Recognizing "the good old days" while you are in them

I've worked for over a dozen different companies across 20+ efforts. Three team efforts stood out from the rest. Two of the projects had reunions or socials up to 20 years after the project peaked. One has a Facebook group. The other has an international mailing list. People go a lifetime without ever working with a group that has a reunion that draws people from hundreds of miles away. Most are shocked when I tell them I worked at two places where this happened.

None of the projects were easy.  All involved conflict.  All involved more than 40 hours a week on a semi-regular basis. Some parts were pretty miserable. I wanted to quit and stare at the ocean. These special projects were all personal and professional learning experiences. They make all other employment just work now that I have forgotten the exhaustion and frustration. 

I made friends with people I would work with or recommend years later.  Almost everyone involved increased their skills and employment value. People still talk about what they learned or how they grew during those projects. All three projects achieved results greater than the sums of the team member's individual capabilities. 

We tried to recapture the magic from two of the projects.  Both efforts failed because we didn't understand what made them great or we didn't have the same control to create the right environment.  

Identify these efforts, pay attention and enjoy it without waiting for them to become a good old days memory. Pay attention and recognize the good times when you are in them even if they eventually drive you to go do something else. 

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