178: Goodbye 2020
With the rocky year that is 2020 coming to an end, we look upon 2021 full of hope and positive expectations. In this year-ender episode, Thane Marcus Ringler looks back on everything that happened this year, focusing on both the good and the bad. He reflects on how change and commitment go hand in hand if we expect to find true progress and growth. Thane also emphasizes the importance of motivating oneself to do greater things by gathering the lessons of our previous chapters as we start a brand new page.
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178: Goodbye 2020
Are you a person who knows they need more discipline in their life but don’t know what to do or how to get there? I am with you. Discipline feels like this mystical thing that successful people or people we look up to have, but we never know how to acquire it on our own for ourselves. I’m here to tell you that discipline isn’t unattainable. It is available to anyone who is willing to put in the work. Ultimately, I’m here to tell you that discipline is worth it.
If you believe me, I’d like to encourage you to consider going on a journey with me, the journey of developing discipline. Through Thane Marcus Academy, I am now offering an eight-week course that will instill in you the discipline you desire. What does this produce? A life of never settling for less than you’re capable of? To help you take the first step, I’m offering you a special discount of 20% off by using the code, UpAndComer at checkout. Head over to Courses.ThaneMarcus.com to begin your journey of developing discipline.
Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of The Up & Comers Show. This is a podcast all about learning how to live a good life telling stories from people in the process of becoming. We believe that takes living with intentionality and having intention in the tension, as our mantra says. We are on this journey together and thank you so much for being a fellow up and comer with us. Hopefully, we’re on this journey our whole lives learning the entire way. If you are reading for the first time, thank you for being here. In this episode, you’re going to read a little shorter solo up but we do long-form interviews peer to peer conversations called Fellowship Episodes, as well as couch conversations and solo episodes. It’s a wide mix but the theme is always How can we learn and live in the midst of tensions well. We have great conversations and a lot of episodes to check out.
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In this episode, I’m going to wrap up 2020 with some thoughts on yours, and what I’ve learned, and what we can learn together. Before we get there, I want to celebrate where we are, as a show. This show has been going for over four years now. That’s something that I never expected saying. We have over 70,000 downloads. I’m looking at 70,732 downloads. That is special to me. Over 175 episodes and we’re listened to in over 50 countries around the world. It’s 53 at this point, I believe.The only things that aren't changing are the things that aren't living. Click To Tweet
Some sweet numbers and stats to remind myself of the journey that we’ve been on and that it’s worth it. There’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of effort that goes into things like podcasts. Anyone who started a podcast realizes that it takes a big undertaking to produce a show. It’s pretty simple to start but it’s a lot of work to continue doing. I’m encouraged by what four years have brought and excited to see what 2021 holds and who knows how long the years will last.
I’m grateful for the chance to talk into a microphone and share words and have you received those words. If you ever have thought comments or feedback, you can always send us an email TheUpAndComersShow@gmail.com is a great place to reach out. I received an email and it was one of those encouraging emails I’ve read all year. They’re some heartfelt words about how an episode impacted that person. It meant the world to me so those things are the fuel that helped me stay motivated and keep pushing forward with the show and the community.
I want to share a few things. I want to share how through ending a year well and beginning a year well, and some things I’ve learned from 2020 and as we say goodbye to 2020 and the year that has been unexpected for all of us. The first thing to mention is that change is inherent to life. What this means is that change is what it means to be alive. The only things that aren’t changing are the things that aren’t living. You think about the things that don’t change, it’s objects, oftentimes, but still, those can change.
Change is what is part of the nature of living and being alive. We’re either growing or decaying or somewhere in between. Change is inherent in life. We all realize that to a greater extent than ever before, now that we’ve been through 2020. The second thing is that commitment is needed in order to have that change be used for good. What this is speaking to is the idea that change and commitment are not opposed to each other. They’re not at odds with each other. They’re beneficial, helpful, and important to each other. Commitment is what allows us to stay steady and to hold fast in the midst of the sea of change that life often brings.
Every single day is different than the next and the last so we have to embrace this thing called change. In order to do that well, commitment is necessary. We must know what we are committed to in our lives and our days. By knowing what our commitments are and who we are committed to being and who we’re committed to living as we can then better embrace and accept and use those changes for good. Once we understand that commitment and change are partners in this process of life, we can then start seeing what is important in change itself. I believe that what’s important with change is recognizing where we are in the process of change. What I mean by this is recognizing that life has a rhythm to it, it has an ebb and a flow, it has ups and downs, it’s riding waves. There are waves that come in the sea of life and our goal is to ride those waves well.
Part of the way we ride those waves well is by understanding or recognizing where we are in the wave. For instance, if we use the example of climbing a mountain, we need to have the mindset that we’re gearing up for a lot of effort if we’re beginning our climb but when we’re on top of the mountain and getting ready to come down the mountain, we need to have maybe a little different mindset. When you have the mindset of gearing up for the descent of being careful on the way down may be less effort and more focus. It requires a different mindset.Change is recognizing where we are in the process of change. Click To Tweet
The point of that illustration is to say that where we are in the midst of change will dictate and determine the mindset that we need to have. The first part of having the right mindset is recognizing where we are in oftentimes, we don’t do this. It’s as simple as pausing to reflect and consider. If by infusing a little bit of space to pause, consider and ponder where we are in the ebb and flow, we can better recognize first and use it for good.
