending or justifying my mistake, I won't learn from it. Only when I admit the mistake will I start learning from the experience.
  • I want to learn from my mistakes because they are teachers, created for me, by me.
  • If I learn quickly and thoroughly, it may be painful in the beginning but it's the best way through.

And so I thought my lessons from 2016 were done and dusted – until early this morning. Suddenly I realized that I was expecting someone else to have also learned my lesson. I felt extremely disappointed in that person until I realized that my biggest lesson from 2016 is this: my lessons are my lessons and mine only. Everybody has his or her own lessons to learn and people will only learn from yours if they choose to.

Our #MTtalk Twitter chat is a space where we choose to learn from one another. During our chat this past Friday, we discussed "Highlights and Lessons from 2016."

Here are the questions and some responses from our participants:

Questions about "Highlights and Lessons from 2016"

Question 1: What was the toughest challenge you faced at work this year?

@hopegovind To deal with someone who is strong in his view and isn't logical all the time, and to perform as per his expectation.

@FloraBarton Balancing all the change that came this year while trying to maintain everyone's work/life balance.

Getting work/life balance right was a common theme with many people saying it was their toughest challenge.

Question 2: What were some of the biggest lessons you learned this year?

@ZalkaB Small steps. Everything can be achieved in a certain amount of time and nothing can be rushed. It all takes time, so be patient.

@jprofNB Be actively listening, in the moment with others. Process before, act after.

Question 3: What surprised you about yourself during 2016, positive or negative?

It's easy to spot our own negatives and it was great to see our participants also acknowledging the positives!

@amypen64 Positive: that I could do the job I was hired for. Negative: I'm still too direct and not positive all the time.

@Singh_Vandana How resilient, self-confident and calm I could be and that my 'Faith' is bigger than my 'Fears.'

@MicheleDD_MT That I don’t hesitate when making tough decisions. I make them and follow through on them. I’m not afraid to do what’s right.

Question 4: What are you most proud of achieving this year, and why?

@Midgie_MT Proud of publishing my book, Winning Strategies. Since publishing 1st book in 2013, I knew I wanted this workbook done!

@BrainBlenderTec Most proud of exceeding expectations but my pride is in those that I helped and see achieve their dreams.

Question 5: Who taught you most in 2016, and how?

The answers ranged from well-known figures to children and friends, but for some of us it wasn't a "who", but a "what":

@Yolande_MT Seeing my father's last days on earth taught me the importance of living with absolute ‪integrity. He had complete ‪peace.

@PramodDrSolanki When I had to confront a changed context, it built great resilience: emotional and spiritual. Difficult to believe!

Question 6: What is your top tip for others, based on what you learned in 2016?

@harrisonia Top tip: once you've set your mind to achieving a reasonably well thought out goal, let NO ONE discourage u from reaching it.

@yehiadief Have patience and take action when you need to.

Next time, on #MTtalk...

With the new year about to kick off, we'd like to know some more about your goals. So, please cast your vote in our Twitter poll over here.

In our next #MTtalk on Friday 6 January, we'll be talking about "2017 – Making Your Goals Work for You." We'd like you to share your goal-setting tips with us while also learning more about making sure you reach your goals. Please join us at 1pm EST / 6pm GMT.

To see what's being discussed, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. And to take part in the conversation yourself, simply include #MTtalk in your tweet and it will show up in the chat feed.


In the meantime, here are some resources if you'd like to read more about learning from past mistakes, take a look at these articles:

Coping With Change

Making Amends

Developing Resilience

Top 10 Personal Morale Boosters

Coping Under Pressure

Beating Self-Sabotage


Overcoming Impostor Syndrome

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