December 12th, 2020
If I asked you to sum up 2017, would you be able to give a quick review based on the emotions that come to mind? How about 2018?
In retrospect, you may have difficulty remembering what those years felt like.
Well, I don’t think anyone will have trouble giving an opinion of 2020 when asked about it in the future.
The emotions that come to mind may include, fear, gratitude for more time spent with your immediate family, sadness for opportunities lost, grief for friends that have died. This year did not contain much room for apathetic feelings.
For the past several years, I have spent New Years Day clipping images and phrases out of magazines to create a vision board of the things I want to accomplish or experience in the next 12 months. Most years, an amazing amount of these things are accomplished by the end of December.
On January 1st, 2020, I created yet another one which contained pictures of artists and athletes that motivate me based on their work ethics, pictures of sunny locations I’d like to visit and other images that stoke my vision of success in work, family and personal development. As I write this, I am looking at it next to my desk.
There was no way I could know that within a few weeks of doing this my father would unexpectedly pass away, the world would be thrust into a serious pandemic and I and my staff would have to abandon our office building and work from home. Everything changed. Quickly.
Like many entrepreneurs, I had no idea what would happen to my company as our normal way of doing business was being altered, perhaps permanently. And this was all in the first three months of 2020.
Since that time, businesses have been utilizing video conferencing technology and have become more aware that their success is dependent upon not only their clients, but also on the talent and health of their staff. COVID-19 has created havoc, but it has also helped create structures for more communication.
I doubt many people would say that 2020 has gone almost exactly as they had planned, even if they created a vision board.
For myself, I have achieved some of the things I set out to do this year, but I also see some images that now require an alternative meaning. The picture of a beach vacation didn’t happen, but I now take it to mean the importance of relaxation amidst chaos. I originally added the clipping of Oscar winning director Taika Waititi because I liked the look of his casual style. This year has helped me now see it as an inspiration for his story of perseverance in a difficult industry. All thoughts that were not part of my original plan.
As we close the year and look ahead to 2021, I’d like to thank 2020 for helping me to be more flexible and remind me of what is truly important: health, family, the relationship with my clients and the reinforcement of the idea that we are truly all in this together.
I wish you many unexpected blessings this holiday season and the hope for a brighter new year, even if you can’t currently envision it.
– Michael Arnold
President, Palmetto Partners LLC.