The 2020 Silver Lining

As we approach December 31, it’s a good time to reflect on this historic year. I’m sure there are many things we’ll all want to leave behind. Yet there may be some things we will want to carry with us into the future.

There’s no question that 2020 has taken a toll on tens of millions of people. The loss of loved ones, jobs, businesses, and the cherished daily activities we used to take for granted has tested us all. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to get my vaccine and say goodbye to social distancing! I really miss hugging my friends and extended family. I also won’t miss reading about yet another company going out of business due to the pandemic. And I sure won’t miss watching the numbers of sick and dying going up on a daily basis.

A few weeks ago, our friend Simon Sinek joined our “Determining Your Leadership Point of View” class via Zoom. During a discussion about what a trial this year has been, we discussed an interesting point: despite the challenges of 2020, it’s possible that many of us are going to look back at this time with more positive than negative feelings.

Don’t get me wrong—my heart goes out to those who have suffered painful losses this year, and I grieve right along with them. Yet if life has taught me anything, it’s to look for the silver lining, no matter how dark it gets. So let’s look at the positives.

What’s Good about 2020?

One positive to come out of this pandemic is that it has forced us to adapt in ways that have created positive changes for the future. For example, thanks to Zoom and similar technologies, our company has been able to make an amazing turnaround from classroom and in-person training to hundreds of online sessions every month. Going forward, this means that we’ll reach more people around the world than ever before.

For me, personally, I’m excited that thanks to Zoom, I can contribute to associates and clients without traveling. I must admit, I don’t miss airports and flying!

Another friend of mine appreciates the way that working online reduces the amount of traffic on the road and pollution in the air.

Spending time at home has allowed many of us to finally get around to making needed changes, such as overdue maintenance, decluttering, and organization. Those of us who’ve been working from home have been able to adapt our environs to suit our needs for office space, exercise areas, or places where kids can do their classwork.

A major positive has been getting to spend so much time with our loved ones at home.  Margie and I have certainly enjoyed our time together watching Netflix and snuggling with our beloved dog, Joy.

As for friends and colleagues outside our COVID bubbles, we’ve come to realize what a privilege it is to have those relationships in our lives and just how important they are to us. I think we all have a backlog of people we intend to socialize with as soon as it’s safe!

On my Facebook page recently, I posed the question: What have been the positives for you, your organization, and your family from this pandemic? Here are some of the replies:

“Rediscovered lost strengths and launched a new business to help thousands of people who lost their jobs.”

“Spiritual growth and insight.”

“For my organization? Innovation, agility, and flexibility.”

The coming year promises a return to a more familiar way of life, as well as the opportunity to apply our learnings from the past tumultuous twelve months.  So—what will you take forward from this year into 2021?