There’s no doubt this year had its ups and downs.
It started out like all the other years, New Year's resolutions, vacation planning, and spending time with friends and family. But then spring time came around and all of our resolutions, plans, and gatherings flipped upside down.
For a lot of people, this year was really hard. I must admit, there were definitely moments when this year was hard for me, too.
In Bolivia, a family member passed away after contracting COVID and here in Niagara, some of my close family were diagnosed with COVID and had to endure a difficult period of isolation and illness.
It was hard to stay distanced from my family as they went through these struggles, especially knowing that there wasn’t much I could do to make everything okay.
While this year had its difficulties, great things happened too.
One thing this year offered me was time that I otherwise wouldn’t have had.
Since all of my plans were cancelled, I had more time to focus on my business -- this year, I launched my publishing company and was able to give a lot of attention to the authors I’m working with. I was also able to dedicate more of my resources to teaching aspiring authors how to write their books and make a positive impact on the kids around them.
One thing I used to make 2020 a productive year -- despite all the roadblocks in my way -- was a strategy I learned from Jack Canfield.
Actually, it’s less of a strategy and more of a mathematical formula. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the biggest fan of math. But this formula is simple -- it’s not the kind of math that gives you grey hair.
The formula looks like this: E + R = O
Here’s what it means:
- The ‘E’ stands for ‘event’. This can be anything that happens in your life.
- The ‘R’ stands for ‘response’. This is your response to the event that has happened.
- The ‘O’ stands for ‘outcome’. This is how the event and reaction combine to determine the outcome.
But there’s something you should know.
The events (E) in our lives are uncontrollable. Things happen whether we want them to or not (and sometimes they take the shape of a pandemic).
So, if you want to change the outcome (O) of an event, you have to adjust your response (R) -- it’s the only option you’ve got.
If I’m honest, this wasn’t easy.
I had to make sure I was focusing on what I had instead of what I didn’t have in a time when everything felt like it had turned inside out. It might’ve been difficult, but it helped me make 2020, even filled with hurdles and mountains to climb, a year that I’m proud of.
Another thing that really kept me going was community. Each year, I enroll in a few courses or masterminds to make sure I’m always growing and learning.
This year, my communities really lifted me up and kept me accountable. These communities allowed me to keep learning and keep on pursuing my goals even if I didn’t always feel like it.
Because of this, I learned that one of the best remedies for hard times and a small sense of motivation is community.
2020 was unexpected. It was an event that no one saw coming. But my reaction was to make a series of decisions.
I decided to grow and make a difference. I decided to remain focused on my goals and visions for the future (and in a few days, I’m sending out a newsletter all about how to make goals that will set you up for success). I decided to engage in community with others where we could lift each other up.
So much of my success has come from learning from Jack. I make sure to enroll in one of his programs every year. It’s not that I didn’t “get it” the first time, but it’s important to keep plugging into sources of inspiration and growth.
I might not miss 2020 too much, but I will always remember the impact it had on my life.