2021 — We’re finally here!
Welcome to Heart to Heart with Doc Martin, where I share with you my thoughts on various subjects and challenge you to think differently!
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In the first Heart to Heart video on my channel, I wanted to wish each and everyone of you a safe, healthy, and happy new year as we bring 2020 to a close and look forward to 2021.
It’s been quite a year hasn’t it?
So many of us have been through so many challenging times and circumstances too numerous to mention.
However the one thing that I always keep near and dear to my heart is the absolute truth that we will all be victims of circumstance at one time or another, but remaining a victim, in the words of my coach and friend Justin Patton, is your choice.
Whenever I’m faced with life’s challenges, I typically look to the words of Dr. Victor Frankel: Noted Holocaust survivor, psychiatrist, and neurologist.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
So here’s a man that was surrounded by death, suffering, and horrific circumstance that chose to look at life as meaningful versus meaningless.
Frankel chose to focus on gratitude rather than sorrow.
Purpose rather than desperation.
Four years ago today, as I filmed my first Heart to Heart video, a Facebook memory popped up of our trip to Berlin Germany.
My husband and I had a great time and decided, one evening, to wander into a department store before dinner. We discussed that we would go into the department store before we would wonder over to the Christmas market that was directly across the street.
Well, we never made it to the Christmas market.
Because we ran into a friend inside the store, believe it or not, and it’s delayed us for about 40 minutes.
By the time we parted company, we decided we go to dinner instead of going to the Christmas market and we exited the store on the opposite side of the street.
We wandered into a fantastic Italian restaurant and place our phones on the table.
At one point during dinner both of our phones not only started vibrating were going crazy.
Well it turned out that at the very Christmas market that we avoided, was targeted for a terrorist attack utilizing a truck. There were several people killed and multiple individuals injured. To say we were shaken is a bit of an understatement because frankly we should’ve been there.
Two days later, we arrive back in our home from our trip to Germany having narrowly averted this attack and what did we discover?
While we were away a flood started and the majority of the first floor of our home, which was on the market at the time, was flooded and destroyed.
Thank goodness we had insurance, however this certainly delayed the sale of our home. Having already purchased another home that we now resided in, it threw us for quite another scare.
At the time, I remember thinking I had a choice just like Viktor Frankl. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I wasn’t in shock when we returned home to a house full of water and a scary financial future because we were in the middle of a home transition, but I did have a choice.
I can look at these incidences as the world is out to get me, or I could look at these incidences as an opportunity to be grateful for our safety, our health, and the avoidance of disaster.
You have a choice too.
I tell you the story because it feels like a rather important metaphor for 2020, doesn’t it?
Everybody has their own story. Everybody has their own hardship. Again, just like Victor Frankel. So what’s it going to be?
Are you going to go into 2021 angry, or are you going to go into 2021 with hope?
“But Martin, how the heck am I supposed to do that with all of this stuff going on in my life?”
The answer is focus.
Focusing on the things that you are grateful for – focusing on the things you have – and not focusing on the things you do not have.
Focusing on the roof over your head, food in your belly, your family, your friends, or just the mere fact that you survived this crazy year that we call 2020. The choice is yours.
So here’s my challenge:
Take a piece of paper and a pen right now and write down anything and everything that is positive within your life.
I promise you that you will gain a sense of gratitude out of this process.
In fact numerous studies show that those individuals that make a habit of writing down three things that are grateful for a day show significant progress in the reduction of depression, loneliness, and sadness. It just works!
From my home to yours, I wish you nothing but health, happiness, and a wonderful new year as we go into 2021!
Remember: life speaks to you, and if you think it doesn’t, you’re not listening.