For instance, my wife and I have been realizing that in the second round of lockdowns from COVID we’re in Denver, and in the second round of fall and winter, it’s been heavier, it’s been harder for us. We felt more weight from it than we did in the first round. That’s true for most of us so this is something that you may have experienced as well. What was important in it is the fact that we recognized it and put words to it. By doing that, we were able to show ourselves more grace and show ourselves a little bit more wiggle room for maybe feeling down or being less productive or maybe feeling a little less connected to our community.
Acceptance of all those things comes from recognizing that this time around, it’s been a little harder, and that’s okay. We have to be able to recognize before we can accept it, and we can use it for good and adjust. That recognition has helped us adjust our schedule, our mindset, and our expectations of what this will have in this time of year. With this and with recognizing rhythms, the other thing that is important is that we can use each season or chapter for good. Once we recognize, we can start getting to the place of using that season or that chapter for good. A big part of that is 2020.
Seeing 2020 as a season of more change than often before, we can then start understanding, “Now that we’re in a season of greater change than usual, how can we use this greater change for good within my life and within others?” A friend also talks about it in chapters. Seasons come and go, but chapters are opening and closing and as chapters open and close, we can look back and learn from but we’re not going to be in that chapter again. That’s a great illustration as well. Each chapter is different from the rest. There is no repeating of chapters like there is repeating of seasons. Often seasons are not the same, but they can be similar but chapters have something that we can look back on and continue to learn from but each chapter is new. Both illustrations are helpful for this.
Another observation that is helpful is that the end of the year and the beginning of the year are great opportunities to be able to further recognize and use these seasons or chapters for good. What I compare it to is golf. I played golf most of my life so it’s a great illustration for most of what I think through. In golf, there are eighteen holes, there’s the front nine and the back nine. There are nine holes that are called the front nine, and the nine holes are called the back nine if you’d never played before and that’s what makes a full golf course.
In playing a round of golf, usually, you’ll go through the front nine, go in and get some snacks and go on the back nine. Something as simple as having a front nine and a back nine, this break in the midst of that eighteen-hole round, having that is such a useful tool to shift our mind and perspective during that round. There are countless experiences I’ve had in tournaments where I’m playing horribly. I have bad momentum on the front nine and something about going from hole 9 to hole 10 going from the front 9 to the back 9. There’s something about having that shift, space, and transition that allows you to shift your perspective and say goodbye to that last nine holes that were horrid and say hello to the opportunity that the next nine holes bring. To the opportunity of changing the momentum of garnering some positive momentum, and improving upon what was pretty awful before.We have to recognize change before we can accept it and then use it for good. Click To Tweet
Honestly, that shift is so helpful. It’s imaginary in some ways and since hole 9 hole 10 isn’t any different than hole 1 or hole 2 or hole 15 and hole 16 but having that known break brings so much space and room for changing your perspective. That is true of the end of the year and the beginning of the year. It’s true of the end of the month and the beginning of a new month. It’s true of the end of the week, and the beginning of a new week. It’s even true of the end of the day and the beginning of a new day. This is true in many different increments but the end of the year and the beginning of a new year is such a great opportunity to use this closing of a chapter and the opening of a new one for good.
There’s a lot of ways that we can do this and it takes intention to use it well. That is on theme with our show as you know, but ending the year and beginning a New Year well, involves intention. The question is, “What is your intention for using this closing and opening for good?” That question for self-reflection is, “How can I use this time of year for good.” That could be in your personal growth? That could be in your time with family or loved ones? Maybe it’s time spent with friends? Maybe even this year it’s time by yourself. How can you use this transition this season, this closing of a chapter and the opening of a new one, for good?
There’s a lot of ways that I like doing this and it may look different for everyone and that’s great. It shouldn’t look the same for every single person. If you want some further reflection questions, here are a few that may be helpful. One is, “How did I grow this year?” Another is, “In what ways did I fall short this year?” You can ask, “What am I hopeful for in 2021?” You could also ask yourself, “How was 2020 used for good that I didn’t expect?” Another great question is, “What have I learned this year?” These are all questions that I would encourage you to sit with and reflect on with a pen and paper. Journaling and reflecting are some of the greatest tools that we can use for growing in self-awareness and ultimately growing in who we want to be and becoming that person.
This ending of 2020 comes with a lot to think about. We’ve all been through probably more than we expected this year. It also provides a lot of hope, a lot of things that we can be hopeful, filled with hope for in the year to come. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about 2021. In 2020 we’ve been through a lot, which means we’ve likely grown a lot and in growing a lot, it provides a lot of opportunity for what we might reach into and beyond into 2021.
2021 is ahead of us. Change and commitment are part of our lives. Life has rhythms and ebbs and flows, seasons, and chapters that we can all use for good. Ending this year well and beginning the next year well takes intention and effort and we all can do that. Let’s raise our imaginary glass. Here is to a new year. 2021 full of opportunity and hope. Here’s to all that we’ve learned in 2020. I’m grateful for it. I know that God’s going to use it in big ways. Thanks for reading and I hope you have an up and coming week because we are out.
This is Thane here following up with one last thing to note. If you would like to get a curated list of all the content I’m learning from, whether that be books I’m reading, podcasts I’m listening to, quotes I’m pondering or even some sermons I’m enjoying, In-Thane is a monthly newsletter that brings vetted content that I know you’ll enjoy. Go to ThaneMarcus.com/inthane to sign up and you’ll be sure to receive the next one. Each edition of In-Thane is released on the first Sunday of the month. This is a once a month newsletter that I hope you enjoy and benefit from as much as I have. Here’s to learning and growing one day at a time.
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