Last year, we shared our 5 rules for a really great life in 2020.
Then 2020, well, imploded.
But our guidance still stands and, perhaps most importantly, these rules really did apply to all the challenges 2020 brought with it.
Rule 1. Life has its ups and its downs. Expect them. Use the ups to help you deal with the downs. Never stay down long.
Well we certainly hit the nail on the head. Though we may not have been able to anticipate the severity of the down associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, you are equipped with the tools you need to overcome challenges in a productive and intentional way. Experience every emotion. Be fully present in each event. This is how you can celebrate the great ups and learn from the downs.
Rule 2. Never compare yourself to someone else. They are different on purpose and are better than you at some things and you are better than them at other things. Focus more on just being your best self.
This rings particularly true for working parents. How many times did you think, “how could they possibly be getting that much done with their kids at home?” Each person’s experience is different. You don’t know what’s happening behind their doors. Perhaps they have a live-in relative who was able to watch the kids. Perhaps they sought out babysitters who could be trusted to be safe and follow COVID-19 protocol. Perhaps a spouse lost their job and now they’re the primary (or possibly sole) breadwinner. Comparing your life to someone else’s is unproductive. Instead, just focus on you and what is happening in your life.
Rule 3. Make the time to know what makes you happy and stay focused on it. Get clear about your goals and stay focused on them, regardless of the distractions and interruptions you encounter.
Everyone seemed to let this go first. But the reminder is that we each have to make our lives happy, something that is independent of the events going on around us. Each moment of each day is ours to define how we want to be in it. Know what being happy means for you and commit to going after it. Make this a major goal for 2021.
Rule 4. Take nothing personally. As the expression goes, “What you think of me is none of my business.” Everyone can and will have their perspectives. Never let what others think and say distract you from being your best and truest self, and from focusing on what makes you happy.
See rule 3. Get focused on what you define as happy and successful. No one else can define that for you because it’s based on your experiences and your life situation. Once you know what happiness is to you, you’ll find other’s thoughts can’t affect you as much. In today’s comment-about-everything-and-everyone world, learn to shut off the social media noise and spend that time more focused on going after what makes you happy.
Rule 5. Make everything you touch better. My dad used to say, “It is not up to you to improve the world, just the part of it you touch.” Each day make where you are – your relationships, your work, how you show up to your world – just a little bit better. Overtime, you will make things significantly better.
This all starts with you. Get in the habit of paying greater attention to you, others and your world. Then, with expanded awareness, ask yourself, “what could I do to make this better? Make the focus on always making things better part of who you are and your approach to 2021. Own your impact. Raise your game. Believe in the value of helping others and helping our world improve.
We all need guidance. There is always going to be something we need to figure out or overcome to be sure we’re living a life that matters.
So, though these were our 5 rules for a great life in 2020, we’re sharing them again because these are 5 rules to have a great life. Period.
By Jay Forte
Consider reading 3 Ways to Help Your Team Start 2021 Strong and Focused