2020 – what we’ve learned

My intimate insight and wishes for all of us in the upcoming year

Let’s admit it…this has been a hard year for all of us. The entire world was pushed in a situation that we just weren’t able to predict beforehand. It was a year of turbulent change, loss and pain. Chaos and insecurity.

But if we put all that aside for a moment, it has surely been a year of revelations. The way we lived and acted was destined to fail as it is. Hurting our planet and hurting ourselves. Accepting the race against time that is just flying faster and faster with all the technology there to enabling it. Spending, running around and spending a bit more. Without the time to inhale and enjoy. It has never been made clearer that the drastic change is needed. And you know how it is with changing habits – why would you change something that you like in your life. Thus, we were forced into change this year.

I have to say I’m grateful for the lessons we were given this year. No, it has not been an easy year for us as well. But… if we look beyond our personal situations and see the clarity that came out of it, I must say this has by far been the best year in my life. I learned so much, engaged so much and made so many new meaningful friendships – without ever meeting them in person! I’d never say this is possible. But yes, if you open your mind to change magical things can happen.

In my personal life I can say I’m more enriched than ever. Have more meaningful connections than in the past. Before, I was running around like crazy, meeting after meeting, one business trip after another. After the initial scare of how I can survive this I realized that I save so much time, that I can dedicate it to more people and have more time for friendships and family.

On the other hand, my dog went a bit crazy because of being stuck only with me most of the time but this is another story 😊

I went from a bunch of waste to almost zero waste. I circulate, re-use, think 3 times if I need something. I buy everything online – mostly local products. I eat way healthier than ever. I finally had the time to go on fully non-meat diet. I know, this is where a lot of people will think – oooo, another one. But let me say this – to each in her/his own time. I needed time as well. Slowly getting away from meat and finally cut it out this year. When I dug deeper in the climate change issues and what we’re doing to the animals the decision to cut it completely just came naturally. That is my little contribution. And another one is me telling you about it. No pressure.

Yes, for me a lot of magic came out of this year.

I wanted to share all of them with you but I was limited to 13 (lucky number and the number of “spaces” in our Christmas card). So, excuse me if I am going to be a bit longer. I just have the need to share some of my reflections on how the year 2021 should be (in random order!).

1. Learn – never, never, never embrace the feeling that you know it all. We learn every day. From each other, from our experiences, from the books we read, articles we come across. Be self- critical If you are the smartest in the room, don’t get to comfortable… find a room where you’ll again learn more and more… There are so many options these days that is why it would be a waste not to take advantage of them. Learning new things and sharing them with your loved ones and friends is just amazing

2. Inspire – this one is so interconnected with all the other When you learn, do good, take care of others and spread the love and joy, well, you’re living your life to the fullest. And even if you’re not aware of it, you do inspire. Even if just one person. Inspiration is contagious and it spreads … And you get inspired in return…It is easy as that.

3. Impact – yes, we’ve arrived in trouble as a We do harm to ourselves and to our planet. Act and think of consequences of your actions. And then inspire and impact others to re-act as well. The time when we can just stand still and wait for someone else to make a change for us is long over. Now it is up to us… all of us. If something, this has become clear as a bright day this year – that when forced, oh boy we do act. So, let’s keep this momentum and engagement and passion going to address the climate and societal issues we were so comfortably waiting others to solve in the past. We can make an impact. And the first step always starts with: what can I do and then how I can do it. And act. Impact and inspiration will follow immediately.

4. Innovate – oh, this has been the core of our business for years now. The very core of my life. Innovating doesn’t necessarily mean spending millions and millions in order to invent something new. No, you just daily ask yourself what can I do different in a specific task. And important – innovation always works hand in hand with personal development (or team development if we’re talking in business sense). Again, we’re addressing changing the habits. If you are thinking of changing a routine you have, you’re addressing innovation and habit change at the same time. So, be patient…just dare…. Do it. This year we’ve started stressing out the importance of innovation with social and climate impact. With our partners, friends, mentors from Enterprise Development Group from Palo Alto we re-invented our program in this direction. We’re not doing innovation anymore without considering the wider impact. Innovating means constantly changing and Constant change and adaptive capability are very important in these days. Innovation will surely play a bigger role in the years to come because our awareness changed drastically.
Innovate also in your personal lives. Do ask yourself what could you change and do different. Then check what options are out there. Maybe you’ll discover that you have a skill or two you weren’t aware off. Just do it. Innovating is always fun. And when you get on board, you just cannot stop anymore 😊 And the fear of innovation goes away and then you’re ready for a proper “moon shot” innovation!

