Lessons from another year - 2023 is done.

By our MD Duncan Cawdell

2023 has been an emotional year, and one of highs and lows.

In 2023 I lost my friend David.  He fought cancer with dignity and honesty, and I find him in my thoughts often. Being with him and his family, over those final weeks and months, was inspiring and humbling. The time I spent with him, the time he afforded me, provided perspective. To take each day with a new perspective, or find joy in the simplest of things left me in awe. We spend so much of our time striving for things, but do we strive for what matters – to make life a little better, and easier and more joyful every day?  To make what we do something that enriches our soul a little more each day.  When I started Pure Blue Ocean almost ten years ago, it was with a simple premise: to work with people to make their work that much more purposeful, enjoyable, easier; to help everyone try and find their Pure Blue Ocean, and enjoy the swim.  My time with David, renewed and refreshed this.

Life is a precious gift, it provides us with love, laughs, joy, sadness and connections, and it is in those connections with others that I reflect at the end of this year. I can encapsulate this in four reflections

  1. People are the Route to Joy
I have been fortunate to work with a range of colleagues this year – in North America, in Europe and in Asia – and each one is passionate and committed to provide our clients with the best experience and outcomes.  The clients we have worked with, on the whole, have been gloriously challenging and thoughtful – helping us all to learn together, and get better, together.  The people we work with can provide us real joy – something to savour.

  1. Be Thankful
I have been profoundly struck this year when thanks is given and received and how both the giver and receiver feel.  We can often take others for granted, or expect too much.  I personally always feel a little embarrassed when clients say thank you for the work we do (but please don’t stop), I feel more thankful for the opportunity.  Here at PBO were are always thankful for the opportunities our clients present us with, and the opportunity to work with some truly passionate people.

  1. Celebrate Progress over Perfection
Every step that makes work or life easier or more joyful is progress.  Too often we are waiting for perfection to be achieved before we recognise any progress.  Slow progress is still progress. If every day is not perfect, but it is better, than we are one step closer to where we need to be.

  1. You have to stop, if you want to move.
Regular breaks, reflection time, holidays, vacations are needed if you want to go faster or move in the right direction.  When we stop, we reflect, we refresh and renew.  If you take enough time to recharge the physical and mental batteries you will have the resource to keep going.  A rest is anything from a coffee break, to an extensive overseas adventure, or a DIY project.  In Formula 1, if the car needs to go faster, usually they stop to change the tyres and put in more fuel – we should too.

2024 provides an opportunity to renew, refresh & rebuild. Are you ready for the challenge, and to make next year more joyful and purposeful?  We are, and when you call, we will be delighted to how you make progress.  Enjoy the season, see you all in 2024.
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