On the 1st January 2018, Toucan turned 18 years old - I co-founded the business right at the start of the new millennium, figuring that even I couldn’t forget that momentous date! What a long time 18 years is, and in that time, what changes I’ve witnessed - to the business, to the wider profession and indeed to myself!
Although I’m quite a few kilos heavier, and definitely sporting less hair than I had back at the start of the millennium, one thing seems to have remained fairly constant – my seemingly constant lack of time. Hard work, and the success it has brought, have enabled me to build a great team of able, talented and energetic people around me, but despite this, life always seems to be a rush, everything appears to be urgent and accompanied with stress. This short article then, isn’t so much a wistful, rose-tinted look back at the highs and lows of the last 18 years, but rather a note (perhaps to myself) about how I might find more time to ‘enjoy the ride’ over the next 18 years.
As I type, I’m at home, off-sick with man-flu (it’s a real thing) I’ve felt proper poorly, and spent most of the Christmas and new year break in bed. This enforced period of rest has given me something that I don’t usually have – ‘time’.
Time to think, reflect and take stock;
Time to rest, recuperate and relax;
And importantly, for me at least, Time to ‘do things properly’.
I’ve also had the time to read, and I’ve just finished an excellent and insightful book called ‘Craef’ by the historian, archeologist and TV presenter Alex Langlands. ( The author himself describes the book as ‘unashamedly idealistic’, but despite the self deprecation, he’s put together a rational and persuasive argument for a better way of living life. His main point is that there are significant benefits to be had (to one’s mental and physical wellbeing) in taking the time to do things properly, to take pleasure in the time it takes to do something (enjoy the ride) and to bask in the warm glow when your task is finished, knowing you’ve done something well. It appears that this is an approach that our forebears knew all to well, but something we seem to have lost in our frantic modern world.
Okay, it is idealistic, and I’m certainly not going to bemoan the wonderful benefits that our digital and technological advances have given our 21st century world, but perhaps I will take the time to more fully consider what I do, how I do it, and the pace at which I choose to live my life.