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2021 Won't Be Better

2021 Won't Be Better
Some people have called me a pessimist in my life.
I don’t think that’s accurate, though.
I think I’m more of a realist.
And I think 2021 won’t be better.
Before you huff and puff out of here, let me explain.

Defining "Better"
In order for something to be better, there needs to be a comparison.
There needs to be a point of reference.
And if we use 2020 as our point of reference, we’re going to end up with a skewed perspective.
2020 defied the odds in so many ways that we may as well just toss the word “odds” out the window.
Because deep down, I know that searching for “better” has never worked for me.
It’s a word dripping with anxiety.
You see, better is about comparison. It’s about doing more or being enough.
And to even consider the world in this way, you need to have a focal point, a point of reference.
And that’s dangerous.
Your Reference Points are Risky
It's not always good to be told what to do.
It's not always good to be told what to do.
I’m here to tell you that there is a great danger in living your life from reference points.
Think about what has happened to you when you compare yourself to others–or compare your situation to another person’s situation.
Is it inspiring?
Not really.
Is it anxiety-provoking?
You betcha.
The thing about reference points and thinking focused on better is that it all seems like a good idea…at first.
But what ends up happening is that you get trapped in a world that you didn’t create. You agree to terms that are not your own.
For a while, this can be OK.
For a while, committing to someone else’s idea of what’s right can help you get your bearings.
But eventually the unknown happens. Something like 2020 occurs, and a big surprise upends everything.
And a question emerges from the deep:
What do you do when your world is uprooted?
A Different, More Creative Way of Being
In 2021, I want you to think about the world–and yourself–a bit differently.
“Better” shouldn’t be the goal.
The goal should be your goal.
I’m not talking in circles. I’m being serious.
Your goal should be something that comes from deep inside you.
It’s so much easier to look at someone or something else and think, “Hmm, yeah I’ll just go with that. That seems good enough.”
This way of thinking is the safest approach.
But…I hope you’re starting to see why this might not lead to the most fulfilling life.
And again, what happens when you’re faced with the unexpected?
What happens when the rules go away? And when the rules are from someone else’s game in the first place?
You end up in a bad position.
So try something different this year.
Here’s your task to get the most out of 2021:
  1. Figure out what “better” means to you.
  2. Write down what you use to define “better.” What are your points of reference?
  3. Are these points of reference helping you? If not, why not?
  4. Now write down what you truly value–the people, ideas, and ways of being you can’t live without.
  5. Finally, consider this: What would it take for you to create the life that is right for you based on what you wrote down during step 4?
This process I’ve just outlined is about creating something out of nothing. It’s not about “better.”
It’s a thought process and way of being you can use whenever and wherever. It doesn’t rely on comparisons.
I hope you’ll use this outline to think about the year ahead of you.
2021 may not be what we expected, but it’s what we have.
Try not to compare it to 2020.
Try to take it at face value.
Create something out of nothing.
Create something that is right…for you.
Thank you for reading.
Be well,

P.S. What would you like me to help you with in 2021? Reply and let me know. You don’t even need to use complete sentences!
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

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