By Gerry Murray. 27-12-2020
(Scroll down to reflect)
“And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
What a year that was!
At first glance 2020 was a year of disruption, destruction and disappointment, especially if you were directly impacted by Covid in terms of your health, the health of family or close friends, or economically.
Was it really that bad?
Another way of looking at 2020 could be in terms of transformation, renewal, metamorphosis, evolution, a tipping point. For example, were you aware that a major virus was finally eradicated from an entire continent in 2020?
One of the challenges we face is that we often believe things are worse than they actually are. This is due to a combination of several biases that we all seem to have. The media tends to report the exceptions and we often extrapolate the data incorrectly to reinforce our existing beliefs, past experiences or knowledge. Availability of media, not the frequency of an event, is often what is at play.
In fact, research by the late Hans Rosling has shown that chimpanzees are more capable of guessing the true trends in society than humans!
You may have seen some of Rosling's famous and humorous Ted talks. This one is particularly interesting and there's a sad irony around 12:00 minutes in.
Since his death in 2017 his work on educating the world about what is really happening continues in the capable hands of his son and daughter-in-law, Ola and Anna Rosling, via their organisation Gapminder. I recommend visiting their website to discover many things that we typically either get wrong or are not aware of.
It's quite astounding!
Let's end on a positive note
In the remaining days of a year most of us would like to forget, I thought it might be interesting to balance out all the negative things so we can all get 2021 off to a positive start.
One of the most effective and useful coaching questions that I know is "What's good about this problem?".
So, I'd like us to reflect on "What was good about 2020?" And, to help here are three little statements that you can complete for yourself:
In 2020, I was able to be...
In 2020, I was able to do...
In 2020, I was able to have...
And, this week instead of some humour, I'll leave you with some reflection - a poem from George Bernard Shaw.
May you enjoy the remaining days of 2020 and may 2021 bring you many better things in your life...
A New Start
I have wiped the slate clean,
No more reminders from the past.
Memories of what I have been,
Have vanished at long last.
I look forward to my future new,
Where all is territory strange.
Soon I will be among the few,
That plans their life at long range.
I see my life laid out at my feet,
New friends shall rally at my call.
They will be the first I will greet,
At this my welcoming ball.
Soon all memories will depart,
Of a past left well behind.
I will get off to a new start,
With the best of mankind.