It is a time for reflection: 2016 is almost over, 2017 is beckoning.
It is a great time to reflect on the potpourri of challenges, victories, tears, and joys that were visited upon us in 2016. Since I can’t read your mind, I’ll share with you what my 2016 was like and what I anticipate for 2017.
Then, I’ll finish with some thoughts on how you might wish to process through your 2016 and anticipate 2017, whether this year was a great one or full of challenges and setbacks. No matter how 2016 was, 2017 is a blank canvas for you and you will choose what you paint upon it to create the picture of your life going forward.
My Journey in 2016 and Challenges in 2017
For me, 2016 has been an amazing year. My invention, Wonder Wallet, has been huge success on TV and in retail stores. The royalties have allowed me to reshape my life in very meaningful and productive ways that I dreamed of for years, but now have put into action. I was able to quit working 7 days per week struggling to pay bills (in 2015) and have the time freedom to create my own schedule. I focused upon paying off business and personal debt, working out 3 time every week, meditating, studying Mandarin (I passed the HSK 2 proficiency test), and re-inventing myself from an inventor to an entrepreneur and deal maker.
Looking forward, 2017 presents a variety of interesting challenges for me. I am essentially starting from scratch to redesign what I do. I have a venture to assist inventors to commercialize their products that is underway. I am writing eBooks for inventors and self-improvement – a totally new endeavor for me and I have lots to learn. I am also working on a new invention and am creating some websites or “web properties” as I call them.
I say 2017 will be challenging, all of the above activities are new for me and I feel like a first grader just learning the alphabet but wanting to write a short story. The reality is I don’t know for certain that any of these activities will be lucrative.
Enough about me, let’s talk about you, especially if 2016 was a challenging year for you.
Your Journey in 2016 and Challenges in 2017
While many of you had great years in 2016, for many others 2016 was a difficult year.
Perhaps you went through a difficult divorce. You may have lost your job and find yourself near Christmas time wondering how you can celebrate the holidays when you can barely pay the bills. Some have had medical challenges (I discovered I am type 2 diabetic) or found your faith challenged due to the loss of a loved one or personal friend.
If you have experienced any of these traumatic experiences or setbacks, I want to share some concepts I have used to process through difficult times and refocus for a better future.
Here are three great concepts to forge positive change:
- The past is not predictive of the future
- What you fear most is not going to happen
- You will draw towards you the things you focus most upon
When something bad occurs, we tend to falsely assume that it is predictive of the future – guaranteed to occur again and again.
If you tried a small business and it failed that doesn’t mean your next small business will also fail, it could be a huge success. If you lost your job and have been searching for another one for a while, it doesn’t mean you will never get a job. This sort of “predictive” thinking is a version of the gambler’s fallacy. No matter the past, the future really does start today and the actions you take today and this week will shape what happens next week and next month, even next year. Keep the faith!
What you fear most is not going to happen unless you focus obsessively focus upon it (see concept 3). As an entrepreneur and risk taker, I have learned to look at future circumstances based on three scenarios: the worst case scenario, the expected scenario, and the best case case scenario.
For example, if you have been job hunting for a while, the worst case scenario is you will lose your house and have to sell many of your things with no decent job prospects. The best case scenario is you will land your fantastic new dream job featuring a 40% pay raise. Both scenarios are extremely unlikely. The most likely scenario is you will secure a new job that works for you and gets you back on your feet. So, why waste time ruminating about losing it all or striking it rich? Focus on making the middle case happen.
Finally, my favorite, the principle of attraction: you tend to draw towards you that which you focus most upon. A person who continually worries about being caught up in the next corporate layoff is likely to be unfocused and distracted, a poor performer. As a result, he may draw that outcome his way simply by obsessively focusing upon it.
But it absolutely works for positive thinking as well. Since I have focused upon writing eBooks, I have found a great variety of tools (and other eBooks) and people who are easily available to assist me in every way I need. Before I began focusing upon writing eBooks, I never was aware of any of those resources. The principle of attraction drew them to me!