I love this What Made it Great by Chris Little. If you’re human, even if you’re the most cynical creative, you just must love it too – surely? Finding jewels in a pile of stones – that’s very Australian. It’s also very important. It’s what makes the world move forward. I don’t think Chris Little intended it, but it has an ad work parallel. Cynical creatives, whinge about bad briefs, short deadlines and shitty client decisions or make advertising go forward too?
Here’s your inspiration:
2020 hasn’t been the greatest year, maybe not as bad as 536 A.D. (Google it – shocker), but finding the silver lining, surprisingly isn’t too hard when you step away from the 24/7 news cycle.
Although the year is far from over, I thought I’d share the top three things in my world that have made 2020 great.
Weeks of lockdown and months of ever-changing government restrictions have been tough for so many reasons, but it has given me time and space to think, consider and reassess what makes me tick. What I can’t live without when it’s closed or shut down. Who I can’t live without when borders are shut and more importantly what I can. This clarity is precious, like a mini sabbatical for the mind and a chance to come back refreshed and refocused on what truly matters and makes me happy. The challenge now is, with two and a half months left in the year, can I put these newfound priorities into practice?
Four of Australia’s cities are in the world’s top 100 most expensive places to live, if it wasn’t for our weaker than usual dollar it would have been six. However, traditionally, cities are where the work is, where the opportunity is richest and as a result where the majority of the population find themselves living, in weighty sets of golden handcuffs. As a father of two young kids, quickly outgrowing our two-bedroom apartment, the Sydney house prices meant I was facing either a crippling mortgage or a lengthy commute. That was until this year. Since March 16 I’ve stepped foot in the office twice. In a little over six months, the stigma of working from home has been squashed and the concept of a decentralised workforce has become a reality that many companies have signed up to and proudly PR-ed. I’ve worked with teams in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, from Noosa, Bluey’s Beach, Newcastle and Bondi. It’s no longer about working from home, it’s about working from wherever. All those clichéd “dream to reality” quotes suddenly don’t seem so obnoxious.
#3 Walk Don’t Run
Start the day with an aggressively loud alarm, a quick morning shower, frantic wardrobe check, optional breakfast, repeat for kids, throw in an inevitable dirty nappy delay, sweaty uphill pram push to daycare, full bus, late train, dodging hordes of zombies buried in their devices, all for a 9am client call that will be pushed to 10. Reverse the route and repeat, then realise it’s only Monday. Of all the changes that have made 2020 great, removing the commute from my daily routine, reducing the rush and returning at least two hours to my day for exercise, life admin, chats with my partner, a homemade smoothie, sitting in the sun and listening to some music, cleaning, a few stretches or the time to turn a 650m walk to daycare with the kids into a 20min adventure has been a revelation and a realisation that the rat race was and always will be a completely unnecessary waste of time, infrastructure and C02.
So rather than wishing the year away, discarding it next to 2016, 2003 and 2001, only to hope that 2021 is a little kinder I’m hoping there’s enough time left to make the most of this oddly shaped opportunity we call 2020.
PS: For those who didn’t Google it, here’s what happened in 536AD.