Every morning at exactly 6:30 AM in my Singapore neighborhood, a symphony of urban jungle birds makes sure that everyone knows it is time to be awake. We are situated only 142 kilometers or 88 miles from the equator, so the sun rises and sets at pretty much the same time all year long. Our clocks are never set back or forward for daylight savings…there is no need. Although somewhat annoying on the weekends when sleeping in is an option, there is always something comforting in the routine of these birds.
Routine is a concept that I both desire and shun at the same time. I know I need it in my life, but I bore easily with it. In the past two weeks of work and personal travel in England, Poland and Hong Kong, my “normal routine” has been broken, and (surprise, surprise) I loved every minute. My mind expanded. My creativity was enhanced. My motivation was ignited. And, it was simply good for my heart and soul.
For the first week on the road, I participated in meetings with Dubit Limited, our Pandoo Nation game developers based out of Leeds, England. We brainstormed and planned our pending game release and all the parts and pieces required to make it a reality. We reiterated our core beliefs in our mission to facilitate the engagement of young kids to help make our world a better place. We discussed the go-to-market strategy and plan which encompasses finding those kids that will become our global champions for a game that is not only fun, but one that inspires and activates their natural desire to help others. Being in a different environment and discussing these things in person brought new perspectives. It helped to solidify our path forward. It was just what we needed. It was just what I needed.
And then I spent a weekend in and around Warsaw, Poland. I met family members that I didn’t even know I had. I was taken out of my routine and thrown into a world that expanded both my heart and soul. See my post here for the details.
Finally, this past week, I headed to Hong Kong where our Pandoo Nation ice hockey team competed in the Hong Kong 5’s Ice Hockey Tournament. Several members of ShiftRunner – our company that is bringing Pandoo Nation into existence – are high level ice hockey players. Last year our team even won the Asian ice hockey tournament that was held in Bangkok, Thailand. Go figure – ice hockey in Asia. Unfortunately, we did not bring home the trophy this year. But, it was good publicity for Pandoo Nation and a great week for team members to bond with the ice hockey community here and from the US and Canada. Definitely not the normal routine!
Personally, I was also able to enjoy some one-on-one time with my 18 year old son. He is home from university for the summer and will be staying and working in Singapore for a couple months. He met me in Hong Kong for the week, and it was nice to catch up outside of the regimen that we tend to fall into at home. I enjoyed talking with him at a more adult level than ever before, and I was deeply proud to witness his new found maturity.
Two tremendous weeks of variety and inspiration. It doesn’t get much better than that. But, as I integrate back into life as normal in Singapore (which is not always an easy task for me after time away), I find that I am now craving a bit more of the stability and results that a routine can sometimes bring. So, when I was awakened bright and early on this past Saturday morning by the deafening sounds of birds, I smiled (rather than cursed) and felt the satisfying sense of being home.