2020 has been quite the year to say the least. There are people out there who have lost their jobs, had their business destroyed, their cities burned down, fallen ill, lost loved ones, have kept themselves quarantined for months on end, etc.
But, despite all that, if you happened to wake up this morning, January 1st, 2021, then congratulations. You made it. However, you may still be asking yourself, “what does 2021 hold in store?” And that is a fair question because world governments still haven’t told us the pandemic is over yet, a new President, whose policies may scare half the country, is about to take office, and pile on whatever other worries you have on top.
But to shed some light on the worries you have for the future in 2021, allow me to bring to your attention one of my favorite Marcus Aurelius quotes from Meditations 7.8:
“Do not let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
You’ve endured a lot in 2020. You bore a lot of trials and tribulations. If you used your time wisely (as you should have), slowed down instead of panicked, and looked for opportunities along the path, you should have found within your self-refection, within books, within good advice, or within in trial and error, a newfound sense of knowledge on how to deal with it graciously. And if you haven’t realized any of that now, you should, because you’re here now, in the present, in 2021.
With that being said, if you arm yourself with all the knowledge you’ve acquired and the growing you’ve done in 2020, then 2021 should not scare you. In fact, you should be able to make 2021 possibly your best year yet, and with ease. Now put your best foot forward and march on. And to loosely paraphrase another Marcus quote, “Let the wrongs of 2020 stay where the wrongs in 2020 were done.” Recognize those wrongs in 2020 and correct them now in 2021.
As for me, I know have I still have correcting to do. I could have been better. We can always be better. As I ‘ve pointed out in previous Instagram posts, as well as my book, that the perfect Stoic does not, and will never exist. Because no one is perfect. However, that does not mean we should, as Seneca has pointed out, “abandon the discipline because we will never be perfect.” We need to vie for virtuous sagacity daily, even if our natural human errors and faults never fully allows us to get there.
Continue the strive to be better. Continue one year at a time. Vie for sagacity in 2021. And as always, control your own perceived chaos.