2016: Rules and Resolutions

In December, I thought of writing a year-end review of all our highs and lows at Teen Bandar (and there have been more than a few of both!), but then there's always one thing that's just a little more important. Maybe I'll eventually get around to it. I hope I do. 

But now that we are in a new year, I thought I'd look forward and first pen some rules and resolutions to live up to in 2016. 

  • Give credit where it's due: We are what we are not because one person pulls his or her weight, but because we push each other to do better every time - directly or indirectly. As we grow, we mustn't forget the contributions by every member of the team (internal and external) and make everyone feel valued. We are greater than the sum of the parts. In this spirit, I'd like to acknowledge Nilay Patel fro The Verge from whom I stole the title of this post!
  • Don't lose sight of the big picture: In 2015, we took some really big strides in terms of understanding where we want to be and the kind of organisation we want to be. We've hit some speed bumps, but we shouldn't let that deter us from realising our goals. The next few years will be difficult, we need to remember to not lose sight of the big picture no matter what obstacles come in our way.
  • Remember to control our emotions and not let our emotions control us: I'm not a good writer, certainly not better than a certain Rudyard Kipling. He explains better than I can, the importance of keeping a steady head. I strongly believe that you can decide to be happy or decide to not allow some things to affect you. 
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
— If by Rudyard Kipling
  • Discipline: Last year, getting injured was the wake up call that I needed to (finally!) lose weight and be fitter. For years, people around me would tell me to diet or exercise or both, but I never listened. I'm too busy to bother with all that, I'd tell them. They were right, I was wrong. Now 20 kilos later, with more to go, I know that the only reason things have improved is because of discipline. Failure is not an option. I've also learned that if we put our minds to anything, we can do it. All we need is some discipline. 
  • Listen to others: It's good to be confident in ourselves, but sometimes, what's needed is also the humility to accept that our strongest beliefs can be wrong. I'm still learning to listen, and I'm still a pain in the you-know-where most of the time, but I'll try to be better.
  • Set a better example: In 2015, we doubled our team size (admittedly, we had a small base) and now Savio and I need to learn to be bosses. Sometimes this means that we get to play God, sometimes it means we get to shout and scream when others don't, but mostly, we need to put our heads down and lead by example. If we want others to listen to us, we need to listen to them. If we want better work, we need to raise the bar ourselves. And if we want others to enjoy their work, we need to make the work bloody fun.
  • Enjoy the testing times: I learned to laugh in the toughest of times, in the saddest and angriest of times, this year. I became a better butt to jokes that life cracked at my expense and I'm in a better place mentally than I've ever been. I have a bad sense of humour, but I'm glad it's been a constant companion when times were both good and bad. Now, a moment of silence for the friends and family who have had to sit through them when earplugs were in short supply. Your resolution, dear reader, should be to learn to live in a world where my cackle is the only thing that breaks the silence after one of my jokes.
  • There's more to life than work: No, just kidding!
  • Seriously: Spend more time with friends and family. Do a deed of selflessness. Or ten. Recharge your batteries and go back one point. 

We will change gears in 2016 and test ourselves like never before. These rules and resolutions are not materialistic for a reason. If we can follow at least some of these, they'll become habits to keep for life. 

Happy 2016!