How’s your 2020 been?


I’ve been reflecting on my own journey through 2020. January seems such a long time ago. Back then, I was snowboarding in Japan with my family. Covid19 was just beginning to make headlines over the water in China. As we landed back in New Zealand, we were aware of the potential nastiness of this bug, but actually, we simply expected life to go on as normal.


Oh, how the world has changed! We’ve been thrown a gnarly curveball, and we’ve had to learn to adapt. Looking back over the past 11 months, here are three lessons I’ve learned about how to navigate life when the unexpected happens.

1.See what is

As lockdown hit, I found what served me was to accept that this was not ‘situation normal’. Life would be different. I could have spent a lot of time wishing for it to be how it used to be, but that wouldn’t have changed a thing. Better off to go “well, this is the new reality.” Weirdly, my acceptance simplified things. When I clearly accepted what wasn’t an option to pursue, it made it easier to focus on my real choices. But that acceptance didn’t mean passively sitting there doing nothing. Read on…


2. Imagine what could be

During 2020, I reckon I’ve developed a greater sense of possibility than ever before. I decided to call it ‘the year of the great unlocking’. So many norms and existing rules have been challenged and reinvented right before our eyes. I’ve taken this opportunity not to wait for us to ‘go back to normal’ (that ain’t gonna happen) but instead I’ve reimagined my life, my practice and what I want for the world. If you’ve followed the What’s On Your Mind podcasts, you’ll have tracked my journey through this liminal space. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I’ve got a new sense of energy and optimism for how to play in 2021 and beyond.


3. Do what it takes

My 2020 has been a year of experiments. I tried a whole bunch of new stuff to see what works. During lockdown, I rapidly developed and offered my clients a six-pack of webinars on how to lead through ambiguity. I delivered my first ever virtual keynote to a global audience. Alicia McKay and I started a podcast. Gillian Brookes and I began a new initiative to support individual, organisational and societal wellbeing. I walked my local neighbourhood almost every day. And so much more. The result is a newfound sense of agency and progress, in spite of a tough year. No, because of a tough year.


See what is, and get perspective.


Imagine what could be, and create possibility.


Do what it takes, and make progress.


I reckon these three practices are a really handy rule of thumb for navigating an uncertain world. After this crazy year, I suspect 2021 isn’t going to be a walk in the park either. Better off getting in the driver’s seat and doing what we can, right?


Here comes 2021. Are you ready?



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Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash