December 23, 2020
Well, friends, I believe we have gone somewhere that quite possibly no other has gone before.
By the time you are reading this edition of Josh’s Corner, we will be nearing, or at, the end of 2020. As we approach the end of this year, I think it is fair to say we have a number of reasons to express gratitude.
Some of us are thankful for what this year has brought in regards to our businesses, personal lives and professional growth. While others may be more thankful that this year is over.
I am aware of the challenges this year has brought to many, myself included. It is difficult not to feel overwhelmed with anxiety when most news and social media platforms seem to share more doom and gloom articles than positive victories. Because of this, I believe now, more than ever, we need to stand up and express gratitude for all of the good that has happened and continues to happen.
On a recent Ed Mylett podcast, Ed had Jon Gordon as a guest. Jon communicated something that really stood out to me: He said, “When you are focused on gratitude, it is hard to be stressed”. That statement stood out to myself, because that is exactly how I combat stress in my own life. When you feel stressed, what approach do you take to cope? Whenever I feel overwhelmed by it, I start to vocalize the things that I am grateful for, and after a few minutes of this, my anxiety levels seem to be a lot lower.
Now some of you may be thinking ‘Josh, how are you pushing a positive outlook at a time like this?’ You may even be making a statement such as ‘Josh, do you not see the world around you?’
Years ago, a mentor of mine introduced me to the concept of three different personality traits. In addition, most people can fit into at least one, if not all three of these personality traits. First, the optimist. You know the person who always believes the sun is shining and has a “no bad days” decal on the back of their vehicle. Secondly, you have the pessimist. Maybe you have been fortunate to associate with someone with this personality as of late. This could be someone that sees everything as negative, where the sun can be shining and they complain about a single cloud in the sky. Thirdly, we have the realist. A realist is someone that can accept a situation as it is, and is prepared to deal with it accordingly.
Which personality type(s) do you believe best describes you under normal circumstances? Have you seen a change in yourself over the last couple of months, possibly for the better, or worst?
Although I do not believe any of these three personality types make someone a bad person, I do find it interesting when you see a real person trait(s) come out in specific circumstances. Personally, I do believe I lean more on the optimistic realist outlook. As an optimistic realist, I believe that we can accept our current situation, but put forth the required effort to see, and express, gratitude for the good in these situations.
When we take a closer look at 2020 with an optimistic approach, you can easily identify different victories. For example, right as I was elected for Regional Char in Calgary, AMTA had started to host the monthly regional meetings in a beautiful, new hotel.
When the pandemic first occurred, it became quite clear our essential workers, specifically our professional drivers, faced extreme uncertainty as to where they could safely sleep while on the roadways. Within days, AMTA and our industry came together to compile an extremely detailed list of safe locations for professional drivers to rest.
In addition to coming together to provide this information, industry and AMTA came together to provide an overwhelming amount of personal protective equipment to be given out to professional drivers throughout different parts of Alberta.
The Government of Alberta recently launched the “Driving Back to Work Grant Program”, which provides funding for those looking to obtain their class one drivers license in Alberta (certain requirements apply).
Listed above are just a couple of incredible victories that happened in 2020. I am confident that if you were to take a moment and analyze your own life, you would be able to identify plenty of others too.
As we prepare to enter 2021, I encourage all of us to spend time diligently writing out a plan, expressing what you would like to accomplish in the coming 12 months. And no, I do not mean writing out a New Year’s tradition that is thought about for the first three days of January and then forgotten until the following December.
When Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”, I am confident he was faced with immense uncertainty while planning his next venture. Although his back could have been up against a wall, he still understood the importance of creating a plan, and acting on it, to ensure that he was able to get to where he needed to go.
As we enter 2021, I encourage all of us to spend the time and write out individual plans. Identify where you want to go, who you want to become, and pursue it full heartedly. Friends, I truly believe we’ve got this.