Oh, 2020. What a year you have been! I was reflecting on it the other day, and thought to myself "it's been a pretty good year." And then as I reflected about it a little longer, I thought of different things that have happened in my family and in the world this year and thought "well, that wasn't so great" or "that was really sad" or "that was a crappy thing".
Our minds tend to fixate on bad things, a.k.a. negativity bias. If we make a mistake, we tend to think about it over and over, If we are anxious about losing our job or worried about a loved one, we tend to let it take over every waking and sleeping moment. If we watch the news, we focus on all of the bad or sad things. These thoughts become like a movie that keeps playing on repeat.
This negativity bias can actually be helpful in times of extreme stress. For example, if a car has lost control and is barreling towards you, it is best to focus on the car and not the beautiful roses or architecture or whatever you might focus on. These types of events, however, are pretty rare. On a daily basis, we tend to have a lot more positive (or neutral) experiences than negative. We just tend to not focus on them.
All of us will experience both good and bad things in our life; it's just the nature of the human experience. But what if we could learn to savor our positive experiences. One of the best things that we can do for ourselves is to bring into focus some good things that happened in 2020, even if they seem really small. Let's call this "3 bright spots in 2020".
Here are 3 of my bright spots for 2020:
Bright Spot#1: This Blog
I have enjoyed writing this blog; but even more importantly, I have enjoyed the conversations that various posts have produced because I think it's so powerful to learn from and support each other! Plus, it's a great way to stay in touch with people.
Bright Spot #2: Relationships
I have savored relationships with family and friends and talk/text with people more regularly now than I did prior to 2020. I have always valued relationships, but realize now that I probably took things for granted. And I savor the moments when I can see people in person again.
Bright Spot #3: Personal Development
Through the course of writing this blog, I have also spent a LOT of time learning, whether it's technical stuff, business stuff, or researching things like "what is negativity bias". When I research, I also like it to be solutions-focused, so I want to find out not only "what is negativity bias", but also "ways to overcome negativity bias".
I like to say that we find what we look for. That's how I was able to say that 2020 was a pretty good year (in spite of everything that happened). What bright spots do you find in 2020?