We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and it first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Edith Lovejoy Pierce, 20th Century American poet.
It’s now 36 days since New Year’s Day. What did you write on your page? What were your goals for this new year? What did you hope for? What did you want to happen in your life in 2021? What commitments did you make?
2021 has to be better than 2020. It has to offer more opportunity. It will, however, continue to be challenging. It’s very easy to blame “the virus” for lost opportunities, for thwarting our goals, for derailing our best endeavours. But there’s more to beating the virus than a vaccine.
We can beat the virus by proactively taking steps to make 2021 our best year yet.
I suspect that many of us have already let life get in the way of our hopes, dreams and aspirations for this year. Struggle has become our middle name. The excitement has gone. You no longer have fire in your belly.
It doesn’t have to be that way. You can change the way you approach this new year. You can make it the year you begin to create the personal and professional life you want. Few of us can do that alone. We need to surround ourselves with empowered and empowering people, people who want what we want and who will inspire and motivate us to stay the course and not let anything derail us.
So What Can We Do To Rewrite Our Story?
Develop a New Mindset – a Growth Mindset.
In other words, set your mind in a direction of growth, both personal and professional. Focus on being positive rather than negative, proactive rather than reactive, a glass half full person rather than a glass half empty one. Be a learner rather than one of the learned. Look for opportunities in every difficulty, rather than seeing difficulties in every opportunity. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Put Your Inner Demons On Notice.
These are the voices in your head that try to persuade you to abandon your goals, dreams and aspirations, that keep telling you it is all too hard, or that you can do it next week, or that you don’t need to change at all, and so on. These are the voices you need to fight with grit and persistence. This is about developing resilience, that psychological inner strength and mental toughness that empowers you to fight every small challenge until you win and overcome. Every time you do that, you become mentally stronger and find yourselves more capable of taking on every challenge in the future.
Focus On Becoming An Emotionally Intelligent Professional.
Our emotions, whether positive or negative, drive our lives. Learning to recognise them, name them and manage them is a highly desirable skill if we want to be successful in both our professional and personal lives. The way we do that can be a career maker or a career breaker. Investing in the development of these skills will see you able to write a new, more empowering story.
Develop An Attitude of Gratitude.
This is the most amazing discovery I have made for staying positive and pro-active. It is all too easy to see the negative in our lives, what’s wrong and bad, and much harder to see what good and positive. I recommend getting a Gratitude Book and every day writing down 3 things for which you are grateful. It forces you to look for the positive and focus on it and it then drives your life. After a while it all comes naturally to live in the “life-is-good” lane. When times are challenging and the lights in your life are dull, reading back through what you have written can empower you to get back on track.
Surround Yourself With Empowered and Empowering People. Don’t Go It Alone.
No one I know who is leading a successful life did it on their own. They had empowered and empowering people around them. These were people who not only inspired and motivated them but held them to account to be the best version of themselves. These people were colleagues, friends, parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, bosses, next door neighbours, doctors, for example. So become part of the organisations and associations where these empowered people hang out. Bring together a small group of like-minded people and form a mastermind group where ideas can be developed, shared and implemented, where you get support for who you want to be and what you want to achieve. And the opposite applies. Sign out of the lives of the dream stealers and naysayers who have a problem for every solution and drag you down.
Worksheet on Making 2021 Your Best Year Yet.
Get started by downloading the worksheet below here