Well, here we are in 2020. The turn of the year is often a time of reflection and contemplation. From this vantage point, we have a crystal-clear view, one only hindsight can give us, of what led us to where we are now. And if we’ve had a bad year, we invariably make a resolution that this new year will be different.
But what if you could have a 20/20 view of 2020 that would guarantee it will be a better year? Is it possible to see into, and know, the future?
Yes, and you do it all the time. You actually predict your future—months, even years, in advance. How? Because your tomorrow is created by every thought you are having today, right now.
How many times, when a misfortune comes your way, have you said, “I knew that would happen.” Our minds are wired to imagine negative outcomes as a way to preserve and protect ourselves. But if you’re focusing on the negative too much (worries, fears, doubts), it’s almost guaranteed that negative situations will arise—either by your own doing, or because you’re so mired in negative thinking, you can only see the downside of a situation. How can you have a good year, if you’re spending your energy worried about having a bad one?
Positive thinking takes effort; it’s a discipline for a reason. You have to be vigilant every minute, aware of the thoughts as they pass through your mind. You do this by staying in the moment. Guilt and regret are the result of dwelling in the past; fear and helplessness are caused by projecting too much into future. As Eckhart Tolle tells us in The Power of Now, that’s all a waste of time because the past no longer exists and the future is an illusion. The only truth is what’s happening right now.
So, ask yourself: “Is anything wrong right now?” As you’re sitting reading this, is anything really wrong in your personal universe? Okay, if you believe everything you read on Facebook, the world seems like it’s falling apart. And, sure, you might even have some financial or health issues. But check yourself in this moment, here and now. Things are most likely tranquil, possibly even pleasant.
And how about in this next moment? Still good? And this moment now? And now? And now?
You get it. Spend the next hour like this, the day. The week. The month. Thinking in this way will bring peace of mind, and over time, a sense of wellbeing and prosperity. And that’s when you’ll be open to the good when it comes your way. But this can only happen when you view life one moment at a time. With all that’s going on around you, can you handle more than that anyway?
Creating Success One Moment at a Time
When I worked at People, a behemoth magazine brand, our annual sales goals were enormous. I wasn’t in sales, but my creative team along with Marketing, supported sales in their efforts to sell ad space. When I say “enormous sales goals,” I mean a number that could crush a person in overwhelm—suck the joy right out of them—were it not for the leadership strategy of our then publisher, a brilliant and inspiring man. “You have to break it down by week,” he told me. “It’s my job to worry about the big number; you just need to think about the goals this week, today.” Breaking up the goal in manageable chunks, not only took the stress out of the job, but more importantly, kept the joy in it. A happier sales team made for a more productive and prosperous sales team. I learned the lesson that life is easier—and more joyful—when you take it in moments instead of constantly fixating on the long-range goal.
I’m not saying you should guard against negative thoughts. They will come. But when they do, simply watch them play out at a distance, then send them on their way. Buh-bye. They are not your reality; they are only your brain assessing what might happen in the future. Like the sales goals at People, taking charge of your thinking by putting it in the now, guarantees your future will be more positive, and you will be in the position to handle whatever comes, to attain whatever goals you’ve set for the coming year.
Some people create vision boards, others meditate or pray, still others follow a guru. All this can help you create a better life—but only if you practice the kind of moment-to-moment mindfulness I’m talking about. Otherwise, it’s just so much wishful thinking.
Want to predict your year will be a good one? Think it into being, one moment at a time.
Here’s to your prosperous 2020.
Learn more about the journey that led to My (Part-Time) Paris Life in my memoir of the same name, ON SALE NOW!