I hope your Xmas day was exactly what you needed. Restful and lazy, or hectic and full of family. Or both, if that's at all possible.
As I do every every year, there is a free gift in the last 'Tales From the Opening Act' of the year. But in true storytelling fashion, you will have to read until the end to claim it.
I also want to wish you a safe, but productive and energetic, start to the new year. You have very likely earned it.
2013 has been an odd year. Literally, but also in the general tone.
There is so much anxiety still in the air. The GFC is behind us, and yet, we still feel its threat for some incomprehensible reason. It's the unspoken suggestion in the room: 'what if things are not stable, after all? What if it all gets taken away?'
This anxious, unspoken consternation leads, inevitably, to the most unsettling thought of all: 'am I totally disposable in this harsh 'new economy' of a globalised world?'
It's a fair question.
Jobs get outsourced to cheap labour. Real wages are stifled or reduced altogether, as people are asked to work more hours for the same wage. The first sacrificial lamb offered to productivity is always the workers.
A person could be left feeling, in an environment where they are so easily exploited or discarded, that they don't matter at all.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
You, the intrinsic values and talents that you bring to bear, matter now more than ever.
It's true, some of the fundamentals of how the world works are changing. The most robotic or process oriented jobs are disappearing to places where anyone with basic training can do them. Think Holden leaving Australia, or the bankruptcy of 'Motor City' in the U.S.A.
These jobs chase the lowest paid workers, you see.
But what is left?
The jobs where people matter.
Where YOU matter. Where you can take a risk in the name of doing great work, because it's not about process, but your unique and remarkable output.
Don't take my word for it. Renowned author, TED talker, and all around deep thinker Seth Godin conveys it best:
'In a post-industrial age, when jobs get commoditized as fast as possible, the only good ones left are the ones that must be done by a person, not a machine, must be done by someone figuring things out, must be done by an individual willing to put themself on the line.'
So, if I can leave you with one last thought for 2013, it is this.
Don't hold back. Challenge yourself, and everyone around you, with the quality of your work. Your ability to be remarkable is more important now than it has ever been, and nobody wins if you let it atrophy.
Imagine what an incredible year 2014 could be if everyone in your circle produced something that was astounding enough to promote itself? How much better could things be if everyone chose to race to the top, instead of spiraling to the bottom?
And it is a choice. One that can start, as always, with you.
To give you a headstart, here, as promised, is your Xmas gift. It's a free App I found, called 'Cameo', which was named in the 'Best of the App Store 2013'. It allows you to shoot videos in HD, edit, and add professional effects and titles.
To see how it works, check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbYu4AG50-Q
To get the App, visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cameo/id716354815?mt=8
So, there is no excuse for you to avoid producing your best in the new year.
May you have a wonderful 2014.
PS: AS USUAL, 'TALES FROM THE OPENING ACT' WILL BE GOING ON HOLIDAYS FOR ALL OF JANUARY 2014. BUT DON'T WORRY, IT WILL BE BACK, BETTER AND MORE PUNCTUAL THAN EVER, IN FEBRUARY 2014. HAVE A SAFE AND RESTFUL HOLIDAY SEASON! CHEERIO, PETE
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