I am a sucker for self improvement. As always on the last day of the year, I will once more reflect on the highs and lows of the past year and what they teach me about possibilities for the coming year. Until December 9th, when my Dad died, the highs were far outweighing the lows. I had the opportunity to help launch the Workforce Institute in China, traveled with my husband and children to Australia and New Zealand, and was recognized as a Leading Woman by the Girl Scouts. I ran for public office. I lost, but I gained a lot of insight about the political process and won some new friends in the process.
My Dad's death, the day after my 57th birthday, has led me to a lot of reflection in the past few weeks. Of course about why I'll miss my Dad, but more importantly about what he taught me while he was still alive. In the eulogy I delivered at his funeral, I talked about his humor, hospitality, perseverance, and confidence as the attributes that most defined him.
In the subsequent weeks, I've thought a lot about that confidence. In order to grow, Dad dared to fail. He left the familiar Boston waterfront behind to build a business in Newfoundland. He sold that business to a Fortune 50 company 20 years later. He forged relationships in new places around the world to continue to build that business - in Russia, China, Japan, and Europe. Not every attempt led to success, but the attempts were non-stop.
So if there's one resolution I'll make for 2014, it's to be more like Dad in that willingness to dare to fail. Although I'm not sure he ever heard the Grace Hopper quote referenced in the picture above, I know he would have agreed.
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