Saturday, June 13, 2009

An unexpected anniversary

Today, I woke up to a beautiful day in Montreal. As luck would have it, I will be visiting a friend's chalet up north which should make the day exceptional.

A couple of things that happened together this morning put me in a thinking mode on milestones and our fascination with milestones.

Reading through my e-mails, I received one of those "what I have learned from the years" from one of my relatives. I also received an agenda planner that reminded me that today is my first job's work anniversary. I also received a comment on the post I made on Paolo Coehlo. Paolo is someone who asks that you reflect at the signs around you. This combination of minor events coupled with recent invitations to milestone birthdays got me thinking.

It has been twenty years since I got my first position in a company. Since then, there has been many changes to my career and profession and the many ups and downs of life. I have been blessed with health, a great family and many friends who are walking along the path with me. Twenty years? is that half way through? or two thirds of the way? What does it mean to have worked for 20 years relative to all the other milestones in a person's life?

A couple of days ago, I read an article on The Miracle of Turning 40 and how the chances of reaching 40 are slim in some countries. Constrast that with a 40 year career we expect (or for some of us may be forced to have given the economic conditions).

In the Middle East, there is a fascination with the "next" milestone. While celebrating an occasion for a milestone, many Middle Easterns will wish you the best for the next milestone. For example, after graduating from highschool, the person will be wished well for their university graduation, then marriage, children and then their children's milestones.

In Microsoft Project, you can set a milestone by giving a task a "zero" duration. Interesting to note the attention executives place on these zero duration activities. In general, more attention is given to the milestone than all the challenges it took to get there.

Reflections to keep my mind busy on my drive towards the next milestone.