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  • Christie Drexler

Lead Your Mind Toward an Amazing 2020

If you spend any time on social media, you will see that everyone is in one hundred percent agreement that 2020 is a terrible year. Here are a few posts I found in my Facebook feed, expressing this sentiment:


“Sounds like thunder outside, but with the way 2020 is going, it could be Godzilla.”


“When you finally figure out who is responsible for 2020. NEWMAN!”


“2020 in one sentence: a roll of toilet paper is worth more than a barrel of oil.”


“The coin shortage is from people wishing 2020 was over.”


“Has anyone tried giving 2020 a Snickers?”


“Rule Number 1: Never set it to 2020” (includes a picture of the Back to the Future car)


How does it seem that everyone on the planet, a planet full of people who seem to disagree on everything else, agrees that 2020 is a bad year? Here are my conclusions as to why:


1. Our lives and plans have been disrupted.

2. We are focused on our losses.

3. We are listening to voices that tell us 2020 is a bad year.

4. We are not leading our own minds by actively choosing what we will think and believe.


When I look at the big picture, 2020 has been pretty good so far for me. No, I am not crazy, I am not taking mind altering drugs, and I do not have an ownership stake in Kroger, Bounty, Lysol, or Charmin. Many of my circumstances this year have sucked too. It certainly was not my plan to start a new business during a pandemic. I resigned from my job effective January 31st and gave up my secure income not knowing the economic devastation that was around the corner. Watching close family members struggle with severe anxiety and depression this year has been heartbreaking. I am continuously threatened by a virus that is particularly aggressive for people like me with asthma. In December 2019, my husband and I paid for our twenty-fifth anniversary trip to Italy that we planned to take this past July. After rescheduling it twice, we have now accepted there will be no twenty-fifth anniversary trip to Italy. My husband got a pay cut this year. Like all of you, I have seen more negativity and evil this year in our country than I ever remember, and it seems to be intensifying every day. It definitely has not been an easy year, but I will not concede that 2020 has been bad year for me. Instead, I believe 2020 may ultimately be one of the best years of my life.


I made a decision in 2019 that prepared me for what I would face this year. I hired a coach to help me in my professional growth. I was spending a great deal of time coaching leaders at work, but I had no one encouraging me in my development. I had plateaued and realized I needed outside help to move my life forward toward my vision.


In short, my coach taught me I have the power to take charge over my results, regardless of the circumstances, and that power starts in my mind. Although we are not in control of every thought that enters our minds, we do get to decide which ones to pay attention to, believe, and act on. We do not have to accept every thought we think or hear as fact. As humans, we can think about what we are thinking and assess whether our thoughts are serving us. Are our thoughts based on indisputable facts? Are they moving us closer to our purpose and vision for our lives? Do we want to believe the thoughts we are thinking? We can decide what we will believe about 2020. We do not have to give away our power to those who tell us that 2020 sucks.


A couple years ago, I attended a conference for educators, students, and leaders in Houston County hosted by our local Chick-Fil-A. Dr. Kevin Elko, who has consulted for large corporations, NFL teams, and national championship college football teams, was the keynote speaker. In his speech that day, he made a statement that challenged my thinking and has had a profound impact on me since. He said, “Every blessing has burden. You get to decide whether to focus on the blessing or the burden.” I have pondered that statement many times since then, and I have yet to come up with a single blessing that does not also have a burden. I also believe every burden has a blessing. We only need to look for it and sometimes wait for it.


Therefore, I have decided to focus on all the good I have experienced so far this year. I have seen God answer specific prayers. Our house sold easily when that seemed impossible. Our UGA student renters continued to pay their monthly rent on our Athens house, even though school had been cancelled. I have served hurting family members and friends because I was working from home. My morning walks, which I did not have time for before the pandemic, now start each day on a positive note. I got to spend unexpected time with my oldest daughter when she came home from college in March. I have bonded like I have not ever bonded before with my youngest daughter. She just started her senior year of high school and has told me several times, “I am so glad you have been home with me.”


