Looking back on the year 2020, as well as getting ready for the New Year of 2021
At the end of every year, I write an article about my reflections on the year that had passed, as well as welcoming the New Year. The year of 2020 is not an exception, and an interesting one to reflect on, to say the least.
My year started on a good and positive note, just like it did for most of us. We had our goals and plans for the year ahead, some of us had their New Year’s resolutions written down and planned out. However, then came March of 2020, and things have changed a lot for everyone. Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on everything that we do each day, both in our place of business, as well as at home. Most businesses went virtual, so many of us had to learn how to work in remote setting from home, while tending to day-to-day personal life at home. Because schools closed in March-April, children had to transition learning remotely via Zoom. Not only it was different and in some cases very challenging for kids, it was equally if not more difficult on parents, because, not inly, as parents, we had to perform our regular jobs virtually, we also had to become teachers for our children, especially your children in K-5 .We had to get kids ready in the morning, make breakfast, set up their computers for Zoom calls, be next to them most of the day, helping with navigating technology issues and keeping them focused in-front of pc most of the day. While parents were helping kids with their school and homework, we were tending to and expected to deliver against our daily job requirements and expectations. A great deal of stress was placed on children and parents during the pandemic, still ongoing as I am writing this article.
I can only imagine how much more difficult it was/is for parents who are unable to work remotely, because they are essential workers whom we rely on every single day. These are brave doctors and nurses, firefighters, police officers, inspectors, grocery store employees, and many other professions that I cannot recall now. Not only did they have to work outside of their homes, but also, they need to arrange and manage their children’s education remotely. So, to all essential workers out there, thank you for everything that you do, and thank you for your service.
Another thing that changed this year is that we had to learn how to communicate with each other virtually, and to practice social distancing, which was the term that many of heard for the very first time in 2020. This was big change, especially when we all were so used to traveling domestically, as well as internationally for business and for leisure, taking vacations and visiting friends and family. With pandemic we had to maintain our communication with other people, including family members not living in the same household as we are from a distance of at least 6 feet. Not being able to visit your relatives and friends, give them a hug, enjoy great food together was/is hard for all of us. Seeing your favorite restaurants and businesses going out of business due to pandemic was/is difficult to observe, especially knowing that many people lost and continue to lose their jobs as a result.
There were many difficult and challenging changes and situations we all had to face due to covid-19 pandemic, however, there were also many positive changes and situations that happened this year. For example, many of us can spend more time at home with our immediate family, our kids, and engage in many fun activities together, such as: building something, drawing, playing board games, playing outside, not something that we were able to do when many of us worked form the offices or traveled for business regularly. We spent more time outside walking, running, fishing, riding bicycles than we ever did before. Some of us were able to complete seriously overdue home repairs and improvement projects. Many of us have adopted cats and dogs from animal shelters to keep us company, and to give a loving home to a wonderful pet, welcoming a new family member into our homes.
So, despite all the challenges and difficulties that we all had to face this year (2020), there were many good and positive changes that took place in our lives at the same time. Therefore, it is my goal to leave everything bad and negative that happened in 2020 behind, and only take all that is good and positive into the new year of 2021.
I want to wish for everyone to be happy, healthy, and successful in the new year, and I hope that you accomplish many great things that would bring you and your family, and your friends many great memories and happy moments to reflect on one year from now. Happy holidays and Happy New Year of 2021!
Striving for and doing what we love each and every day of our lives
Over the course of the last few years, my teenage son has been expressing to me that he is not sure about the profession or the line of work he wants to be in once he is at the point in his life when such decision would need to be made. So, he has been asking me to share my recommendation of what he should do when the time comes? Every time I receive such question, my response to my son is always the same – “Do what you truly enjoy doing, no matter the line of business, profession, salary, etc.” Why I believe this is important? Because, we as human beings have been conditioned to select our careers, our professions, and jobs based on several factors that other people, including our parents, believe are important, such as: prestige, salary potential, job security, opportunities for advancements and growth, physical location, and few other criteria’s. However, why is nobody recommending selecting our future career based on one simple factor – doing that what we truly find interesting and see ourselves doing for the rest of our life?
In my personal opinion, being in a profession or career that one loves and wakes up every morning looking forward to pursuing and learning more about, is the most important thing for a young adult to consider when thinking about his or her professional future. The career, profession, and job that we select, that we enjoy, may not be prestigious in the eyes of other people, or may not be the one that pays top salary, but just because we do that what we enjoy and passionate about every day, we would give our 100% each and every day, and not because someone is expecting us to do so, but because we choose to do so. When we are in a line of work or profession that we love, it is not a job that we are expected to do each day, but our commitment and personal investment into ourselves and our future. We hold ourselves accountable and proactively work on developing new and enhancing existing skills of ours, because, we want to get better, while enjoying the learning process in the meantime. When something does not go right or as expected, we are not pointing finger at someone else, we look into our own actions, reviewing and correcting any mistakes made, learning something new during the process, and happily try again until we see the results that we want to see. Why? Because we enjoy that what we do. We receive a sense of happiness and satisfaction from our work and our efforts each and every day.
So, next time my son asks me the same question, as he makes his way through High School years, my response to him will remain the same as before: “Do that what you truly enjoy doing, no matter the line of business, profession, or the salary, because, doing what you love every day is what will bring you complete happiness and great success in life.”
Choose the source of motivation and inspiration that works for you and your goals and objectives in life
We all need and often require motivation in order to overcome challenges of daily life and procrastination. What we select as a source of our motivation, what fires us up and energizes us every morning, differ from person to person. In my personal opinion it is safe to assume that each individual is motivated differently, therefore, the source of our motivation should be carefully selected in order to receive the effect that we expect – to get motivated, inspired, energized, and laser focused on our individual goals and objectives each and every day.
