Finally, a new year with hopes for better health, less divisiveness, and getting back to a sense of stability and positive energy. 2020 was a hard, unpredictable year with plenty of things we could reflect back on: COVID-19, quarantines, vacation plans which fell apart, limited holiday celebrations, businesses closing, supply chain complications…and “what do you mean I need to wear a face mask?” Wow, how our lives have changed. However, going into 2021, our perceptions of the events around us say a lot about how we view the world and our own future.
The poem by “Attitude” by Charles Swindoll perfectly describes how I feel about the choice of one’s attitude. His words are poignant and truthful:
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past,
than education, than money,
than circumstances, than failures,
than what others think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance,
giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company… a church…a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice
everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past…
we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude…
I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me
and 90% how I react to it.
And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
You all have heard the question, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” Which type of person are you? Which type of leader are you? I know that when I have a negative reaction to something it affects people around me in a negative way. But when I react positively…WOW…what a difference. And so, it is with you. We all are in charge of our attitudes. We alone own them. Be positive; it is infectious.
We are indeed paying a tough price for the spread of COVID-19. While going through any situation, we are stuck in the moment; only concerned about how this could affect us today. Think about two generations down the road. They will be thinking of the COVID-19 pandemic as the event which:
I am forever grateful to those people who have played a positive role in my life. I have chosen to surround myself with people who are positive, giving of their time, unselfish, and dedicated to good causes. My family used to listen to a radio show when I was growing up and the moderator preached about the “Power of Positive Thinking (PPT).” His commentary was incredibly infectious, and to this day, I try my best to remind myself of his teachings: Picture the positive. Drown out negative thoughts. Minimize obstacles.
I have also added these to my personal thoughts regarding PPT: First, always hold yourself to the highest moral and ethical standards as there will NEVER be a negative outcome. Second, and most importantly, make a genuine effort every day to put a smile on someone else’s face. Be a difference maker in someone else’s life; it will change yours forever. Life is wonderful….enjoy every moment.
I look forward to 2021 and our future together.
President & CEO, Standard Bank