“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”

– Margaret J. Wheatley

It’s that time of the year again when we typically reflect on our lives – where we are, where we are heading and what we want from this one life that we are blessed with… In a recent facilitation session with a group of young leaders, I spent an hour getting them to reflect on their lives, both from a career and away from work point of view.

I asked them a couple of questions as part of this process, which I would also like to share with you to reflect upon:

What is stealing my peace?

I can probably rephrase this question by asking: “What is top of mind?” or “What is bothering you right now?” Over my lifetime my priorities and what I truly value have shifted to the point where my biggest desire is probably to consistently experience deep inner peace, which reminds me of what my dad taught me – “the most important things in life, are those things that money can’t buy”. I believe that it’s not worth it to entertain anything that stands between us and experiencing peace, if it is at all within our power to do something about it. Even though it might require serious action and, in some cases, a lot of patience.

“Whatever is stealing your peace and rocking your boat, whatever is taking your smile away, reach down, pick it up, and throw it overboard.”

– Jentezen Franklin

What would be differently better in 2024, and beyond?

In asking this question, I am not referring to new year resolutions, also because statistically 80% of these promises that people make at the beginning of each year, get broken very quickly into the new year… getting people to effectively lie to the one person they cannot afford to lie to – Yourself. And if I lie to myself, how can I trust myself? You get the picture…


When I ask this question, I am talking about drawing the proverbial line in the sand to be intentional in making a life-changing decision about a new habit or a new lifegoal that you and I will be chasing hard, because we realise that this would give us better results. It would also better support the legacy that we would like to leave behind – not one day, but from today or the start of 2024 onwards.

“If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” – Thomas Jefferson

Am I having fun?

I am of the firm belief that it would be sad if we got to the end of our lives and then realised that we should have had more fun along the way, even though I very often forget my own advice in this regard. In pondering this issue, I think it’s important to realise that having more fun does not equate to being less responsible or achieving less in life. This reminds me of the age-old management principle of being “hard on standards, but soft on people”. In all probability, if we can have more responsible fun, we’ll probably get better results.

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” – Bill Watterson

Taking action

In finalising the chapter layout of the book that I published a couple of years ago on Self-leadership, called “Conquering my NeMEsis – Stepping Stones to Successful

Self-leadership”, it was easy to decide on the topic of Chapter 1 – “Taking Charge”. We too often forget the power that we possess to take charge of our lives and to positively influence its outcome. I believe that there are very few instances where we cannot take charge of a situation. In 2024, and beyond, we might want to work on our motivation to take more action, which should translate into us achieving more goals and better results – not only for our sake, but also for those around us. I wish you all the best in doing exactly that …


“Take charge of your life! The tides do not command the ship. The sailor does.”

– Ogwo David Emenike


Author Dr. Hekkie van der Westhuizen shares practical self-leadership tips, tools and interventions in the form of stepping stones that will assist you along the journey to becoming the best possible version of yourself.


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