I asked my network to finish the sentence, and I love these answers.
They reveal a truth about people captured by Viktor Frankel, Holocaust Survivor and psychologist.
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
1. 2011 is the year that I learned to let go.
2. 2011 is the year that I learned there is never a balance between work and life. There is a trade off, and you can’t have both. You have to decide which takes precedence at each moment, and live with the decision. It doesn’t mean that the next time you have to keep the same choice. For example, if your child’s school play occurs on the same day you are planning a business trip, make a decision and know that you are making a trade off and be okay with it. It’s my son’s first year in school as a kindergartener so I never had to make this decision before.
3. 2011 is the year when I really started to appreciate my job and what it means to me. After seeing all my friends out of job for so long, or taking positions that are 2-3 levels lower than what they had before, I started to do everything I could to be successful in my current position.
4. 2011 was that year that I learned that it is key to have passion for your work in order to stay engaged–and to feel that there is a commitment from the organization for the work that you are doing. That is why I left the organization that I was part of, and took a new position in a field that I had great passion for. Plus, it’s a new role that will expand my experience and capabilities.
5. 2011 is the year that I realized that helping others is more important than this quarter’s result. That no matter what anyone says, you don’t have to be a dick to be an effective manager.
6. 2011 is the year that I asked my family for help to buy my younger brother a car. He’s disabled, and in my richer days, I bought him cars and funded his other needs on my own. I’m not in a position to do that anymore, and it was wonderful this year to ask family members to help out and they all did.
7. In general 2011 was super:). I know his backstory, and I was stunned to see this answer. This dude had a seriously rough patch in 2011. But on further thought, this is one of the most positive people I know. Not at all in a Pollyanna way, but rather he plays the hand he is dealt, and appreciates what he has.
Viktor was right – we always have the freedom to choose how we respond, even as we don’t have the ability to control most of what happens around us. I said it at the beginning, and I’ll say it again here– I love these answers. It is clear that everyone here made choices, and I am sure they will have a better 2012 because of the choices they made in 2011.