What a year 2020 was! Full of surprises for all of us, both on a global and personal level. The New Year is usually a time of planning, celebrating, goal setting. What can we do when the New Year comes after a tough year? A year that has taken a lot of energy to get through, and you are perhaps at a place where another post on “goal setting” can make your skin crawl.
I feel you. This year has brought many unexpected challenges for myself and my loved ones. Even on December 31st, 2020, when you think nothing else can happen and perhaps you can finally get some break and celebrate, one of the family dogs got scared by the sound of fireworks, ran away into the street, and got fatally hit by a car.
What an entry to 2021! 2020 managed to fit one more “hit,” that little weasel to make itself even more memorable, to the very end.
How in that situation can you even think of “what do I want in 2021,” you may ask. When you still feel kind of in shock from 2020 events and feeling the consequences.
There is a Czech saying that came to my mind. “Člověk míní, Bůh mění.,” which means “A human plans, God changes.” Meaning that there are forces beyond our control that may change directions of our lives and businesses. And, the plans we had, need to change as the methaporical “cards we were handed” in 2020 were different than we expected or planned for.
And as a result of those major changes, in 2021, some of us are feeling like, “Don’t even tell me about goal setting and planning. It’s going to get ruined again! What’s the point! I don’t like this deal! Give me other cards!”
Ooops, unfortunately, it seems that’s the deal we’ve got. We may plan, and things happen outside of our control that change things. Death, pain, suffering, failures, illness are part of life, just like birth, good health, pleasure, joy, love, beauty, vibrancy, and vitality. The more we resist or ignore the “cards” that we were handed, the worse our performance can become.
What if our job, as humans, were to “make plans” and dreams about a better future even when we cannot control if they come to pass as there are forces beyond our control, outside of our zone of influence? What if we could accept the “cards we were given” and have more fun with “trying to win” and with finding new creative ways to get to that desired result? Instead of giving up on the goal-setting and planning process altogether?
In 2020, I shared with some of my clients about Victor Frankl’s experience depicted in “Man’s search for meaning.” Even in the concentration camp, he made plans, regardless that they seemed unrealistic, to some perhaps crazy at the moment. Thinking about a better future gave him hope. It gave him the strength to persevere through unimaginable human suffering. Eventually, he fulfilled his vision, and his story and experiences can inspire and empower all of us.
My New Year wishes for all of us are, in a way, an invitation to keep “playing the game” and have more fun with the planning and see the humor, beauty, joy, love, kindness, and appreciation even or especially when things suck and things don’t work out the way we want them to. Invitation to be like the laughing Sisyphus (Albert Camus), who can find happiness even when things don’t make much sense or seem meaningless.
After a fall, let’s dust ourselves off, recover, shake it off, and look into the future for something better again. Perpahs do set the goals, even when it seems there are many things that you cannot control or predict. Even when they are just for tomorrow on how you can make it better and focusing on what IS in your control instead.
Just an invitation. Thoughts? What came up for you when you read this?
PS: If you don’t like the Sisyphus, perhaps an airplane pilot would be more fun as 2021’s metaphorical guide? Here is a link to the video I made about it 🙂
To your success,
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