Killing the past for a new beginning

TBWA/RAAD's Zeina Safa thinks reflecting on our actions throughout the year should be an ongoing thing

December. Christmas. New Year’s Eve. Yes, the festive season is beautiful and marks the beginning of a new cycle of 365 days, but please don’t tie it up with resolutions, reflections, plans, and promises that overly happen during that time of the year.

What felt like a failure at the time”; “What did not work out for us as we thought it would”; “What was unprofitable”; and the list of statements goes on… whether at the end of a year or not, we definitely must reflect on our past events and choose what to kill from them, constantly.

But even in murder missions, one can and should be merciful. Also, is there really one angle from which to look at past events?

Let’s start with the thin line that exists between constructively building on our past rights and wrongs, and unconsciously building obstacles that refrain us from taking future — and maybe life-changing — leaps of faith. As romantic as it may sound, it starts with a gut feeling. Human beings intuitively feel if something is right or wrong, be it career-related, social, interpersonal etc. And we should trust it. How many times have we ignored that feeling we had at the first stage of something, and come to realise that it was on point? And no, it’s not only related to romance.

Reflecting on one’s own actions should be a real-time practice, rather than a yearly inventory. In no particular order, here’s in my opinion a random list of things to be killed for us to keep on growing, every day.

Blind following

Why does the whole universe simultaneously watch and discuss the very same show suddenly invading OTT (over-the-top) platforms? And then we complain about a lack of originality. The same applies to books. Seriously, it doesn’t have to be a bestseller for a book to blow your mind and inspire novelty.

Now let’s not confuse social trends with technological disruption. Whether PRO or ANTI, the insanity taking place on the technological scene, following technology, and becoming savvy of it, is no more optional.


Face those failures. Dig deep into them. You might make a new attempt, or just be content it did not work out. And if it was a success, don’t get high on it. Dare to jump into a new challenge.

Comfort zone

The comfort zone is sneakier than a snake and as dangerous as a minefield. The minute you feel you’re in it, act upon it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way undermining the values of loyalty and consistency, but the two characteristics first apply to growth and self-development. And the comfort zone is an infertile soil for both.


It slows us down and keeps us from going all-in. “Perfection is the enemy of progress”, said Winston Churchill. I can go on and on with this list, and I’m sure we all have come across some of it in one way or another, but constructive destruction can take different forms. And creation is sometimes way simpler than we think.

Maybe we don’t need to kill. Maybe we just need to try something new every now and then. Be it a skill, a hobby, a new genre of books, movies, music, whatever it is… newness might put past experiences into perspective, and eventually save them from death.

Reading through these thoughts, each of us can differently relate, but all of us, I repeat all of us, even if in varied magnitude, have a common enemy that is only harmful to everything growth, creativity, relationships, clarity, and success.

It’s called ego. Kill it, every single day.

Featured image: Denny Müller / Unsplash

Zeina Safa, Senior Copywriter

Translator at heart, Zeina joined the advertising world in 2012, and TBWA RAAD in 2017.Her passion for languages did not limit her to Arabic (mother tongue), hence the article we just read. She brings with her 16 years of experience in translation, during which she honed her editing and writing skills. Her insights on local traditions and Arabic culture are always valuable assets, that are key to pushing creative work even further.Brands she worked on: Ooredoo, Commercial Bank of Qatar, GMC, Qatar National Bank, Aspire Zone Foundation, Sidra Medical & Research Center, Ford, Nissan United, Infiniti, AAC, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Mai Dubai, Bloomingdale’s, Standard Chartered Bank, KFC, Ferrero (Kinder), and Du Telecommunications.

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