2020 is the worst year; 2020 is a disaster

The statements above are a lie. 2020 is what it is, and how you and I live in the moments is the true judge of the year. This perspective is one I have shared emphatically with many who were in pain, depressed, and having experienced the worst. I do this as life is precious, fragile, and our mindset manifests all other behaviors.

Diving deeper … The battle for your mind is the most important time you can invest in yourself. 

What is most important to you? 

Does it include your loved ones? 

Is your health important? 

Is your employment / job / or business important? 

How about the people, friends, and customers you interact with in life, are they important to you?

The clock ticks everyday, it is unrelenting and we do not get any redos. The cost of not taking action in your life are very real and painful today:

  • Divorces are rampant in 2020
  • Suicide calls are up 800% around the world
  • Health and wellness are plummeting due to lack of access to gyms and coaches

There are free, repeatable, and fundamental human practices you can apply today. These won’t turn rain into sunshine, but done honestly, consistently, and with awareness will improve your life.

How can you and I reframe our mindset to “make the best” of life today, and in the future is the purpose of this article

What you focus on is what you gain

This behavior is so simple and proven that it must be our primary resource in this battle for your mind, happiness, and life.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. — Rock Balboa

That is true, but the world is also full of beauty and greatness everyday. The challenge is your focus.

REMOVE

To shift our focus we can first remove negative commentary in our life. This means we remove mainstream news and negative people. Today public news is a firehose of negativity. In fact, their entire business is predicated on creating a stress response, and the value of the news is far below cost of the negativity. So #1 you must stop watching the news — period. 

If you are interested in current events, READ them. Find sources of truth for yourself and then just read them. This is in fact what the highest ranking politicians in Congress do today, based on my calls with them — if they don’t watch the news, you shouldn’t either!

Beyond mainstream news, there are also those in our lives that are simply negative and poisonous. You know them — they are always depressed, everything is bad, nothing is ever right or good. It is time we cut them out. That doesn’t mean you ghost them, a phrase meaning you just stop replying to them without notice. No, instead, I want you to limit your time and exposure to them. This will help you reduce their impact on you, while also allowing more space for positive influences in your life.

ADD

Now that we have removed the heavy negativity we can add in what you need and want. This comes in many forms but I will highlight two ways that are very effective.

Journal — 3x grateful/amazing

Start writing down everyday the answer to two simple questions. This should be done before your day really gets started. Ideally you can do this in a peaceful spot — but not necessary. In fact, there are only 2 rules to this journal you will be keeping daily. The first is you will not repeat any entries, and the second is there is no judgement in what you write. That means, don’t judge the “deepness” or any other qualities of what you write — just answer the following and you have made it a further towards happiness:

  1. Write 3 ‘things’ you are grateful for today
  2. Write 3 things that will make today amazing
  3. That is it. Go enjoy your day, you won!

Get to..

Have you ever heard the following:

‘I have to go pick up my kids today.. gosh I am so stressed and rushed’ ….

Or 

“I have to go to the grocery store, ughhhhh”

Immediately these statements scream of negativity and poor focus by the individual. 

You and I have heard our friends and work partners say this without a second thought, but now you are becoming aware of what is your focus. You see when you look at these statements — the person is flat out complaining. It is sad that they don’t see the real truth in their lives, and I have found this mind shift is a serious advantage, if we can adopt it. This advantage takes practice, but so powerful. The practice is the switch between HAVE TO to GET TO… but let’s see it in real life.

Let’s break this down — “you have to go pick up your kids”, really they are BLESSED to have children. They are lucky they aren’t visiting their kids at their graves or the hospital. They are lucky to have the means and resources to even let them go pick them up! You see, the truth is — they GET TO pick up their kids. Starting today, don’t say have to — say YOU GET TO…

You GET to go to the grocery store, because you get to feed your family nourishing food to live long healthy lives for decades ahead. You GET to buy food that you used to not be able to afford, and nobody is starving in your home this week. You GET to buy food that was grown and brought close to you safely and in an affordable manner.

Find the blessings

Look at 2020, or any year, and see what was a blessing this year. Find the one thing that you would NEVER REMOVE from your life. That is a blessing. Now continue reflecting and you’ll find many worthwhile and beautiful events in your life that truly made this year great.

Examples from my life and close family:

  • A couple struggling with conceiving a child did, and she was born very healthy
  • Another friend birthed their first child and due to lockdown was able to spend time together they would NEVER have had otherwise
  • Several friends found love, and other friends got married
  • Another friend got COVID, a serious version, and recovered — but due to being in the hospital identified a VERY serious condition. As a result of COVID, he was flown to specialist doctors and as of today is fully recovered from what would have been a death sentence.
  • I helped create events that took homeless children off the streets; opened a hospital to Rwanda, and a dozen other causes this year
  • My daughter, mom, and family are healthy and have found ways to live a good life this year

Your blessings…

You are a blessing. You are the blessing. That is what I need you to take home here. Even if all is crazy and you are struggling, you are still here. You still have a chance to do good, to serve others and yourself. See these blessings, change your focus, and with daily practice — happiness has a chance in your mind.

In the end, this year is another year of your life, you can choose to make the best of it, and sometimes that means just seeing the good around you. For me, that is the examples above; my time with my family, and the chance and hope to serve just one good soul in the world. I hope that is you, for that matters greatly to me.

About the author

  • Coach, Mentor, 3x author
  • 24 Year technology executive
  • Helped launch clouds for EMC and Cisco
  • GOOGLE, Microsoft FEDRAMP & ISO 27001 — Oversaw / Part of team deploying / Managed Cloud Compliance

James — executive to deliver products to market; author; inventor; speaker, and technologist with decades of experience across all technology and cybersecurity. (LinkedIN to connect and engage)

James is a leader that has balanced product market success with rapid regulations, cyber, customer demands, and supplier challenges at Honeywell, Google, and Microsoft in the recent past. Successful in building large teams and influence driven initiatives that have saved millions in new revenue and savings for Honeywell. Passionate about the product creation process; the value of intertwining privacy and quality together, and the opportunity present through branding and value.

James leads with the Senior Leadership across the globe and partners for critical priorities at Honeywell to identify new innovation opportunities through strategy and practical implementations within the Azure cloud, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and industrial products.

James has successfully grown from zero to $50MM business and brands as a founder, owner, and within the Fortune 200. A track record built with wins and losses, that are always building on his network across the globe with the best technologists and great peers to bring the best talent and resources to each project.

James began transforming the Honeywell supply chain strategy that have delivered efficiencies (reduction of idea to signature) and pragmatic development of partnerships that have expanded our market offerings across Honeywell.

James’ continues to lead and advise on their cloud strategy, cloud innovation, cost consolidation, cyber security, and compliance across the various businesses within Honeywell.

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