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It’s been a year…

It’s been a year…

By any measure, last week marked the start of a year of life change. It was a year ago (last week), that we were asked to stop the spread of the virus for 2 weeks.

Governments around the world asked us to stop, hunker down, and shelter in place.

Toilet paper, which was once a normal necessity, easy to find, became something that you’d be lucky to come across in your neighborhood supermarket.

If you think about it, unless you have something that defines a year, it’s hard to pin-point what you were doing exactly a year ago, and what has passed since then.

But in our case, everyone remembers where they were.

Do you remember where you were when Kennedy was assassinated when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up when John Lennon was shot when Michael Jackson died? What about the 9/11 attacks?

This week, last year, we were experiencing one of those shocks that shake our consciousness. So, we now have that clarity to really reflect on what life looked like exactly one year ago, and ask ourselves how it has changed.

... And more importantly, we get the chance to ask ourselves how we’ve changed.

How often do you get the clarity of a period of time - like a year - to think back to where you were, reflect on the entire year, and evaluate your life?

Though exactly a year ago, many were scared, distraught, confused, and uncertain, today we can look back and choose to harvest power from it. You are here right now, and you can use this opportunity to reflect.

Right now, we have a certain level of clarity that we don’t normally experience. We know what was taking place when the year started, and we know exactly where we are right now at this moment in time.

Here are some questions that I would encourage you to ask yourself while journaling and self-reflecting:

  • Did I move toward things or away from things?

  • Did I build new things, or did I build on top of existing things?

  • Did I find myself shooting from the hip, being guided by intuition, or did I find myself planning and strategically thinking about my next move?
  • Did I have any competing commitments that came up for me this year that stood in the way of what my hopes and dreams were?

Without question, the word for 2020 has to be “pivot.”

It was most likely the least used word in 2019 and the most used word in 2020.

In the year 2020, we were all forced to pivot.

Here are some more questions you can ask yourself:

  • How did I pivot? What was the process of decision-making in my pivoting?

  • Did I see growth, did I see the results I desired, or do I look back, wishing I would have made different decisions?

The decisions you made created this past year and your results.

Earl Nightingale once said, “The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of the decisions we make.” And making decisions requires our thinking.

Did you make decisions by thinking strategically or intuitively?

Don’t look at decision-making in terms of judgment. There’s no right or wrong. One is not better than the other.  The question you really need to ask yourself is, “Did the decisions I made serve me?”

When we look at competing commitments, ask yourself, “Do these beliefs serve me?”

I’d encourage you to take this time to reflect on the past year and to ask yourself some of these questions.

There’s power in reflection, knowing where you want to go, and knowing where you’ve been.

Experience is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience, reflected-upon experience is the best teacher.

…And if you’re having trouble harvesting the good and identifying the accomplishments you made this year, I want to encourage you to ask those around you. Ask your family and close friends if there is progress they’ve seen in you.

One of the biggest challenges that we face in our life, is the challenge of the voice of our own self-judgment.

Eric Hoffer said, “No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.”