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Take the Time to Reflect Back on 2019

Updated: May 23

I am setting aside a time to do "reflection day" every year in December. I highly recommend it. Why? Because human mind tends to think more of what we lack, what we have not achieved more than all the great things that happened to us. "Negativity bias" is a term used in positive psychology field to explain how our minds are more inclined to focus on negative. In order to negate that we need to consciously look what was great about our year that we may have already forgotten.

Doing a reflection is not to ignore all the hardship we may have faced but being very intentional and mindful about remembering all the good things that happened.

I have spent some time doing that again this year. Here are so of mine that may remind you some of your experiences during the year.

First of all, I cannot say enough about being present on social media. As all of you do, I feel the negative impact of social media too but when I look at my life, I have far more positive things that happened to me because of it.

One of my blessings was to meet Mike Vacanti in 2018 which carried on to 2019 with a snowball effect where I got to meet amazing people in this wonderful community of like-hearted people. I feel connected to them although I have never met most of them in person. I met one of the farthest away friend though, Garry Turner, in London in person on a typical rainy day when I was visiting. The best part of it was we felt like we knew each other already. How would this ever happen before social media? How on earth would I have found out about him? Now I have regular calls with him and he is a dear friend.

After December 2018 in Dallas, I was part of HumanFirst in Los Angeles as a speaker in February 2019. It is so refreshing to see so many people who come to these events not knowing what to expect and then call the group their tribe at the end. We are all so hungry to hear more about human workplaces. I met amazing people like Amy, Julie, Marcel, and Zane there.

While I was in London I got to spend time with some of my best friends of 40+ years. There is no better therapy than that. I am grateful we can do this almost every year somewhere in the world.

I was able to serve another community I belong, Evolutionary Business Council in January at the annual retreat. To be in total service as a volunteer making sure every attendant is happy instead of being on stage gave me a great perspective. We have decided to embrace UN's 17 sustainability goals during that event and it was inspiring.

I spent a full day with my dad and a full day alone with my mom when I visited them in May. It was so precious to spend real quality time with them with no distractions and also visiting some beautiful locations in Istanbul. And the highlight of that visit was to celebrate my dad’s 90s birthday with his loved ones. How amazing it is to reach 90 when your mind is still running 100 miles an hour, when you have a strong purpose still so alive in you and you are healthy? I was so grateful we all got to live that day with my dad.

I met one of my most favorite CEO’s in the world at the Happiness at Work Conference held in San Diego. Garry Ridge is now part of my life and I am so inspired. I have an amazing project coming up with him in 2020.

My story of moving to USA was published at Isil Oz’s Turkish book “Ne Orali, Ne Burali”.

It was the first time my husband and I visited Borrego Springs to see the blooming at the desert. So beautiful.

We went to one of the best weddings ever in San Diego. It is the start of our children getting married now!

I was invited to speak at Bali in March 2020 about Purposeful Business. I am honored but unfortunately I will not be able to make it this time.

So many amazing people found me on LinkedIn to have conversations with me or invite me to speak. One highlight was to speak at my Alma Mater in November. I am in so much awe with the students, their brilliance, their forward-thinking. I was so inspired by them.

We have started #HackingHR Istanbul thanks to Mine and Alp while I was back there. We are also launching #HackingHR San Diego and I am excited to be in the committee.

My #GreatWorkCultures tribe got together in person twice this year. We have a great project we are moving forward with in 2020 and I learned so much from each one of them.

I was contacted my ReInvent Work, again they found me on social media from UK to start San Diego chapter.

I gave a speech at Alliant University which got a lot of good attention from the faculty. I love bringing the reality of the real world into the consciousness of emerging leaders. I also met Khaled from Qualcomm at that meeting which became a great ally to me.

I was invited to speak at Vistage, a CEO forum where CEOs learn and support each other. They found my topics very relevant and want to do more work with me. I got to see a beautiful place in Morro Bay because of that event too.

I got accepted to MSEL (Master of Science Executive Leadership) program at USD but for now I had to postpone that.

I have been on several podcasts as a guest.

I got invited to an amazing event at Las Vegas called Impact19. I met super interesting people there but the one that touched my heart the most was a young young who cannot use his body below his neck but is doing so much in the world. I also got to attend Global Influence Summit where we had deep down conversations about work, being human, and entrepreneurship.

My husband and I had a long-due vacation in December at some paradise island. I realized how much we all need to take a break from everything because when we come back, we are more energized to work again.

Most important of all everyone in my family is healthy. We live in beautiful San Diego. I have amazing people around me. I cannot believe the connections I have all around the world online and offline. I love the work I do. I know why I wake up every day.

Did I have other wishes for 2019? Yes! But I cannot focus on what did not happen when there are so many things to be grateful for.

I really hope you take the time to do your own list. I promise even if this was a very rough year, you will find some precious and meaningful moments in there.

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