So, here we are again, another year has almost come to an end and it is time to look forward to the new year and all the promises it brings. Except, this year has been anything but typical. The way 2020 is set up, a lot of people are suffering. People are going through stuff. Aside from the obvious devastation of human loss, there’s further distress caused by job loss, potential job loss, eviction, insecurity, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. People are really struggling because they do not have experience of dealing with challenges of this scale so do not believe they have the skills to cope. They feel powerless.
The world has been in the grips of a pandemic with many months spent in one form of lockdown or another. We have had to adopt to new ways of working, become familiar with parts of our homes and family members that we never knew existed and even attend parties virtually! This is not to mention the new words that were added to our vocabulary – ‘support bubble’, ‘lockdown’, ‘social distancing’, flattening the curve’, ‘new normal’, ‘contact tracing’, ‘PPE’ and many more, are now familiar to us and exist in even casual conversations. The world has kept itself entertained (virtually, of course) with jokes and memes being circulated, providing light relief in uncertain times.
When we experience events and circumstances, especially those we have no control over, we have a choice about what we do. We can either react to the events, allowing them to dictate and control our lives, or we can respond by controlling how we deal with these events, through our thoughts, words and actions. They say that things don’t happen to you, they happen for you. ‘In life you’ll be presented with God-ordained opportunities brilliantly disguised as problems and challenges’ – Les Brown.
As we come to the end of the year and look back on the past twelve months, it is a great time to reflect on what we have learned about ourselves. We’ll hopefully recognise our inner strength, our resolve and ability to pivot (another word that’s become commonplace in everyday conversation!). I see the year 2020 as a God-given opportunity to press the reset button on our lives and evaluate the things that are most important to us.
Many people have been able to discard habits and circumstances that were no longer serving them. For those who struggled in the last few months, for whatever reason, my hope is that by getting to this point, they can see that they have the inner power and mental resolve to get them through future challenges. Adversity leads you to your strength and as they say, your pain is in your purpose. Your adversity could create something better than you had before. This year has provided us all with a perfect opportunity to develop an agile response and create for ourselves, a ‘new better’ instead of a ‘new normal’.
My challenge to you is to take control of how you are ending the year 2020 and maintain that control in 2021. This will require digging deep inside of you to develop a growth mindset and the power to control your response as well as adopt the rule of ABCD:
A – ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY. Acknowledge that while you are not always in control of the things that happen to you, you are 100% in control of how to respond to these things. Give up blaming other people such as the government, the media, your neighbours, your family, your work colleagues and so on. Give up excuses and complaining, take control of your response and remember that ‘this too, shall pass’. It is you who will get you from where you are to where you want to go.
B – BELIEVE in yourself and in God, that within whatever is happening, there is an opportunity for you. Look for the opportunity and believe that anything and everything is possible. Belief is a choice and comes from the heart, not the mind or the head. Don’t let the evidence of your past control your mind. Remember that the head sees the past and the present and the heart sees the possibilities.
C – Find the COURAGE to never give up and to re-write the story your life, knowing that you are the author of your life-book and the hero of your story. Develop the courage to always be YOU. You are unique and there is only one version of you. Don’t be an extra in the movie of your life.
D – Determination decides destination. Decide to be the captain of your ship of life and commit to it. Be clear on what exactly it is that you want and what you do not want. Be determined to take action on what you create in your life and how you respond to events you have no control over. Remember that if you react to circumstances that are outside of your control, you are at the mercy of the external event and if you respond, you are in control and that’s where the power is.
Finally, be grateful in, and for all things. Develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, no matter how challenging that is. Have faith, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. In life we are presented with God-ordained opportunities brilliantly disguised as challenges – Les Brown. Look for the opportunities in your challenges.
You have the power to create the life you want to live in 2021. Dig deep and develop that power. Find the mental resolve. You have it and it will not let you down. Trust yourself, you are more powerful than you know.
As someone said recently, ‘I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Now I know that 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have.’
Here’s to a blessed and successful 2021.