As 2021 draws to a close and we begin to gather with family and friends to celebrate the festive season, I am reflecting on the gifts 2021 gave me.
I know, I know, 260+ days in lockdown here in Melbourne. Cut off from our extended family, home-schooling with 3 kids!?!? – what on earth is there to celebrate in 2021? From my perspective – a lot!
First let me absolutely recognise the anxiety, sadness and general feelings of overwhelm that were also part of life in 2021. For very illogical reasons on reflection, I had high hopes that by the simple measure of human time, that is, turning the calendar page to January 2021, this pandemic and everything associated with it would ‘move on’ and become a blip of 2020. For the early part of 2021, here in Australia at least, that seemed to happen. And then it didn’t…..
Yet, I feel this overwhelming sense of pride as I reflect on 2021 and everything that came our way. A recognition perhaps that we got / are getting through ‘it’ – that, for me, I feel stronger for ‘it’. Yes, there are some wounds still healing and scars that will mark our lives forever, but you know what? I choose to wear them with pride.
I appreciate you may feel differently about 2021.
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness or gratefulness. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude). Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.
I set myself a challenge in June this year to create this series of ‘In the Arena’ newsletters. To put myself out there, to step into the arena and dare greatly – to share my learnings & insights to hopefully add value. The objective of each newsletter is to help you, focusing on what we have (rather than what we lack) to unlock our potential and make our impact in this world.
I’m not sure this would have happened if not for the first half of 2021 and my realisation that it was important for me to do something meaningful, tapping into the need to connect with others and to know we have someone in our corner, looking out for us.
One way to cultivate gratitude is to say thank you and as 2021 begins to fade away, I want to express my thanks to you. Each time I received a personal reply or a story off the back of a newsletter, you encouraged me!
It was you who brightened my day and provided a sense of meaning to some pretty dark days – thank you!
With this in mind, I wish you and your loved ones the gift of gratitude. To appreciate:
- the past year for the strength and resilience it has given us
- the present for health and the ability to be with our loved ones, together
- 2022 and beyond for a whole-hearted sense of hope and optimism.
Feel free to to share your thoughts and responses below.
If you think others could benefit from stepping into the arena, please share with a friend.
Welcome to the Arena!
I’m Dr Jess Murphy, Founder of Pathway to Your Potential Pty Ltd.
We collaborate with people and organisations at all levels, around the world, to enhance leadership effectiveness, drive more inclusive, higher performing cultures, and leverage difference in all its forms.
Want to challenge the status quo? Develop yourself, your team or shake up your organisation & industry? Join me in the arena as I share learnings, insights and importantly, dare greatly to take action.
Dr Jess Murphy – Founder
Having spent 20+ years in the corporate world holding various senior leadership roles, alongside her Adjunct Professorship in Business Leadership, Jess delivers a unique blend of pragmatism and cutting-edge insights to ensure immediate real-world application.
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