Days 23-40 of 40 DAYS OF GROWTH: Rounding it out with vulnerability

Days 23 - 40 of 40 DAYS OF GROWTH: Rounding it out with vulnerability


THE ORIGINAL INTENTION: From Friday 19th January, everyday for 40 days, I intended to share something each day that had either (1) changed my way of thinking or perspective, (2) helped me get through a challenging period of transition, change or growth, or (3) changed my life for the better. I called it '40 Days of Growth' and I encouraged people to contribute what had helped them to learn, grow and change. I also always had the offer open of supporting readers on their own learning journey.


Sometimes things don't go according to plan, and that's okay :). So, it turns out that trying to publish a blog post every day while running a business in start-up phase full-time is hard. Like, really HARD. I managed 22 blog posts during this time and am grateful for the experience that nearly-daily blogging gave me. This blog post rounds out this 40 day challenge. I'd love to hear any feedback or comments you have for me :)

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The intended plan for days 23-40

This was my intended plan for days 23 - 40: 

  • 23 - Is 'do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life' good career advice?
  • 24 - Learning How to Learn (online MOOC)
  • 25 - Remembering the impermanence of everyday life AND feeling GRATEFUL for what one currently has
  • 26 - it is what you DO with this information that matters, rather than just 'collecting' it. How can you use it to enhance your career, your CV, your .......
  • 27 - Having something to look forward to. When I know I have a really full-on few weeks coming up and I know I need to focus during that time, I make a list and put it where I know I'll see it of the things I'm looking forward to. Sometimes I'll even do a countdown and cross off each day as it comes.
  • 28 - knowing about and being proud of your personality - e.g. Quiet by Susan Cain (about introverts).
  • 29 - ideas about fear and 'resistance' (Steven Pressfield)
  • 30 - Amazing sources of information: Maria Popova's Brain Pickings and Alain de Botton's The Book of Life
  • 31 - Everything in moderation, including moderation - Oscar Wilde
  • 32 - Mastery - the concept that the first 5-10 years of your career are like an 'apprenticeship'. That 'good things take time' (old adage is true). To focus on the work not on the results.
  • 34 - How would you treat your best friend? What would you say to your best friend? The concept of self love and self esteem can be a massive topic. For me it boils down to a few things - acceptance, compassion, kindness (how would you treat your best friend?), being attuned to what you need. Think of a baby or a small child - if they're hungry, you feed them; if they need to sleep, you let them sleep; if they need a cuddle, you give them affection. What does your body need? There is a really useful concept of 'healthy selfishness'. You need to put your own life jacket on first before you can help others. 
  • 35 - Consistent advice given to graduates and early-in-careers (e.g. info from Lean In: for Graduates)
  • 36 - Weekend reading recommendations - Your 20s are not the new 30s - BOOK 'The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now' Meg Jay; 'The Quarter-Life Breakthrough' by Adam Smiley Poswolsky
  • 37 - Going outside the comfort zone leads to the greatest learnings - learning by experience - e.g. Spirit of New Zealand, Outward Bound, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards programme, creating a start-up. Link in book 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho (about going on a quest) and Camino de Santiago/walking pilgrimages.
  • 38 - Counter-intuitive ways of goal setting: setting goals with the 'worst day you' in mind. I'm putting this on a Sunday in case those flicking through Instagram/whatever-social-media-platform are lying in bed, hungover, or just having a bad day.
  • 39 - Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. Circle of influence. Attitude - it's something you can control.
  • 40 - The nature of impermanence/death - how being aware of our humanity can help us live a purposeful and meaningful life


  • Increase your self awareness in relationships - The Five Love Languages
  • The Art of Deliberate Success - Dr David Keane
  • Celebrate the little things
  • Podcasts



I believe in being open and authentic about my reality - the highlights reel as well as the everyday challenges. I'm happy to be open about the reality of running a business full-time in start-up phase while attempting to have some work/life balance. Hint: it's challenging yet rewarding!

The last few months with running Jen Y Insights full time has been eye-opening. The world of creating a business and getting the balance right (still a work in progress!) between paid word vs unpaid time and between online work and in-person work has been a real challenge.

With blogging, content creation and social media graphic creation I do spend a decent percentage of each day either typing away on my laptop or online - sometimes this can feel a little lonely or disconnected. It's funny that something designed to help us connect more creates a different kind of connection - like a 'disconnected-type-of-connection'. I'm working more and more on creating and helping others to have more authentic connections - with themselves, within their teams and with potential clients and customers.

Funnily enough, because of playing around with content creation and social media graphic creation over the last few months for my own website, I've now become a go-to person within my network for social media advice, strategy and help with creating engaging graphics. All because I was playing around with the beautiful online design tool Canva (and the free version, at that!) :)

So, last year's 40 Days of Fear turned out to be more 'do-able' because of having a 'normal' full-time job. This year's 40 Days of Growth (writing a blog each day, which is quite time-consuming) turned out to be manageable 22 days out of 40. While not completing the full 40 days I'm still really proud of this effort!


Feedback and Comments?

I'd LOVE to hear from you! What did you find useful and/or interesting? Would you like me to blog about any of the topics above?



Jen Y