Dr. Elko made another statement that has been impactful for me in 2020. “If I lost everything I had today, and all I get back tomorrow is what had today, tomorrow would be the best day of my life.” Thinking like this, appreciating all the things I have and all that I have gotten back, has made 2020 a special year. Getting to return to church and fellowship with my church family has been so much sweeter than before the pandemic. I cherish the hugs I now get from family and friends I social distanced from in the Spring. Last week, I got to share in the joy of my daughter and other kids of simply being able to go back to school. This past weekend, I got to listen to my youngest daughter sing the same song repeatedly very loudly. In the past, this would cause me to have a headache, and I would tell her to go to another room. However, this weekend every note, no matter how loud, was sweet music to my ears. What changed? It was not my daughter’s singing. It was only what I was thinking about her singing that changed. This weekend, I was filled with gratitude that she could do what we loved to do again.


Is it possible this pandemic could get out of hand and my daughter could lose theater again? Yes, absolutely, but we have decided to live in the moment. Why would we give up our joy today worrying about something that may or may not happen tomorrow? We cannot control the circumstances of tomorrow. We can only choose how we will think, and feel, and act today. Rather than worry that her show will be cancelled, we have chosen to believe that “the show will go on.” This past weekend, this thought helped us feel joyful and act with kindness and love toward each other. We laughed and danced and sang as she practiced. Who knows? The virus may ultimately cause us to lose the show, but it could not stop us from experiencing joy last weekend.


Here are the reasons I listed at the beginning of this blog as to why it seems everyone has been agreement that 2020 is a terrible year, along with some things we can do to redeem 2020:


1. Our lives and plans have been disrupted.

  • We can acknowledge the disruption and accept what is outside of our control.


2. We are focused on our losses.

  • We can focus on our blessings in 2020. What haven’t we lost that we are grateful we still have? What good things did we get more of, new, or different in 2020 that we did not have in 2019? What have we gotten back later in the year that we lost earlier this year?

3. We are listening to voices that tell us 2020 is a bad year.

  • As much as possible, we can turn off the voices that point out what is negative about 2020. We can find voices that are focused on the blessings and opportunities available to us. There are plenty of positive voices out there, but we must intentionally look for them. For example, from a business leadership perspective, I regularly read books and listen to podcasts from Jon Gordon, Michael Hyatt, Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, Brooke Castillo, Todd Hermann, Christine Caine, and others.

4. We are not leading our minds.

  • We cannot keep all the negative voices away. Some of those voices are from people who live in our homes. Even our own minds are filled with constant negative thoughts. However, we can start thinking about what we are thinking about. We can decide which thoughts we will listen to and which thoughts we will ignore. We can scrutinize our thoughts. We can ask ourselves, “Is this thought true? Is it serving me? Will this thought help me serve others?” If the answer is no, then we can replace it with a new intentional thought that is true and is serving us or others. Then we can give the new thought a great deal of our focus. We can repeat this thought to ourselves regularly, we can write it down, and we can act on it. We can also decide not to act on thoughts that do not serve us. We can choose to only act on thoughts that help us live the life we want to live.

  • We can find a coach, therapist, or wise friend that can help us challenge our thinking. We all need outside help to grow stronger, wiser and better. When we have unconsciously thought negatively for years, it can be almost impossible to identify thoughts that are not serving us with without outside help.

My passion is helping people pursue victorious living and helping organizations develop the potential of their team members and leaders. I would love to partner with you to redeem 2020. This can be the year you begin leading your mind rather than unconsciously allowing it to lead you. To be effective in leading others, we must first learn to lead ourselves. That, alone, would make 2020 amazing!


For more information about my services, visit www.drexlerleadership.com, or you can contact me at

christiedrexler@drexlerleadership.com.







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