Bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes’ night, has always been one of my favourite nights of the year. Partly, it’s because I love fireworks – both the experience of them, and a geeky delight in the chemistry which creates them – and partly it’s because it marks the autumn, a time of year full of the winds of change. As an innovator and entrepreneur, I’m excited by possibility, and the power, beauty, creativity and startling nature of fireworks fills my mind with the possibilities of life.
Like many of you who have experienced a career change, a life change, or what might be classically called a mid-life-crisis (at whatever age!), I wonder what my legacy will be – whether my short life will shine bright, or fizzle out like a damp squib. Will any of my dreams come to pass? Will I manage to make a difference to anyone or anything? Can I ever be as impactful as the bright colours lighting up the night sky, even for a moment?
It’s worth remembering, as you experience that moment of awe at a fireworks display this year, that there are many different contributions to make. Many businesses, projects – and lives – are like the fireworks, new innovations shining brightly in their time, then fading away. Others are like bonfires, more mundane, but flaring fiercely with great impact; still others home-fires, burning slowly and steadily to light the path for years to come. All of these have merit: it’s up to you to decide what kind of impact you want to have, and how best to achieve it.
As we mark the passing of another November 5th, and start the inevitable race towards Christmas, what are you going to do to make an impact before the end of the year? And are your choices taking you towards the legacy you imagine for yourself?