What’s Your 2020 Hindsight?
While we can never really know what will unfold during an upcoming year, 2020 will go down in history as a year that took most everyone by surprise. While epidemiologists have been predicting a pandemic for years, who foresaw the global implications of what it might catalyze? 2020 was a living testament to the Allen Saunders phrase “Life is what happens to us while we are busy making other plans”.
In a very funny, yet poignant, expression of this, comedian Robyn Schall laughs at the absurdity of the goals she set at the start of 2020 as everything she declared she would do was rendered impotent by pandemic circumstances.
After watching her video, I reflected on what I had missed in 2020 (mostly travel and in-person time with my grandkids). I did not lose a job, a business or a loved one and for that I am truly grateful. I listed 14 missed experiences, and then made a list of what I had gained, what new experiences I had (mostly creative pursuits and career). I quickly came up with 14, none of which I’d planned at the start of the year. All of them were growth experiences, and most were enjoyable.
Hindsight is 20/20
The popular phrase ‘hindsight is 20/20’ reminds us that we can’t always know the best choice in the present to manifest the outcome we desire, and only in reflection can we see what might have been better options. Does that mean that goal setting is an exercise in futility?
No, but what if the real purpose of setting goals is not the accomplishment of them but who you have to be/ become in the process of manifesting them. What qualities did you need to develop or strengthen to accomplish your goal? And how do you respond when those plans don’t work out the way you expected? Who are you then? 2020 called most of us to adapt to change and develop new skills like we never have before.
Letting go of attachment to expectations
Suffering comes from being attached to the way we want things to be. Set your sights on where you want to be, but then let go of being attached to the outcome or how you will get there. Trust the process and open yourself to possibilities you never could have imagined. You may not get what you initially envisioned, but you might get something better!
Hindsight – Foresight card by Jane Norton
“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.”
- What hopes and goals did you have for 2020 that got waylaid by the pandemic?
- What new opportunities opened up because of changing circumstances?
- What qualities did you have to strengthen or develop to adapt to the changes in the world and your life?
Recall a situation in your life where your original expectations weren’t met, but something better evolved. Choose a representative word or image to remind you to trust the process when you encounter another such experience. My cancelled trips to visit 5 grandkids in two states in 2020 inspired Zoom calls that included my oldest granddaughter who lives in Australia. There had previously been very few times with all 6 of them together, so the visual memory of seeing all of them on the screen is my reminder.
Comedian Robin Schall’s 1:03 minute video is worth watching for her infectious laugh. And if you want to be inspired by someone who has overcome challenges and with 20/20 hindsight parlayed them into a career entertaining others, including our military troops, check out her bio.
May you be infected with humor rather than COVID!