Reflections on 2022: Lessons Learned

Written by Darren Kanthal

December 27, 2022

Reflections On 2022

The moment I typed that word ‘reflections,’ I was reminded that is the exact title of the magazine I get from my alma mater, Oneonta. Then my mind went to the friends I still have from those formative years. I thought about the Signal channel where we bust each other’s chops, share funny stories, and the Reface expertise and hilarity that ensues.

During one of the professional development programs I led in 2022, we talked about ‘following the breadcrumbs of your mind’. In this case, the ‘reflections’ breadcrumb trail led from college to my buddies to Reface. Maybe this example isn’t as poignant as many others and yet, if you follow the breadcrumbs of your mind – they might uncover many great things for you to reflect on.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to set goals for myself. As I peer to my left and see those very goals for 2022 tacked to my cork board, I’m reminded of the frame of mind I was in. My business needed a kick in the ass and I decided I need to write more. At the time, I was very insecure about my writing and I found the task daunting. It also dawned on me that I considered myself a beginner in writing – and also an expert in my profession. With that in mind I decided the title of my 2022 goals would be: The Beginner and the Expert are One and the Same.

What happened to my 2022 goals

I set out to fully engage with a marketing strategy with two specific partners – check!

I wanted to land a minimum of 12 clients of a specific type – not checked! (But I landed many other, great clients that fit a different criteria)

I wanted to create a daily/weekly/monthly reflection practice – uuuuhhh, that’s a no! (Not sure what I was thinking with this one and as I reflect back, I shoulda seen this one falling flat on its face)

I wanted to retire the eight-week Positive Intelligence program and reimagine it as a four-month coaching program – check! (The next cohort kicks off Feb. 2, 2023)

Lastly, I wanted to figure out my diet and working out situation – ½ check (I’ve got some interesting science-based stuff going on that still isn’t fully figured out)

Even though I didn’t check off all of those goals, 2022 has been a great success for me and I accomplished things above and beyond what I set out to do. Some of things I’m especially proud of…

  • I started this blog (thanks for reading and being interested in it)
  • My Uncle Lawrence said he was proud of me
  • My brother Craig complimented my writing skills
  • My sister Marissa thought it was cool I wrote about the Half Ironman we did together
  • My mom and stepdad Art share their unconditional love and support
  • I saw my immediate and extended family celebrating Aunt Sharon and Uncle Sal’s 50th wedding anniversary
  • I achieved my third year in a row of year-over-year revenue growth
  • I got fired by a client!
  • I went on a seven-day silent meditation retreat
  • I bought a new mountain bike – the Pivot Switchblade is a badass machine (Thank you Gary at second Ave Sports in Durango)
  • I loosened the reigns on things that were causing me a great deal of stress (And in turn, my life became less stressful)
  • I celebrated my mother’s cancer remission
  • I cried
  • I laughed
  • I was trusted by my clients (that didn’t fire me) to be on their ride of life with them
  • I paid to be a sponsor on a podcast
  • I invested in myself personally and professionally
Lessons learned

There have been some great lessons that really resonated with me….

When we get mired in the ‘bad’ or negativity of life, it’s often at the expense of all the great things and beauty around us. If we forget, we can look at nature, our pets, family, and friends

Most of life’s experiences are gifts – good and bad, positive and negative. The gift(s) might not always be readily apparent and if this is the case – I’ve learned to be patient until the gift reveals itself

We need to speak up more often, with greater discernment and emotional intelligence. Although not speaking up can be a great approach at times, defaulting this way seems to have cons that outweigh the pros

Lean into vulnerability – the human experience is shared amongst us all and pretending like our situation is SOOO much different than anyone else’s is often bullshit

Don’t allow your distaste or dislike of a situation, person, or place blind you to the fact someone else’s experience could be the exact opposite. Trying to influence them to your point of view could be the exact thing they DON’T need – supporting people goes a long way!

I had my fair share of ups and downs. I chose to wallow in my own self-pity-party for longer than I care to admit at times. Yet, the ups outweighed the downs and the pity was much less than not.

As of writing this, I haven’t determined my 2023 goals. If nothing else, I hope I’m in as good a place if not better when I write next year’s reflection as I am this year.

I’m wishing you…..

  • A great ending to 2022
  • A healthy New Year
  • A better 2023
  • All the happiness, love, support, and joy you deserve

Peace out!


Darren Kanthal

Darren Kanthal, Founder of The Kanthal Group, is a values-driven leadership and career coach with over 20 years of experience in HR and Talent Acquisition. Darren is intensely passionate about helping mid-career leaders cut through the BS, do the foundational work, and achieve their greatness.


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