I had the thought the other day that this year has been the best year of my life. I’ve heard a few other people say that about this year. On the surface it sounds surprising, given the mess we all seem to be in at the moment, but if you dig a little deeper it’s a reasonable claim.

I’ve always been someone with big dreams & aspirations. And most of the time, I don’t hesitate or think too much before getting after something (to a fault sometimes). This mindset really started for me when I quit college and ran a painting business with Student Painters, eventually publishing my first book and putting on a tour across the country to sell it. I’ve started a podcast, a blog, a vlog, weaseled my way into multiple jobs that I was unqualified for, and created countless opportunities for myself in unconventional ways.

Anyone who knows me well has seen me in my usual inspired state, full of ideas and forward tilt. I’ve always harbored fear – but I’ve been ok stepping into & beyond it in pursuit of my dreams. I had this in mind when I made my decision to move to Salt Lake City. It was the next adventure for me, and an opportunity to dive into rock climbing and start Native Films, my own video production company.

The first few months I was out here went swimmingly! I didn’t see many results, but I was in a good routine cracking into the new city, making connections and hustling with purpose daily. I got smacked by countless no’s, negotiated my way into phone calls, and pushed busy people to meet with me who had never heard of me before.

Then, ‘rona hit.

The first weekend it hit hard. Nobody had any idea how bad this thing would be, and naturally we all prepared for thee worst. I didn’t know what to do. My outreach results immediately waned, as nobody was thinking about new opportunities, they were just thinking about how they would hold on to what they had and how they would survive. By default, I adopted this mindset.

And it stuck with me. Month after month, I spent time in my apartment thinking & pondering about what to do. I watched what people were doing online, listened to what people had to say about the whole thing, keeping my finger on the pulse of the world. I spent a lot of time connecting with friends to talk about the whole thing. I was plagued by indecision, and the infection spread through my body over the course of 2020. That doubt and fear I usually handle in a playful way was now hovering over me like a dark cloud, scaring me into submission.

I put my business efforts on hold and became a victim of circumstance. I told myself I was still the motivated old Simon I used to be, but my actions told a different story. I don’t blame ‘rona at all. In fact, I’m thankful. I was exposed this year in a big way. The virus revealed to me my weakest points, many of which had been well hidden from me. It showed me how I react when things are going poorly worldwide, and I must say I was unimpressed.

We all have our seasons in our life, and if we’re lucky, we learn from them and move on. As this year comes to a close I feel like I am just starting to pick myself up again in a real way. I still have a safe humility about me, but every few days I get a clear glimpse of that no holds barred, audacious, wacky and sometime sporadic modus operandi of mine. I love it. It’s me. If I can own it, I have faith it will take me far beyond my dreams and ambitions.

I have spent a lot of time testing out and shaping my beliefs over the years, and one that I hold closely is the belief that I am the creator of my own destiny. I lost sight of that for a while this year. But I’m more ready than ever to own it and trust myself as I go forward.

Maybe you can relate. It was a tough year for all of us, and I really believe what I faced this year was the very same problem in front of the entire human race. I hope you’ve been able to learn a lot about yourself this year, and I hope the retraction has been helpful in teaching you how to move forward.

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