It's not that I don't set New Years Resolutions and go for them. Last year I set some big ones and hit a few major milestones. 2018 Highlights? Yep, we had a few:
- Returned to the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, USA for the first time since 1983 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary
- Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from City, University of London, and joined Cass Business School's Global Advisory Board in the 20th anniversary year of graduating from City with an MBA
- Awarded a CBE in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to technology and philanthropy
- Elected as an Advisory Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford University
- Secured over £500k of commitments in support for our charity, the African Science Academy
- Listed the company I founded four years ago, Crossword Cybersecurity plc, on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange
So 2018 was a hard driven, milestone hitting year. But I always look for balance. Yin and Yang.
2018 was a Yang Year for me. I forced the pace. I had goals. I ticked off milestones. I came. I saw. And I KICKED BUTT. By the end of 2018 I was exhausted. Drained. I need to look for the balance.
2019 will be a Yin Year for me. That's how I live my life. If you know me, you know that I can often be found waving my arms around, performing the 108 Wu Style Tai Chi Form. At the heart of Tai Chi is the philosophy of Taoism, of balance, of Yin and Yang.
Yin and Yang. Soft and Hard. Black and White. Night and Day. Balance is everything.
So after a hard, forceful, Yang year in 2018, I am going into 2019 with a Yin mindset. 2019 is going to be a year of powerful forces and when you are faced with such overwhelming power, Tai Chi teaches you not to try to defeat it with even more power. If you try that, it will break you. You relax into it, embrace it, shape it, harness it and things will happen. The principle of action without action. The things that are supposed to happen will happen.
I will start today by slowing down my breathing, relaxing my body, performing 108 slow, deliberate Tai Chi moves, feeling for the balance, sensing the Yin, as soft as a gentle stream, the sort of gentle stream that has the power to reshape mountains. Wei Wu Wei. Action without action.
So, I am not setting any resolutions this year. I will leave that to you! I am aiming to achieve nothing. No pressure. What freedom!
But if you misunderstand this for thinking that nothing will be achieved, you are very much mistaken. Oh, yes, my friend, very much mistaken...