2020 has been a crazy year. And we haven't even reached the halfway point yet! What's next? Let's recap... 2020 began with wildfires in Australia, then we lost Kobe Bryant in a tragic helicopter accident, then we had the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, then we had murder hornets (remember them?), now we have nationwide protesting and rioting following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Did I forget anything? I think that I got them all. Each event appears to be worse than the one prior. The idea of all of this can be very daunting. How can we overcome all of this negativity?
I am currently reading a book called The Obstacle is the Way, written by Ryan Holiday. Let's be honest 2020 has been FILLED with obstacles! His writings (he has written several books, and also writes the Daily Stoic emails that I read every morning) have been very influential on how I have been coping with the events of this year. In his book, one of the recommendations that he makes is that we practice focusing on objectivity.
Are you familiar with the difference between objectivity and subjectivity? Let's look at a pretty simple statement that you may have heard people saying over the past couple of months - "COVID-19 is here, and it is making everything crazy." The objective part of the statement is "COVID-19 is here," but the portion that states "and it is making everything crazy" is completely subjective. The objective portion focuses on the things that are known and undeniable, while the subjective part of the statement is where the trouble arises for almost everyone. Think of the objective portion as the "facts" and the subjective portion is based on "opinions."
This is like the Choose Your Own Adventure books that I used to read as a kid. We have the opportunity to choose what the subjective portion of that statement will be. We have to be cautious though because it is easily influenced and altered. When we watch the news, we are being fed someone else's opinion. Scrolling through social media... someone else's opinion. Read the newspaper... someone else's opinion. We are all surrounded by someone else's opinion, everywhere we turn. You are not forced to listen to ANYONE else's opinion, but every time that you do listen, it can (and likely will) impact the subjective portion of your statements. Choose wisely who's opinion you will let into your head.
Do not let other's choose how your sentence ends.
Movement is my medicine,