Some have already booked that summer break, some are just going or just back from the annual ski trip and others are thinking about a quick weekend to the local spa resort, Slieve Donard, Newcastle.
I am just back from a great Karcher dealer conference in Stuttgart, Germany. Thank you Karcher for treating us like kings and queens, sorting out alternative flights when BA cancelled for no reason and for launching us into 2017 with a raft of new and exciting products. My plans for 2017 are pretty much set already, at least from a business point of view, new products, new launches, new staff and this week a celebration with two members of staff who have been with me for 25 years. Congratulations to Norman and Derek who have been 25 years on the roads of Northern Ireland assisting customers and flying the company flag.
As I have been reflecting over the past 25 years and looking forward to the next 25 I have been reminded again that even though we all lay plans and have many long term dreams we truthfully have no idea of how our lives can sometimes be changed in an instant. An accident at work or on the roads, news from our doctor which rocks our world, the passing of a close friend or a loved one, the loss of our job and our security or for the lucky few all your numbers come up on the lottery and financially you are set up for life.
I know I love plans and I sadly still carry my faithful Filofax with all my appointments, important dates, phone numbers and passwords for everything, I like to think I can predict future trends and market changes, that is my job as managing director of a fast growing business. In my personal life I am somewhat laid back, I have a super wife who plans most of my social and domestic life, our weekends together, our children’s birthday surprises, doctor, dentist, hairdresser and family get togethers.
I plan to lose some weight and use the gym more, I plan to work harder but take more time off and I plan to resist the urge to just run away and hide from a world that seems to get crazier with each passing year. We will see Brexit (whatever that means), Trump in the Whitehouse, yet another election in Northern Ireland and predictions of a heat wave in July which normally turns out to be a flood of biblical proportions!!
The keynote speaker at the Karcher conference had a presentation title which said “Change or Die”, I worried he had been speaking to my doctor or worse still, my wife. It turned out he was referring to the digital change and not my health.
Perhaps in 2017 change will happen to all of us and whether it is good or bad we will have to embrace it and work through whatever it is, a famous motivational author said this “If we want to change a situation, we first have to change ourselves and to change ourselves efficiently we first have to change our perceptions”.
What looks good may not always end well, what seems unbelievable often is very believable and sometimes disaster brings stories of bravery, human endeavour and hope for a brighter future. Change is coming, how you embrace it might define what 2017 will look like in July 2018.
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