Finding contentment in the Winter of our Discontent

Hey there

The Winter of our Discontent was prolific author John Steinbeck’s last novel, published in 1961. The title comes from the first two lines of William Shakespeare‘s Richard III: “Now is the winter of our discontent / Made glorious summer by this sun of York”.

Interestingly, I came across a copy of the book on Wednesday. Randomly, in a bookstore. Ironically, on the first day of winter.

It got me thinking about what ‘the winter of our discontent’ actually means.

It doesn’t mean that it’s a season of sadness or displeasure. (Although, the artic temperatures in Sydney and Melbourne this week would have challenged anyone’s sense of joy).

‘The winter of our discontent’ actually means that our unhappy times are in the past.

And after the uncertainty and challenges of the past two years, this resonated deeply with me.

With life returning to normal and the worst of the pandemic essentially behind us, there is a noticeable sense of hope and optimism in places that it’s been missing from for over 24 months.

Overseas travel is back. And, most excitingly for me, events and conferences are back.

It feels amazing to be future focused again. To be able to make plans, set goals and look to the horizon with a sense of certainty. There’s something truly special about the return of real-life human connection and while I’m grateful for the technologies that have enabled us to remain connected throughout 2020 and 2021, nothing beats the power and energy of humans in a room, sharing, connecting and collaborating.

This observation has not only re-ignited my appreciation for live audiences, but transformed how I’m presenting, engaging and interacting with audiences. With new content and an evolved style that is about drawing on the collective wisdom in the room, I’m loving the buzz of a big audience and a big room but equally with smaller teams in strategy sessions.

In this Winter of our Discontent, I’d love to hear from you on what’s new, how you’re finding the opportunity to look forward and what you’re most looking forward to.