I see the world as an abundant place. In a real sense, we’ve never had more possibilities open to us.

Even though it can feel like there are lots of restrictions in our lives right now, that’s only relevant to certain dimensions. You’re still free to go out there and reinvent your products, form new relationships, even rethink the norms of your industry.

And that’s a great mindset for starting out with a blank slate, as I discussed last week.

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Sometimes it’s better to wipe the slate clean.

Not that you’re ACTUALLY going to do that most of the time. This is a mental exercise, intended to open up possibilities and get your imagination going again.

Usually we take actions based on current relationships, current priorities, and what’s happening right now. Which is fine – stuff needs to get done. But you may never get to planning for a better future.

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For most of us, 2020 was a brutal year. I’m hopeful that 2021 will be better, but it’s going to be a slow improvement, likely with many false starts and surprises.

So how do we remain optimistic in an environment like this? It’s about the learning.

Challenges, problems and failures provide a richer learning environment than when things go well. I find that a bit annoying, but it’s true. It’s about being observant and thoughtful despite the emotional turmoil of things not going according to plan.

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2020 was so sad because of limitations on physical gatherings. I know many organizations which have cancelled holiday parties and celebrations as a result.

It’s the wrong way to think about it.

Sure, you can’t do what you’ve traditionally done, and it’s disappointing. But the real question is: what can you do with available resources?

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We laid my mother to rest recently. Given that it’s 2020, we weren’t able to have a proper funeral, and had a short outdoor service with extended family on Zoom.

It wasn’t the ideal. But you know what? It was plenty good, and respected everyone’s limitations.

That’s what this whole year has been about. Making the best of what we have. And if you think about it, this is nothing new. We’re always making tradeoffs.

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A network designed for introverts? Sounds like an oxymoron!

Chrysta Bairre

So I was really intrigued to hear Chrysta Bairre talk about the group she founded back in 2017. She Goes High is a powerful women’s community focused on relationships, accessibility, support, development … created by and for introverts.

Don’t expect the usual barrage of elevator pitches in this group! Nope, introductions take place in a far more natural way.

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I know a lot of us have been feeling beat up by 2020. It’s been just brutal.

We might be relieved that this year will soon be in the rear view mirror.

But really, is that what it’s all about? Just surviving? Our passions and energy should be much more about impact in the world.

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You might think that today’s message is about reflecting on the year’s goals, and progress made. With what this year has thrown at us, I doubt that ANY of us are on progress with what we were thinking at the beginning of the year.

Either way ahead or way behind, perhaps out of business entirely.

In my case, I experienced a massive “pivot” this year, delivering a lot of services producing amazing Zoom events for clients. It’s been fun, but certainly not my business plan.

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Beware the barrenness of a busy life — Socrates

Do you struggle with this? I know I do.

I was talking with my coach about this the other day, because I’m in a phase where I’m doing lots of stuff, but not convinced that I’m getting to the important stuff.

The Socrates quote gives me some comfort that this isn’t a new phenomenon, but it also doesn’t fix my problem.

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Nothing seems to be clearly black and white anymore. Everything mushes into a vague shade of gray.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can make things more clear – especially for the team you work with.

It’s about building on what IS clear.

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