Looking forward to 2021

Published December 28, 2020, 12:20 AM

by Dr. Jun Ynares


Dr. Jun Ynares
Dr. Jun Ynares

“What do you think: Will 2021 be a much better year than 2020?”

As the year draws to a close, a good number of friends and fellow Antipoleños have been asking me that question.

I have a hard time finding the right answer. Two reasons.

First, that question is built on the assumption that 2020 was not a good year. Second, it presumes that I have a crystal ball or that I am in the business of predicting the future.

I also find it hard to answer the “do you think” questions. Such questions are speculative. They beg for answers that are based on feelings or guesses, educated and otherwise.

I prefer the “how” questions. Instead of asking if I “think” the new year would be better than the previous one, the better way is to ask “how do we make 2021 better than 2020.”

“What do you think” invites the mind to entertain fears, concerns, and reservations about the future. “How” makes the mind imagine the possible, to set goals, and to list down ways by which to accomplish them.

I believe that, no matter what happened in 2020, we have a lot to be thankful for.

True, we went through what may be considered one of the most difficult years in decades.

It kicked off with the unexpected eruption of Taal Volcano which displaced a lot of people. That was also the first time this year that we got introduced to the face mask. It was as if the eruption of Taal Volcano was a notice to us to be ready to be accustomed to this protective device.

Then, the pandemic came and we were locked down, forced to distance ourselves socially, to work from home and to explore new ways to connect and make a living. We closed down our airports and our schools. Many lost their jobs; many more lost their comfortable and convenient way of life.

I have heard a good number of friends say that 2020 has been a nightmare.

Others say the year that is about to close has been true to its number: 2020. It has given us a “20-20” vision. It helped us see ourselves, the world, and life better. Clearer. Sharper.

The year 2020, they add, has helped us realize and appreciate the things and the people who truly matter. It did this by stripping our lives of the non-essentials. It was a painful process. It taught us bitter lessons. These lessons are valuable and should stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Our clearer view of life should help us make 2021 a better year.

I believe the way to deal with this is to follow this formula: Awareness, Acceptance, Adaption.

First, be aware of the realities. Second, accept them as inevitable. Third, adjust to them.

The formula helps us become comfortable with the new realities. The unconventional and nontraditional become familiar. We stop looking at them as risks or threats. We view them as things we can actually live with.

Then, we can set goals – brave, bold goals for 2021.

The much-admired author Stephen Covey wrote:

“All things are created twice: first mentally; then physically. They key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blueprint of the desired result.”

I believe the same applies to the future – to what may become of 2021 in particular.

Writing the blueprint of the future cannot begin with fear. It begins with a brave, bold imagination of the many possibilities that are available to us.

Getting there is more than just a matter of hope and wish. It is a matter of decision.

We must decide how what want the future to be. Then, we write the blueprint and commit to action.

May your 2021 be truly blessed.

*For feedback, please email it to [email protected] or send it to #4 Horse Shoe Drive, Beverly Hills Subdivision, Bgy. Beverly Hills, Antipolo City, Rizal.