Will 2020 Make You Better or Leave You Bitter?

Full disclosure, I am using the headline and my message in the year’s final post from Reverend Joy Gonzales of Highland Park Methodist Church in Dallas, where my wife and I attend church online every week. Joy’s message yesterday was too good and impacted me too significantly to not share it with my audience.

Many people I know, watch, and listen to cannot wait to turn the calendar this Friday and waive 2020 goodbye and greet 2021 hopefully. Indeed, a New Year always brings new hope, new ideas, and the promise that we can be and do better than we did last year. The truth of the matter is, however, that even though 2020 will soon be in the history books, its troubles aren’t going away any time soon.

So, this begs the question, how do you intend to allow 2020 to define 2021? There is some real irony now in the old phrase, “Hindsight is 2020.” As always, I want to acknowledge that many people have and are suffering greatly as a result of the happenings of this year. I do not in any way mean or intend to minimize those struggles. In fact, I am committed to helping to resolve those issues by my own efforts and charitable activities. 

With all of this in mind, let me encourage you, as I was encouraged by Reverend Gonzales with the biblically-based reassurance that:

Trouble produces Endurance

Endurance produces Character

Character produces Hope

With hope, you have the ability to make yourself and your future better. With that hope, my question to you is no matter how difficult this year has been for you, what did you learn from it? What can you change in the future with the new things you have learned? Reverend Gonzales asked an even better question yesterday:

“If you could go back to the beginning of 2020, what would you tell yourself?” 

Besides buying more toilet paper, what do you wish you would have known twelve months ago? I quickly shift and wonder how you might answer this question twelve months from now? The only way to get better is to keep moving forward. Keep trying, and learn from the results.

Sure, you’re going to fail. Perhaps a lot. You need to be okay with that and learn to fail forward. I don’t know what your fears are when you think about failure. I do know that we all face them. What I also know is that any pain you might experience from failure pales in comparison to the pain you will feel from regret for not trying. That will only make you bitter.

As I so often encourage my audience and my followers, take time to look back over this year in gratitude. Some of it may be painful but hopefully, some of it is also causing you to be thankful and grateful. 

If you’re like me, you might even feel somewhat melancholy about another year passing, even though there were weeks and months this year that seemed to pass incredibly slowly. Nevertheless, if you tend to get nostalgic and wish to redo some of what you did or didn’t do this year, my final piece of advice is this: Don’t be sad it’s over, be glad that it happened.

Then, get busy getting better. Every day in every way.

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