2020 will never be forgotten by those who have lived it. It has been an unusual war that we have all been in: some battles have been won and many others lost. For me, this blog is not solely a business blog but also a personal one. I have come to understand that despite the thousands of different thoughts I had for my first blog of the year, I express myself best when I talk in my own voice from my heart with my own experiences.
So, what did 2020 teach me?
Mindfulness and self-care were under the microscope in 2020 but I started by being grateful. In a world where everything is falling apart around you, it isn’t always easy to see what you should be grateful for. When I first started practicing gratitude, I thought of the very big things – my family was healthy; we had a lovely home and garden to live in during lockdown; we still had an income. Those were all things to be thankful for in lockdown but then I went back to the big and small moments that I cherished, people I had meaningful connections with, and events that shaped my life.
I started being grateful for the little things, both present and past, and I found that by embracing these memories, people I had cared for and appreciated suddenly appeared in my life again. They once again became an important part of my life. There were some whom I thought I would never see again and when I welcomed them into my life, they changed the way I saw my life and how I moved through it. I remembered what hopes and dreams I had cherished and how I thought my life would play out and saw that it was still possible to achieve those. I reminisced about the events that changed me and considered whether I had liked these changes and then I thought about how I was going to correct them.
I will carry on practicing gratitude because it has helped me understand what I want in life and what is important to me.
2020 was the year where I lost a lot of family, most not due to COVID-19. Grief is different for everyone but for me it felt like I was standing alone in a freezing cold desert. It both numbed me and flayed me like a wind from a frozen Siberian wasteland. I felt like I couldn’t stand, couldn’t do anything and nothing mattered anyway. As a family, we communed via telephone and video calls, trying to hold each other up remotely without the necessary hugs and mutual outpourings that would have helped in normal times. The pain in each other’s faces told a story that needed no words.
What I also learnt about grief is that it can either bring people together or tear them apart. I found solace in being with my family again and I learnt that even when some members can be difficult, they form the makeup of your background and are inherently part of what you are.
So, in 2021, I will allow the lessons of that grief to help me appreciate the people who are here. I also know that it will shape how I do business in 2021.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu.
I learnt to look past the darkness this year. When you have been trudging uphill and it feels like the road is endless and nothing you do can change it, then it is easy to have no hope. I didn’t like myself when I didn’t have hope. I was more highly strung, ready for a fight or disagreement, and didn’t always recognise the person I had become.
My hope first came with me looking after my physical and mental wellbeing. It is also amazing that when you start to believe with all your heart that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it appears. It comes in all shapes and sizes, but you have to reach out for it. I didn’t recognise it at first and thought it was an illusion and impossible to achieve, but as I started to look for the glimmers, my path became clear.
I am embracing hope in 2021 because it has made me a better version of myself as I reach for my goals. Hope gives me the strength to continue moving forward on bad days and is the bubbles in a glass of champagne on the good days. Either way, I will not lose my way now because it has taught me to believe that I can do whatever I want to.
For me 2021 is a year where I will showcase and improve the person I became in 2020, both in my personal and business life. I have only highlighted the 3 main lessons I learnt in 2020 but there have been many more. All of them, though, are part of the one core message that I have always believed in. HUMANITY!
“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.” – Charlie Chaplin
I am going to be talking to a lot of business owners wanting to exit from their businesses in 2021. My conversations with them will be shaped by the lessons learnt this year as well as the humanity that we all deserve. If you are one of these business owners Contact Me. Let us see where kindness and gentleness can take us.
Happy New Year to you all. Let 2021 be the year where there is less grief but more gratitude and hope!