January 4, 2021
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”
I have high hopes for 2021. Rather than committing to new resolutions, I prefer to hope that:
- Our fellow citizens avoid prolonging the pandemic by getting vaccinated and following health guidelines.
- That we all embrace kindness and not animosity.
- Our legislators work to bring us together versus tearing us appart.
- Education initiatives assure our children good lives in their futures.
- Materialism does not detract from our embracing the arts.
- We focus on the common good and not on selfish pursuits.
And most of all that each of you find health and happiness in the months ahead.
Here is an article that provides tips on how to make it a good year.
10 Tips To Be Happier And Make 2021 Your Best Year Ever
Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.
- Focus on the upside of a downside situation. When there are so many incidences of devastation, fear and heartbreak, it’s natural to focus on the downside of the pandemic. But we can balance that out with how it’s brought people together, volunteering and helping one another and strengthening the whole idea of collective selflessness. What upsides can you name?
- Pinpoint the opportunity in the difficulty. Ask, “How can I make this situation work to my advantage? Can I find something positive in it? What can I manage or overcome in this instance?” During the pandemic, for example, we can use times of self-isolation for self-reflection and think about the direction we want to take in the new year. What opportunities do you see?
- Frame 2020 as a lesson to learn, not misery to endure. Ask what you can learn from the difficulties of 2020 and use them as stepping-stones, instead of roadblocks. Think of the adversities of 2020 as happening for you instead of to you. If you consider this perspective less taken, what has 2020 taught you that you can take into 2021?
- Practice gratitude. Look beyond the fear, loss and disappointment at the big picture. Take an inventory of your life and include all the things the pandemic prevented you from doing that you once took for granted. And consider all the people and things in your life that you’re grateful for, letting gratitude steer you beyond the gloom and doom. What are you grateful for?
- Be chancy. Take small risks in new situations instead of predicting negative outcomes before giving them a try. “If I ask for a shot at the promotion, my boss might laugh in my face” becomes “If I ask for a shot at the promotion, my boss might think I have guts and ambition.” How can you stick your neck out at work in the new year?
- Avoid blowing a situation out of proportion. Don’t let one negative experience rule your whole outlook: “I was supposed to get a promotion until the pandemic; now that everything’s on hold, I’ll never advance in my career” becomes “Things are on hold for a while, but nothing lasts forever and there will be other pathways to success.” What limiting situations can you minimize and overcome in 2021?
- Focus on the solution, not the problem. You’ll feel more empowered to cope with pandemic curve balls when you step back from the problem and brainstorm a wide range of possibilities. Your negativity bias will direct you to zoom in and focus on the problem. But when you broaden your perspective, your wide-angle lens will help you see potential in the big picture. What possibilities do you see for 2021?
- Practice positive self-talk. During tough times, be as kind to yourself as you would your best friend. Underscore your triumphs. Replace bludgeoning yourself and using put-downs and criticisms with the practice of self-compassion. Affirm positive feedback instead of letting it roll over your head. Give yourself “atta-boys” or “atta-girls.” Throw modesty out the window, and remind yourself of all your personal resources. What are your strengths?
- Practice Solitude. Solitude is good for the soul. It takes you out of the rat race for a while, gives you a bird’s-eye view of your daily life and replaces chaos with serenity. Spend a minimum of five minutes a day alone. Meditate, pray, practice yoga or contemplate nature and connect with something larger than yourself for inspiration and peace of mind. What type of solitude can you practice?
- See a fresh start contained in loss. Every loss contains a gain but you have to look for it. Every time you get up just one more time than you fall, you increase the likelihood of scaling hard times. Baseball great Babe Ruth said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” What endings in 2020 contain new beginnings in 2021?
A Final Word
Choosing a positive attitude is one of the most powerful things we can take into 2021. Don’t forget that grass grows through concrete. Think of yourself as an elastic band that bends and stretches to a certain point before you spring back higher than you fall. And you will have the physical and mental stamina to come back with a vengence in 2021.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”
Last summer a friend and I were lunching at a sidewalk cafe in Carmel, Indiana. Our waitress looked like a surfer girl: athletic with a great tan and blond hair. Mulling over the menu, my friend asked her if the roast beef was rare.
The waitress gave us a long blank look, and then replied, “Well, no. We have it, like, just about every day.”
May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, enough hope to make you happy.
A little boy took his dog on a “take your pet to school” day. There were prizes for the smallest, the prettiest, the cutest, and the smartest pet. Determined that his dog win a prize, the boy put his pet through a whole series of tricks.
Finally the boy turned to the dog and asked, “Mindy, how much is two plus two minus four?”
The dog sat quietly, making no sound, remaining still and silent.
“Right!” exclaimed the boy.
His dog won first prize.
Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
A fellow in a bar notices a woman, always alone, come in on a fairly regular basis. After the second week, he made his move. “No thank you.” she said politely. “This may sound rather odd in this day and age, but I’m keeping myself pure until I meet the man I love.”
“That must be rather difficult.” the man replied.
“Oh, I don’t mind too much.” she said. “But, it has my husband pretty upset.”
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.”
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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