my dear (future) jamie,
It’s time to translate that energy of building new traditions into new habits. This is the year of action, hustling, and getting sh*t done after a long year of reset, reimagination, and recalibration. But as a reminder, here’s your reflection for 2023 that kickstarts your new year…
🥂 Celebrate (things learned, moments won)
This year was a lot — but a lot of growth happened. It was about 3-4 years of anticipation and growth that built up to a moment that finally happened:
- I’m stable in a career path that I can see grow for a few years.
- I’m living with another human for the first time ever where my space has become our space, and stabilizing on a new and positively challenging lifestyle change.
- I travelled the world (kinda) and got sick of airports, line-ups, and waiting (it was inevitable).
Therapy was also a new experience this year. And it was probably the best thing that happened to me as it kept one thing in the back of my mind:
For context, those “glimmers” are meant to be those positive moments that happen in my day. Could be acknowledging a nice sunny spot peering through the gaps in the tree branches above me. Or it could be a nice act of service by a loved one, like having dinner ready for the moment you hung up on your 3 hour zoom call of death. This “glimmers” are the things that make my day, big or small.
Interestingly, the thing that my therapist pointed out was that the original suggestion she had made was to “catch” the glimmers and in true ✨ gay fashion 💅🏻 I instinctively changed it to “snatch”. But that Freudian slip was not the interesting part; what was most compelling was that I subconsciously changed a passive verb into a proactive verb. “Catching” implies letting those glimmers come to you, as opposed to actively “snatching” and reaching out for those glimmers.
The lesson here: being able to acknowledge when I’m seeing those positive opportunities in my view and horizon — an act of awareness and appreciation — and when I’m seeking those to improve my day — an act of self-care.
🙇 Appreciate (some gratefulness and self-affirmation)
Which leads me to what I’m grateful for, and what I need to remind myself of. It takes energy and intent to do something for myself, and make space for myself. It takes energy and intent to let a creative project take flight, as much as it’s a burst energy that just sometimes comes to me in the shower. It takes energy and intent to relax tf down and just sit in my thoughts, as it does to acknowledging those passing thoughts.
I’m grateful and appreciate having the time, space, and opportunity to let positive moments come to me, as well as creating those positive moments for myself.
📋 Focus (on what I achieved and what I want to do)
Dear Jamie; just start. You know what that means when I write it. Just do it. “Someday is today”. This is the moment. Carpe diem, or however that cliched phrase goes.
Take a first step into a direction and see where that journey takes you. You’ve spent SOO much time painting a vague picture of how you got here and where you’re headed; perhaps see where those glimmers / opportunities / thought trains can be appreciated and actioned as they come to you.
And as you move forward, remember these things*:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don't take anything personally
- Don't make assumptions
- Always do your best
*Source: The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
2023: Let’s get to work
🎨 Kickstart a friend’s passion project
✨ Bi-weekly “pause” habit (70% reflect)
📖 Knowledge boost: one book a month
a quick bio...
💁♂️ Jamie Kwan is an Experiential Designer and Strategist, working at the intersection of space, service, and digital experience design. During the day, he’s a Service Designer with Atlassian in 🇨🇦 creating white-glove customer experiences, but more broadly … He's a recovering Architect, 'creative-tech'-dabbling designer, and a research-driven brand strategist, who's worked alongside clients in the retail, technology, themed entertainment, and financial services sectors in navigating the future — transforming their brand purpose into designed experiences that connect with their audiences (and strives to make their heart skip a beat). ✨ Through his work, he's on a mission to inject the power of play, storytelling, and hero-centered experience design in envisioning the future. Selected clients include the Panama Canal Authority, CJ Group, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), AIRMILES, Canadian Tire Corporation, Cineplex Entertainment, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
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