Last month, when I joined millions of other Americans in watching Kamala Harris’ first speech as Vice President-elect, one sentence particularly struck a chord in me. “Dream with ambition. Lead with conviction. And see yourselves in a way that others might not simply because they’ve never seen it before.”
As I reflect back on the pandemonium that was this year, I am all the more inspired by Harris’ words. While the arc of 2020 has been anything but normal, I choose to believe that our capacity to dream still remains intact.
Our realities are different now. Our priorities have changed. Our eyes are wide open to the volatile nature of life on this planet. Of course, we knew this before—it’s part of being human—but 2020 thrust it to the forefront of our universal consciousness. But I don’t think for even a moment it has broken or squelched the hope within us.
When I glance around at the faces in my purview, I see boldness, tenacity, fervor and passion. It’s like a jolt of livewire has crackled through the foundations of our culture, rousing us from complacency to restore a sense of urgency.
To become the shapers of tomorrow, we must also be the dreamers of today. We must cling to purpose and intention as we move toward the future. 2020 has shown us that aspirations cannot wait—the time to chase them is now. So on this note… here a few lessons we can take from this year as we continue following our dreams in 2021.
We can always pivot when something doesn’t turn out as planned.
We can balance productivity and hustle with boundaries and rest.
We can pause to refocus on or even redefine the core values we hold.
We can break each goal down into small, realistic, incremental steps.
We can choose where to invest our free time, energy and resources.
We can impact the lives around us when we stand for what is right.
We can stop looking for validation or fulfillment in external places.
We can prioritize authenticity in all our endeavors and interactions.
We can trade in our comfort zones and invite an element of risk.
We can form interdependence with those who share our mission.
We can stay curious and receptive to what others could teach us.
We can root ourselves in a practice of mindfulness and gratitude.
We can listen to our intuition—it knows the direction to pursue.
We can embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and strengthen.
We can trust ourselves to be resilient in the face of any obstacles.
Life is unpredictable. Time is ephemeral. Change is inevitable. And normal is an illusion. 2020 has reinforced each of these truths we can no longer deny. So what should we do in response then? Simple…be the dreamers.
Embark on that cross-country move. Launch that new business or nonprofit. Turn those journal entries into a book. Channel those inner dialogues into a podcast. Harness that passion to make the world a braver, truer, kinder place. If this year has taught us just one takeaway, it’s that our unique human ability to dream, hope and believe in the future will not be shaken. We are ready to press onward—we were built for this.