At the end of 2021, we asked the members of our team to share one thing they learned over the course of the year that they would be taking with them into 2022. That article ended up being one of our most-read for the year, and it was an interesting reflection exercise for everyone who contributed. So we thought we’d do it again this year.
Here are the 8 lessons our team members learned in 2022 that they’ll be taking into 2023.
1. The value of relationships
2022 has been a big year.
Last year I spoke about how I joined a gym where my coach encouraged me to pay more attention to my nutrition. 21 months and 228 gym sessions later, I’m pleased to say I’m still going. While getting good results and hearing nice comments have certainly helped, these haven’t been the motivating force to get me out of bed in the morning. It’s been the fact that my coach and other members of my training group expect me to be there. No obligation, but it does motivate me.
This reminds me of the value of relationships (not that anyone should need reminding!).
The same theme has been the hallmark of our 20th milestone year.
We merged two high-quality WA advice practices into HPH this year. The foundation was the relationships we had with the principals of these businesses. It is the people that have made these firms a great fit for us.
Robert Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the current director of the 75-year ‘Grant Study’ that aims to identify predictors of healthy aging says:
“Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That, I think, is the revelation.”
Rob Pyne – Managing Director
2. The importance of embracing imperfection
This year I found a podcast called the Imperfects by Hugh van Cuylenburg, Ryan Shelton and Josh Van Cuylenburg. The story behind the podcast is the fact that nobody is perfect and even high-profile people have struggles. The main message is that if you embrace your imperfection and become vulnerable, you establish greater connections with those around you. Andre Agassi’s book Open is mentioned in this podcast as being the most-read sports autobiography of all time. It’s the second time I’ve heard about the book in the past month from different sources hence it is on my Christmas reading list.
Michael Pyne – Director
3. The importance of connection, smiling, and time with family and friends
The past few years have been challenging for those whose families live outside WA. I know it was a real adjustment for those who were used to being able to jump on a plane and connect with their loved ones in a relatively short time – especially when talking about special celebrations like birthdays, new arrivals and weddings.
I live close to my family, so I haven’t been impacted as much as some. But the experiences of others have made it clear to me how lucky I have been to be able to maintain the connections close to me without the need to jump on a plane. In 2022 I was able to spend a few days up in Cervantes with my parents. This was a time we will all cherish for years to come.
On a more general note of connection, I have to say that seeing people’s smiles again (in the absence of masks) has brightened my outlook significantly. I never realised this was something that I had taken for granted previously.
I hope that 2023 will be about reconnecting with people and valuing the time we have with family and friends. I look forward to making new memories and perhaps even experiencing some foreign cultures and discovering some new places, all while making sure I smile more.
Jeff Petrie – FINANCIAL PLANNER AFP®
4. When you fall off your bike, get back on!
In May 2022, I challenged myself to participate in the Pipeline charity bike ride from Kalgoorlie to Perth. As a team of four, we supported each other along the way, but there was one part of the ride where I was on my own, and I came off my bike.
I was scratched up on my knee and my elbow but fine otherwise. This experience reminded me that life can sometimes be difficult, but it is important to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going.
Keeping fit in mind and body is a key focus for me in 2023.
Emma Cork – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
5. The importance of doing ‘The Work’
I’ve long been fascinated by the little voice in our heads, and how the meaning I make of situations can affect how I feel, and consequently how I respond and behave. More specifically, how that little voice gets in the way of me being the best and most authentic version of myself.
This year I was introduced to a self-inquiry process created by Byron Katie, which she calls “The Work”. It involves asking four simple questions about each thought we feel is not serving us well:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
I’ve found this process particularly useful when I notice patterns in how I act in certain situations and reflect that I’d like to be better next time. It’s usually a pattern because of an underlying belief/thought and applying The Work helps me challenge the thought and replace it with a more empowering belief.
The shift in how I feel and think about a situation can be so quick and significant that I’ll definitely be applying The Work in 2023 and beyond.
Matt Hern – CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®
6. Great momentum is created by completion
We can all agree that checking off tasks, whether at home or work, gives us a feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction and relaxation. But what happens when we haven’t finished a task from weeks or months ago, and we start to build up a bunch of incomplete tasks? We begin to feel anxious, uncomfortable and frustrated. The truth of the matter is, life is full of unfinished tasks, and sometimes we focus too much on what isn’t done.
In 2022, I started to focus more on the tasks that had been done and took joy and pride in them. Interestingly, I found that approach provided motivation to complete the next task. The positive feelings I got from one piece of completion drove me to seek that feeling again – and ultimately created a virtuous cycle.
Keeping a checklist, whether it is written on a piece of paper, your computer or phone is a great way to track and reflect on the tasks you’ve completed. Focusing on the wins creates momentum and overcomes the inertia usually associated with unfinished tasks. Once you understand the psychology behind checklists and personalise this, you quickly find yourself becoming more productive in life.
Stephen Anagno – Financial Planner
7. A little kindness goes a long way
This year, when I was on holiday overseas, my handbag was stolen. Fortunately, I had my mobile phone with me, but I was alone, a long way from my hotel, with no money and no credit cards. I contemplated walking back to my hotel, but it really was a long way, and in truth, I probably wasn’t in the best head space for that. I struggled with what to do. Then I overheard a group speaking English, and after some hesitation, I approached them to ask for assistance. They helped me by giving me directions to the nearest police station, and they kindly donated a small amount of money that was sufficient to allow me to get the metro back to the hotel.
At the time, it was clear I could reflect on the bad part of the day (having my handbag stolen), or I could reflect on the kindness of the people who helped me. I chose the latter. It wasn’t the help those people gave me in providing directions, nor was it the small amount of money they gave me for transport that made the difference. It was the simple kindness they showed in listening and responding to my request for help, and in not being too busy or too indifferent to care.
In 2023 I’m looking to try to add a little care and kindness to my days, and I hope others might do the same. It can make more difference than perhaps we know.
Elaine Forrester – Compliance and Operations Officer
8. Your behaviour is the truth
As often happens, hearing something familiar said in a different way at exactly the right time can have great impact.
A few months ago, I heard someone say the phrase your behaviour is the truth. (A variation on the more common actions speak louder than words.) It really resonated with me at the time and has had a net positive effect on my wellbeing since hearing it. I’ve found it to be quite a good filter when grappling with various forms of life ‘stuff’.
One example is someone in my life who I continued to believe in because they said all the right things. I kept using what they said as a reason to extend the benefit of the doubt when they behaved in ways I found unacceptable in others. After years of doing this, I finally came to terms with the fact that their behaviour is the truth. This triggered a hard but long-avoided conversation with myself about whether this was the kind of relationship I should continue to put time and energy into.
I’ve also used the phrase to be kinder to myself. As a chronic overthinker, there’s a lot going on in my head at the best of times. The past four years since my husband passed away haven’t been the best of times, and the amount of negative chatter in my head about who I am and what I have to offer the world has, at times, been overwhelming. Your behaviour is the truth has been a game-changer in that regard. It’s allowed me to see that showing up for life each day with good energy more often than not is a truer reflection of who I am than any negative thoughts.
I’m interested to see what other benefits this filter can deliver in 2023.
Kelly Exeter – Communications and Marketing