Some of us require upbeat motivational music in the morning to get motivated for our morning workout, while others do not receive motivation from music and, instead, prefer a period of silence in order to focus and gather their thoughts and ideas for the day ahead. For example, in my case, I always thought that I need workout music, a mix of rock, techno, and R&B to get me motivated. So, I have created a carefully selected playlist with good mix of sons that sounded like a good motivational resource to get me going for my morning workout. For some time, listening to such playlist worked for me, and I was getting energized and pumped to push hard through difficult workout sessions each morning. However, after a period of time, and listening to the same playlist over and over, I was no longer receiving the drive and motivation I needed, and instead it became just a background noise in my ears that I heard while exercising. So, I decided to look for a different source of motivation and chose to try motivational speeches of some of the most successful motivational speakers, entrepreneurs, business leaders instead. Such change reignited the motivation and energy I needed to work extra hard and giving my 100% while exercising every day. I have noticed that it was easier for me to listen, focus, and receive information delivered via spoken word as part of a motivational speech vs. upbeat music with words I could barely hear and understand.
I believe that it is especially important to look for and find the source of motivation that works for each person individually. Just because someone gets motivated by listening to upbeat music, does not mean that it works the same way for everyone. Find what works for you, what motivates and inspires you to keep working and give your 100% to whatever task you are working on. Also, when you realize that you are no longer receive the same level of energy and motivation from that one source that you used to receive your motivation from, then change it, find a different source of motivation and inspiration. Regardless of your chosen source of motivation, the main goal and objective is to keep on going, keep working hard each day, and never stop or give up on your goals and dreams that you hope to achieve one day.
Creating positive experiences and welcoming changes into our lives
We all go through life with a goal to create the lifestyle that we want for ourselves and our loved ones. However, such journey could be very and filled with many different experiments, trials, happy moments, as well as disappointments. How we look at each moment determines our path forward or results in no movement or progress at all, and it all boils down to our attitude to whatever is happening to us at any given point in time.
Let us just say that a new career opportunity requires us to make changes in our personal life, such as relocating to another city, another state, or even another country. Do we accept such opportunity, without knowing what all will happen next, or do we turn it down and stay put? That all depends if we are ready for a new challenge which could potentially help to get us closer to the life that we want to create for ourselves, or if we are not ready or unwilling to change anything in our present, and are unwilling to accept new challenges, because, we are afraid that we will not like what new change may bring. For example, upon relocating to another state, one individual who is open to and ready to accept changes, would embrace everything that they have and everything that is happening around them – new home, different environment, new neighbors, etc. And then, another individual who was presented with the same opportunity, would dislike everything and constantly be in the negative state of mind, just because they did not want the change, and now anything that differs from their past, will be rejected. Does the most recent scenario create favorable conditions to build the dream lifestyle that we want for ourselves and our loved ones? No, it does not. Because, no matter how good things may get, we would view them in the negative light, and would not accept potentially great opportunities into our life.
For good and positive things to happen, one must be ready and willing to accept changes and new opportunities into his or her life. Also, it is equally important to have an open mindset, understanding that things do not always go as planned, and that occasional roadblock will present themselves to us from time to time. However, when we have an open and positively-focused mindset, when we have an optimistic outlook on life, and ready to embrace everything that life gives us, then with time and hard work, we will create the life that we always wanted and dreamed of. When we create positive energy around us, more positive energy we will attract to ourselves, and the other way around. So, if you are ready to welcome change into your life, keep an open mind, be ready and willing to accept changes and new opportunities, and simply be happy.
Each new day is an opportunity to start something new, try again, or to start fresh
If we do not like what happened yesterday, or were not particularly proud of our lack of progress and accomplishments, all we need to remember is that new day is our opportunity to try again, our opportunity to start over. That is the beautiful thing about us having 365 days in a year, each day is our opportunity to start over, to work smarter, work harder, to create something new in our life and the lives of others. New day is also our opportunity to change or to create change.
Some of us get discouraged just because something did not go right yesterday, but again that was yesterday, and today is a new day. So, we should be happy and grateful for the opportunity to move forward and create progress regardless how big or small it is every single day. Of course, this would only work if we recognize that new day is an opportunity to start fresh, leaving yesterday behind. If we choose to hold on to our disappointments, mistakes, failures, and negative moments from yesterday, we are limiting our thoughts and what we focus on to what happened in the past.
We all have good and bad days, even when we plan and try really hard to focus on the positive in everything and think positively. Life happens, and we get thrown off our positive state, whether it is because we did something wrong, made a mistake, or because someone ese brought in negativity into our initially positive day. This happens all the time. So, how do we tune our negativity and disruptors from our initially positive and happy day, filled with goals and objectives that we were ready to pursue? In my opinion, there is no way to completely tune out negative situations or bad moments that create disruptions in our day. However, if we just remember that day goes on, life goes on, and everything and everyone has an opportunity to change things for a better by introducing optimism and positivity into a mix, we can move on knowing that everything is going to be alright, if not now, then later in the day or the next day. If we do that, then even hardest and the most challenging days would be met and managed much easier than before. Instead of talking about and dwelling on what went wrong on any given day, start talking and thinking about things that went well, any small wins, accomplishments, and/or progress made are certainly worth highlighting.
Start each day genuinely believing that it will be a good day, and even when faced with challenges, keep positive focus whenever possible, and do not let any negative moment or situation consume your positively focused mindset. Even when things do not go according to plan, which happens often, do not get discouraged, remember that tomorrow is a new day and new fresh and positive start. There are plenty of days in one year to start over, start new, and create happy and memorable moments.