5. (co) Create – creativity is another skill that came out of this year. DIY videos have never been more visited than And it is the right way to go! Creativity is something we’re usually saying – oh, I cannot do this. I don’t have the skill. Well, here is a revelation. As kids we were all very creative. Remember making up different games, drawing without overcomplicating whether it is beautiful or not? We can get that back. Just start! And creation is way more fun in company. Get together with your work colleagues and create a new “to-do” board we all have. See what suits your team best and re-make it. It is creativity and innovation doing magic hand in hand. While you’re bonding and having fun with your team mates! See what I did here…. Yes, all the points are very much connected 😊

6. Connect – we’re not isolated Even though in this moment it might appear so. No, we’re so much better together. We posses different talents, different experiences and different views. By connecting and sharing – imagine what we can achieve together. It is not just a saying. We’ve proven it over and over. Let’s connect even more in upcoming year!

7. Love – spread it, live it, believe in it. No one is ever truly alone. Trust me on this one. Love whom it should come. Love just is, when you open yourself to the world. Doesn’t mean I’m naive, I learned about love and people on a quite hard But I always see people from the good side. And…I do have my little monster Zuza’s look to remind me whenever I forget about it 😊

8. Circulate – this one was inspired by a more and more recognized mission of Circular Economy and by a local charity: Someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure. Remember when we were kids and we were sharing clothes toys with brothers, sisters, cousins and then giving it further to friends? I still wear a summer shirt that my uncle had when he was teenager! In reality, we don’t need that much and especially don’t need to have all new. Let’s renew the fun cloth exchange with our Let’s circulate more, recycle more and buy less. And when we do buy, let’s see what is there from your local artists, craftsman, producers. We can do so much for our local businesses and for ecology by just circulating a bit more. And don’t throw anything away. Your local charities will make the best use of your used pans.

9. Be bold – don’t hide yourself in the little safety zone. Just go out and do whatever drives you! If you’re doing good, not hurting others, animals and the planet, just go and don’t mind what other The magic is on the other side of the comfortable. And what you’ll notice. There are so many others just like you and you’ll immediately have a new network of people helping you out. A little “crazy” never hurt anyone 😉

10. Do good – selflessly. This year more than ever we see how much need is there. Help and support the local charity, see if you can do something for the local animal Is there an organisation that helps the elderly? There is so much need and not all is in money. You can do soooo much by just dedicating some time and spread awareness. And do good all year around. Not just in Christmas time when the needs are “louder”. Keep an eye open on your surroundings and… well, just do good. Impact and inspiration are just there in these selfless deeds.

11. Regenerate – this one is a call to action to all the business owners. Business is transforming – luckily. The products finally have climate and social issues in mind. Examples of the big ones (Microsoft, Wallmart, Ikea, Gen-I in Slovenia!,..) stepping up heavily on the regenerative economy train and are growing. They’re showing the way that you can be overall responsible and not only maintain your business results but grow them – while you’re regenerating the loss we made in the past. This point is deeper and needs a longer, individual discussion. But is here as my 2021 wish list- just think about it. And then call 😉

12. Play – oh we can do so much when we really love what we do with the people we love in the environment where we feel good. Doing new, out of the box steps seems just like a game. When we play, we forget about boundaries and we’re simply creative and open to wherever the game leads us. Don’t just play with your kids. Having fun and playing is as reserved for grownups as it is for the kids 😉

13. Grow – when you’re open for change, when you reflect on your day and recognize lessons learned you always grow. And all my wishes for the 2021 are growth oriented, personal, team and business.

I know. I made you read a bit more. But as said. It’s been here bothering me. And there if there is 1 person that reads this, reflects and shares some good spirit for the future – my mission is accomplished.

For conclusion, there is no way I can stress this enough- I couldn’t be more grateful to my amazing heartful team who stuck with me in these times. Martin, Tanja, Anastasia, Sabina, Robi B&I (you know who you are)  you’re all my light so that I can endure every challenging day passing my way.

Entire situation connected us and brought us closer than ever to so many I’d love to thank from the bottom of my heart as well. And the new virtual friends. It is because of all of you I learned, grew and am so positive and anxious to do and change 2021.

Did you know the “end of the world” announcements appear every year since the 2000? And a lot of jokes are out there every time. This year can we say that this was the long-expected end of the world and we wake up to a new normal, where we are more human, more aware of all the life around us and just take this amazing opportunity we were given to start creating the world we were supposed to create?

Change is difficult. But you’re never on that path alone!

The Transformation Lighthouse team surely wishes all of you a year of health, prosper and growth. With lots of love for everyone. And we’ll continue to shine our transformative light on all of you.

Urška Jež

Founder & CEO of Transformation Lighthouse