Written by Bob Bailey
Let’s be honest. 2020 has been a real doozy. A singular year that will be stamped in our hearts and minds for eternity. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and while that may be true, it’s not exactly helpful after the fact. So, I’m sharing some personal insights from 2020 with the hope that something in here is interesting and helpful to you, so that we can begin 2021 with a more honest version of ourselves.
Your self-worth belongs to you and no one else.
I’ve learned a lot about my own intentions this year. Why do I do the things I do? What am I looking for as a result? Why does that even matter? If you’re like me, it’s easy to get caught up in the external validation of it all. When I do this, all I’m doing is outsourcing my self-worth to you, and that’s an impossible place to find happiness.
If you’re going to be in isolation, you should like who you’re with.
Many of us are spending more time alone than we ever imagined. It’s made me think really hard about the relationships I have and, interestingly, the relationship I have with myself. In September I realized the importance of being a good friend to myself. Do I help myself as freely as I help others? Do I forgive myself as willingly as I do others? The answer should be yes if you want to be your best version for the people who matter the most to you. Self-care matters.
“Everyone” in your world is really a handful of people.
We live a pretty limited life when we go around self-editing because we worry about “What would everyone think of this?” I’ve realized this year that I genuinely care about a lot of people but that my life is truly impacted by only a handful of them. So, figure out your handful of people and let go of everyone else. They’re probably not thinking about you that much anyway.
We only get a few decades on the planet; we should laugh more.
In January, I wrote about this being a new decade and that we don’t get very many. I’ve since learned that it’s easy to take it all too seriously. Sure, some professions are “life or death,” but marketing isn’t one of them. People should laugh more. You should laugh more.
Our measures of success need a remix.
Did you get that promotion or that raise this year? Win that award or new client? Grow the top line and the bottom line? These are important results, but the most important results are the ones that affect those who need help. I’ve found the greatest personal joy in helping people this year through advice, time, connections, money, listening and loving. Being helpful has helped me too, more than I would have ever imagined.
Honesty is the universal currency.
In March, we watched so many aspects of our work and lives evaporate in an instant. Many things we believed to be true turned out to be illusions we created to make ourselves feel good. We’ve talked a lot about “uncertainty” this year when the reality is that nothing is ever certain. Except for the truth. Being honest with yourself and others is life’s only certainty, and I believe that the bar has finally been raised on honesty. That’s a silver lining if there ever was one.
Like most, I’m eager to turn the page on 2020. But first, I’d love to know what you’ve learned this year so that we can all move into 2021 with our minds wide open.