Updated: Apr 20, 2021
I overheard someone saying the other day ‘I can’t wait til 2020 is over. It’s been such a shit year. But I don’t wanna get my hopes up for 2021… what if it’s even worse than this year?’
While it’s a valid point: no matter how bad a year is, there’s no telling how the following year is going to be, it’s not the best way to be thinking when we enter a new year.
The fact is, we can’t see into the future, so we’ll never know until we get through it, how good or bad a new year will be. But, what we forget when we think like this is the power we have over our own happiness.
The saying goes: ‘You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it’.
If you read day 1 of the 12 thoughts of Christmas, you would already know that no matter how your year goes, you can always learn from it- this is one way of putting a positive spin on a difficult situation. Another way of making the most of your year, no matter how challenging it is, is to focus on what you want.
Here it is in story form:
It’s new year’s eve and Bob and Bill are invited to a party and they walk in at the same time.
Bob walks in and turns left to see a bunch of drunks having a fight, and everyone around them looking angry. Bob thinks ‘This party sucks, I’m going home’ then turns around and leaves thinking it was a terrible party with terrible people, and goes home to end his night, and his year, in a bad mood.
Bill, on the other hand, walks into the party and takes a right at the door. And what he sees is a totally different picture: He sees a bunch of happy people dancing away, happily celebrating the best parts of the year and the possibility of the new year. He totally misses the fight, because he was focused on the fantastic people he just met, and had a great time, ringing in the new year with a smile, a cheer, and some new friends.
They both went to the same party but each had a very different experience from the other based on what they focused on.
The party had both good and bad aspects to it, but Bob didn’t see the good, because he didn’t think to look right. He just assumed that the whole party was bad because that’s what was in front of him.
Bill didn’t notice the bad, because he didn’t take his focus away from what he was enjoying.
The moral of the story is that there is good and bad in everything. Focus on what you want, not what you don't want.
When what you’re looking at or experiencing seems bad, remember to check to see if there’s some good nearby. And if you’re experiencing something good, don’t always look for the bad that’s around the corner- it may be there, but it doesn't mean you have to focus on it.