It’s 2020! Can You See Clearly Now?

I’ve never been clear on whether a year like 2020 is the end of the decade or the beginning of a new one. There are a high percentage of “experts” that would tell you the beginning of a decade is the year ending in 01, not 00.

I remember seeing Hubert Humphrey speak after he has lost the 1968 Presidential Election to Richard Nixon. I was very young but something he said has stuck with me to this day. He said you had to be very careful what you said in your concession speech after losing an election. He said it wasn’t your last speech of the just lost campaign, it was actually your first speech of the next, yet to be officially started campaign.

That’s why to this day I recommend to salespeople that they send a Thank You note thanking a prospect for the opportunity to earn their business after the prospect purchased from someone else. You see, that isn’t the final communication of the just lost sales cycle, it’s the first communication of the yet to be started next sales cycle.

But whether you see the New Year as a beginning or an ending it’s a pretty good time to take stock of where you are currently. Also to determine where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years in the future.

But the key to determining where you will be in the future is knowing where you are today. Really knowing.

Try getting directions from Google Maps without inputting a starting point. It doesn’t work. Neither does making plans for the future without seeing clearly where you’re starting from.

You must be brutally honest with yourself in regards to your strengths and weaknesses. If you can’t do that then you’ll need to find a coach or a mentor who cares enough about you to be honest for you. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know my thoughts on mentors….anyone, regardless of their level of success, age, or occupation will be better off having a mentor in their life.

Here’s the thing about being more successful tomorrow than you are today. You need to worry less about your weaknesses so you can focus more of your energies on developing your strengths.

If that seems counterintuitive to you don’t worry, you’re in a very large group. It’s the group most often called average. I don’t mean that to be insulting in any way. It’s just that most of us believe being better means turning our weaknesses into strengths. That is not always true. The most successful people invest less than 20 percent of their efforts trying to eliminate every weakness. They invest 80 percent of their time further developing their strengths.

There are times where those percentages won’t hold true. If you have a glaring weakness that is holding you back then you had best deal with it immediately. One example that comes to mind might be substantially below average human relations skills. If that’s the case it could affect your efforts in every other part of your life. In that case some of your strengths development will have to wait.

If you’re in that average group I’m guessing you have not invested a great deal of time over the past years to truly take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. “Truly taking stock” means more than a vague awareness of what you’re good at and what you might not be so good at. It requires a good bit of reflection. Reflecting is the only time I recommend looking to the past. I only recommend looking there long enough to learn what you can from your successes and failures. Then turn immediately to the future because that’s the only place you’ll find additional success.

How clearly you see yourself, your current situation, your current weaknesses and your current strengths will determine your level of success in the future.

But hey, it’s 2020, if you can’t see clearly now I don’t know when you will.

See More Success

Some people see more in a walk around the block than others see in a trip around the world. That first group of people also tend to be far more successful than the second group. 

 

The more you see the more you”ll know and the more you know the more you’ll understand. Understanding allows you to change the things you can and accept the things you can’t. 

 

The more you see the more you’ll see things that less successful people will never notice. You’ll see things from angles that most people didn’t even know existed. You’re perspective will change, sometimes frequently.

 

Seeing things from different perspectives brings them to life. It creates the curiosity needed to understand them. 

 

But here’s the thing about “seeing” more, it has very little to do with your eyes. Seeing more starts from your heart. It comes from being genuinely interested in other people and other things, even when those people are very different than you. Even when you initially believed those “things” would never be of interest to you. 

 

If you only associate with people who have similar beliefs as you, people who look like you, people who dress like you, then you will likely fall into the trap of thinking you’re always right. You could even believe you know enough that you don’t need to know anything more. 

 

You would be wrong on both counts. 

 

When you make the decision to consciously choose to “see” with your eyes, your ears, your heart, your brain, your experience and your compassion then you’ll begin to see many things differently and many more things for the very first time. 

 

You might notice people who you’ve “seen” many times but now you’ll actually see them. 

 

The more things you see, the more places you see, and the more people you see, the more success you’ll see as well. It takes a bit of practice and a lot of focus but once once you fully develop your “eyesight” it’ll be almost like you have x-ray vision. 


There will be no limit to what you can learn and that will almost certainly lead to greater success.