2010, the case competition edition
Case competitions have become a giant part of my life in the past few months. I’ll be competing at JDC Central in January, and the lead-up to the competition has been filled with case practice sessions. On top of that, I took the greatest class offered at the Sprott School of Business, BUSI3800 – Business Case Analysis and Presentation. On top of that, last night I had a full-length case resolution dream, and it wasn’t the first time that’s happened.
So when I look back on 2010, because everyone is at around this time, it makes sense (at least in my head) to use the framework we would use to evaluate a case. The whole point of the case evaluation framework is to work down to a “big word” that embodies the case, or in this situation, a year in my life. And really, I kind of want to figure out what that word was, if only to have a clean slate to set up a new word for next year!
Who is the decision maker?
Mostly me, but with some influence from others. Not as much as I thought, when I really look at it, but enough that it warrants a mention.
What were the three main issues (and what did I learn from them)?
#1. Leaving home and traveling half-way around the world for eight months.
Lessons: I don’t do well with unstructured time. If I’m travelling, I should have a plan. My happiness is not quite as dependant on a good night’s sleep as I thought. The first month of travelling is exciting and amazing and awe-inspiring, but then I tend to just go right back to real life, no matter where I am. Nothing really changes, no matter where you are.
#2. Honouring what I actually want and not staying in an uncomfortable place because someone else would be happier.
Lessons: I need to do more of this. So many times this year I considered what other people wanted me to do instead of what I knew I wanted. Deep down, I always know. And when I finally stood up and told people what my bottom line was, no one died.
#3. Balancing school and work and extracurriculars and yoga and running and life.
Lessons: I was better this year. I took on a lot in place of paid work, but I didn’t go around licking doorknobs trying to get sick so I could just PLEASE have a day off to be sick in peace. Which, surprisingly enough, is progress. I need to acknowledge that I’m busy, but not as unmanageably busy as I think I am. I need to do more yoga.
What is the BIG STORY (one sentence)? I figured out a lot of stuff about myself, what I like and what I want this year.
What is the BIG WORD? Learning.
OH YAY! The word isn’t “sad!” This year was hard in a lot of places, but when I look back it was also exciting and joyous and happy in a lot of places. I took on a huge number of things this year, including a semester abroad, and when I look back I can’t help but see more of the hard things than the happy things. Isn’t that how it always happens?
But the other thing that always happens when things are hard is that things are gained. 2010 was a year of learning. Maybe it wasn’t the joyous, uplifting, crazy-happy, easy-going pile of smiles that previous years have been, but I learned a lot. And went to some pretty amazing beaches on the way.