January 7, 2020


Life by Design: A Mindset of New Beginnings

By: Emily Mishler

Welcome to 2020! I don’t know about you but the past few weeks have been a blur — an incredible time of celebration and reflection as we’ve approached the end of a month, year, decade, while simultaneously approaching a series of new beginnings. This time of year always seems to bring a bit of cognitive dissonance — a simultaneously joyful time for some and devastating time for others. The holidays are a season of both giving and receiving: a natural polarity. This polarity is something we’ve obviously seen drastically building within our country. In this season and period of polarity throughout the holidays and within our country, natural endings and beginnings, political cycles, celebration, and grief of loss and gain — a new leaf seems to be turning. A huge cultural shift to acceptance, community, introspection, self-care, self worth, vulnerability, emotional intelligence, connection, and impact can be attributed to a multitude of different things, but very much feels like a new beginning and “fresh start” as we dive into the new decade.

Despite this season and feeling of beginnings, according to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year’s resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February. If 80% failure rate is consistent, one could easily argue that it’s not humans that are the issue but the idea of resolutions themselves. If that is in fact the case, how can the majority of us continue to move our lives forward and not be overcome or overwhelmed by the daunting shift that is a resolution? I suggest taking on the mindset of a beginner, in whatever area you’re hoping to grow within.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
-Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

As we continue to challenge ourselves to grow, expand, and live I both urge and challenge you to not become complacent in your choice of techniques, strategies, and ability to both listen and absorb. Aim to learn and listen, not necessarily always to share. Aim to surround yourself with like-minded community but focus on diversifying and expanding the community in which you surround yourself. Rather than a typical “resolution” or “goal”, it may be more effective if we constantly seek an awareness for a better way, which requires believing that there might be a better way. This inherently implies embracing a mindset of a beginner as opposed to an expert.

As we embark on the adventure and privilege that is living this new decade, how are you positioning your life, business, relationships, professional development to reach your intended outcome? How are you focusing on expansion, growth, and forward movement toward the world you’d like to see, build, grow, and live within? How are you preparing yourself to accomplish your goals in 2020?