The most important thing we learned this year
Well folks, it’s December, and what a year it’s been. We know it may seem a little premature to start reflecting considering we’ve just hit holiday season, but this year felt particularly eventful. So it only seemed right that we got a head start on our end-of-year retrospection.
One thing that truly stood out to us was the changing mood. From a broader perspective, there seemed to be a distinct feeling of change in the air, even if it was, at times, subtle. More and more of us are finding our voices, using the abundance of tools now available to us to make ourselves heard. And with these developments, we like to think we are moving into an ‘age of authenticity’ where openness and transparency are not only king, but are truly needed in order to effect real change. It is in this context then, that we can wholeheartedly say that sharing your story is more important than ever.
When you share your personal story, you are not just opening up and offering something unique to the world, you are engaging in a key learning process and thus instigating the first steps of change. First and foremost, you are learning something about yourself. Perhaps you’re learning that your more resilient than you thought, or that you’ve been holding onto something that has been inadvertently affecting you. Or perhaps it’s that you finally found a way to authentically express yourself, even if it does feel new and a little unfamiliar.
But the process of learning doesn’t end with you and your story. As others search for further meaning, understanding and genuine connection, they too learn from your experiences and what you have to say. Similarly, you may find that you learn something new from those who have shared stories before you. Just some of the stories we learned so much from this year include the fascinating and culturally rich My Muddled Heritage, the inspiring Vision Quest and the emotionally insightful Why My Heart Breaks When You Say ‘Enjoy It While You Can’. It’s an ongoing process, but that’s the beauty of learning, it never stops.
Coincidentally, one of the biggest things we learned was how essential learning from personal stories is in order to cultivate change. And we weren’t alone. Earlier this year we found ourselves making a small shift, evolving our platform and value proposition to help brands and organizations learn from and connect with consumers, employees and communities. We’ve always known that your voice is critical to creating lasting impact, and by creating focused communities such as Food for Thought and WASH Equals, organizations can now progress with more meaningful purpose, thanks to the deeper insights provided by you.
So although we are yet to see out the remainder of the year, we are confident in saying we already know the most powerful lesson of 2017: and that is despite being in a constant state of flux, the way to move forward is to continuously learn. And the best way to continuously learn? That’s easy: share your story.