We’re all happy to say goodbye to 2020. It has been one of the more challenging years on record for our country.
Happily, some of the most significant personal discoveries and insights are often born in difficult times.
When I think about 2020, the same images come into my mind that likely comes into yours. Each of them combines into an extremely challenging 365 days: The cancel culture, which erupted on many fronts. The spread of Covid-19, which devastated our economy and forced us all to avoid social contact. The record number of suicides as the turn of events pushed many desperate souls to seek the ultimate escape from the world. The alarming increase in spousal abuse and various addictions, both of which are the artifacts of isolation and close confinement. The shutting of private businesses, many of which will never reopen. The allegations of fraud surrounding the presidential election.
The collage of memories from 2020 paint a shockingly ugly picture. How do you move past it?
One positive way is to identify the lessons you can learn, the changes you can make, and the habits you can form.
To do that may seem like looking through a car wrecking yard to find some salvageable parts.
Amid the wreckage, how do you find something useful and beneficial?
The secret lies in knowing what to look for, and that means asking the right questions.
The logical and learning part of the brain, the neocortex, is situated at the top of your skull. Two powerful motivations stimulate it to action: Questions and images. When you ask the right questions, your brain goes on the hunt to find the answers.
The following are some of the questions you will find simple, easy, and challenging as you seek to reap some benefits from having lived through 2020. Get something to write on, be still, relax, listen to your breathing, and write how you answer these questions:
- What was the most significant challenge I overcame this year? How did I do it?
- What was my most significant loss? How did or am I dealing with it?
- What would I change if I could relive the year? How would that behavior have changed my life?
- What do I know about myself now that I did not realize back on January 1, 2020? How can I use that knowledge to develop myself personally and professionally?
- What has my influence been on the people in my world? How could I have made things better for those same people?
- What do I most regret about my behavior this past year? How can I prevent it next year?
- What do I most respect and appreciate about my behavior this past year? How can I make it a habit in 2021?
These powerful questions give us something constructive to derive from 2020 and take into the New Year.
Nothing is appealing to me about searching through a wrecking yard. However, I have been on several scavenger hunts. Those are typically fun for everyone.
Use the seven questions to go on a mental scavenger hunt across the tundra of the year that is ending.
Two positive things will come from your quest: First, you will learn some life lessons. Second, you will be fortifying yourself to fight the good fight regardless of what 2021 brings. We call that being more resilient.
Happy New Year!
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