I have to admit, 2020 has been an unprecedented year narrated by a nerve-racking news cycle full of political strife, civil unrest, and minute-by-minute statistical and medical updates around living through a global pandemic.
All that said, I'm not someone who likes to deal in negatives, and with the right mindset, I am confident you can apply the lessons learned in 2020 to make 2021 your best year yet. This year has actually created abundant opportunities for personal growth, and the end of the year is the traditional time for goal setting and dream building. Today, I’m going to show you how to use the lessons of 2020 to set lofty goals that will help you achieve your grand aspirational dreams in the new year.
In Canada for example, 3 million jobs were lost in March and April. Since that time, the Canadian economy has slowly rebounded with the positive outcome of more jobs being created every month. Now, while a layoff during an economic recovery is difficult to recognize as an opportunity, the key to unlocking that opportunity depends on what you did after you were laid off. Did you mope around the house for a few days before searching for the same job with a brand new company, or did you seize the moment and use that time to update your skills? if you did the latter, you likely found work in a new, higher-paying industry, and turned your financial crisis into a financial windfall.
Many Black Canadians dream of more for themselves, but very few of us understand that the only way to realize that dream is to first, be more, and second, do more. In the example above, I've explained how a 2020 lay-off could've provided the perfect opportunity to be more. It’s all a matter of how you look at everything that happens to you. Having more, being more, and doing more, requires you to adopt a growth mindset. The way to achieve that mindset is by refusing to think negatively; pay attention to what’s working in your life and stop sabotaging yourself with negative self-talk. Dream big and have enough confidence in yourself that you can live your dream. If you’re having trouble getting started, read books authored by experts on the topic, like "Mindset" by Carol Dweck. If you’d rather listen than read, then search out informative Ted Talks on YouTube.
Of course, changing your attitude is only the first step. Doing more requires discipline and hard work, but building that discipline requires re-framing how you think. Remember, the people who were laid off last spring who invested in their education over the summer are likely enjoying new jobs today. Other ways to build discipline include leveraging failure as a learning experience. Understand that successful people fail all the time, but what makes them different is their ability to learn from their mistakes so they can do better the next time around. Unsuccessful people will always let failure stop them from doing and being more.
Keep in mind that successful people also plan. So whatever your goal, create a written plan for the steps you'll take to reach that goal. For a Black Canadian household, that plan might include a budget. For a Black Canadian business startup, it means creating a business plan. Whatever the plan, it should include some bold decisions. Now if any of that sounds daunting, just remember that you don’t have to do this all alone. Surround yourself with like-minded people, and professional, experienced advisors who are experts at helping people create a plan for success.
Attaining a growth mindset is part of a process and may take time to learn how to implement confidently. However, by staying positive, having a plan to reach your end goal, and making sure everything you "do" brings you closer to what you want to "be", you will have set yourself on the path to attaining your aspirational dreams in 2021...and beyond.