Skip to content

A new start for a new decade

sheelagh matthews
Sheelagh Matthews/Best Interest

When 2001: A Space Odyssey hit the movie screens back in 1968, most of us thought 2001 was a lifetime away. Yet here we are in 2020 facing the beginning of a spanking new decade in our ever-changing world.

Our day-to-day use of smartphones and other sophisticated technology has us living in times once described by a mid-century science fiction novel.

So what will 2020, this milestone decade of the 21st Century, have in store for us?

Will it be peace for all who call this planet home? Will it be prosperity and good fortune? Will we see a shift from a society fraught with opposing points of view to one that embraces unity and brotherhood? One thing is for sure, it will bring us whatever we focus on. And I can speak from experience that this Universal Law applies to everything we do.

The trick to making this Universal Law work is to be very careful when it comes to what we actually focus on. For example, instead of focusing on the hardship side of today’s economy, let’s look at more appealing and, perhaps, previously unexplored possibilities. What about spending more time on the strengths and opportunities of a SWOT analysis and less on the weaknesses and threats? Instead of reminding ourselves what we can’t do, let’s think in terms of what we can easily accomplish, or even not-so-easily accomplish. The focus here is on “accomplish.” Get it?

Hmmm. Can it really be so simple to change our lives and our world? The short answer is, “Yes!”

Now, this isn’t to say we shouldn’t acknowledge our fears and disappointments. Indeed, we should in order to process them in a healthy sort of way. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream when it came to civil rights for African-American citizens. King said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

Take my situation. I have to face my fear and disappointment associated with our general global lack of inaction over climate change every day. But, I also realize that there are a lot of people and companies already doing loads to overcome this worldwide threat.

We have the technology to scrub methane and other greenhouse gases from some types of well sites. We have the pressure that concerned citizens are putting on politicians to enact policy change for the greener good. These are definite positives to focus on, and in turn, these positives can bring us hope during our troubled climate times. What would happen if we concentrated our thoughts and efforts more on all the good stuff that is possible? Would it come as a surprise if it didn’t take long before we were seriously fighting climate change in beneficial and prosperous ways? I remain infinitely hopeful that this dream of mine will come true.

Piero Ferrucci is a psychotherapist, philosopher, and author of several books, including The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life. He gives us this advice, perfect for starting off a new decade: “Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure.”

In other words: embrace change, feel the fear, and notice that your world hasn’t collapsed. The proof this works is in the strides we’ve made as civil society as well as the mind-boggling technological changes we’ve come to accept as part of our daily routines. Focussing on what’s possible for our new decade of 2020—now that’s in our best interest.

For more in your best interest, follow Sheelagh @sheesays or visit