Looking forward to brightness and possibilities for 2021

I came across this mobile sign during...

Dec 30th, 2020

Israel Ellis Headshot

Israel Ellis

Looking forward to brightness and possibilities for 2021

10 Min Read

I came across this mobile sign during one of my daily neighborhood walks.   The message reads, “Good Riddance 2020”.  This got me thinking.   While I appreciate the sentiment, though I feel a rather poor attempt at levity, I instantly felt that we should not be feeding into the grievances of the past but rather be encouraged towards the future.

Yes! one can easily lament that this year has been one of the most difficult in recent history.  Some say it’s been one of the worse.   The year has played havoc with livelihoods and lives.   The anxiety of lockdowns and the unknowns have been very stressful indeed, giving rise to unprecedented mental health issues.   Yet, we have strived to overcome these feelings of isolation; the reality of loss; the intense anxiety; and this impending unknown – like the sound of a train roaring towards you, bracing yourself for impact.  We have succeeded in overcoming and I don’t think we need to rid ourselves of that newfound strength. Do you?

Many good things have happened this year. Babies were born, people were married, love found, and life has flourished in different and new ways. Do we really want to say good riddance to that too?

Let’s take a step back, and for a moment consider this:   There is a force much larger than ourselves, with a plan that is for our betterment.  I realize that idea today may be a difficult stretch for some – but for just a moment, let’s consider these questions:

What about the advancement in scientific research that this year forced? We now have medical technology that can save us not only from this virus but others, maybe even from cancer and other diseases.  We have proven our collective ingenuity to make progress in lighting speed.

Much have changed rapidly this year.  We have redefined the workplace – the freedom of working from anywhere not limited by time.  Necessity has truly proven to be the mother of invention; we have pushed forward into the future with an urgency and explosion.  A phrase will be pronounced to label this period as history unfolds the change and embraces the innovation into our daily lives.

This year my family has spent quality time together like never before. We have connected, grown, and learned more about each other.  I have gotten to know my neighbors. But even more impressive is the growth of our global community. The polarizing spectrum of differences has forced meaningful awareness and discourse.   Interconnected social, justice and environmental issues have gained voice.

I struggle with what I can only term as the tragic commoditization in the loss of life.  Every person has a name, every person counts. In their wake are left the loss of those left behind. Livelihoods destroyed; businesses failed. We need to send a message to the person next to us: “You are not alone, you are recognized, you are a hero to survive and rebuild. It is okay to ask for help.”

I must believe everything that happens has magical serendipity that only reveals itself in a time gone by as we look in the rear-view mirror or yesterday. So, buckle up. It happens starting with Day 1 of 2021.  Gratefulness for every day to recognize what we have gained. I am looking forward to the amazing things that are going to happen, the changes we will make, the betterment of ourselves and humanity.

This sign should read “looking forward to the brightness and possibilities for 2021”. Get the message? Happy New Year ahead.

Israel Ellis is the author of Moving Through Walls (2019), CEO of AdvancePro Technologies, and Co-Founder of 365 Investment Partners. visit www.israelellis.com

Moving Through Walls contains practices, philosophies, attitudes, and anecdotes that will challenge one’s assumptions and inspire them to commit to new, transformational practices. Israel Ellis takes us on a journey to explore how we limit ourselves when instead we can optimize our potential.

– Aubrey Dan | Amazon.ca

I thought I was going to breeze through this book on a flight– but I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly touching and powerful the content was. I found myself immersed in the story, the teaching and coming away from each chapter in deep introspection for how to re-align my life and be more present. Now, 7 days later after having finished the book, I feel reinvigorated and inspired. Thank you, Israel, for so vulnerably sharing your truth and takeaways! #LivingMyLifeOnMyTerms

– Liz J. Simpson | Amazon.com


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In Moving Through Walls I have narrowed the answers to four foundational principles. These ideas are tools to achieve the life you want to live. Embrace them and make them your own.

– Israel Ellis

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I wrote Moving Through Walls out of a purpose to share what I have learned.

If you have a deep desire to find that road less travelled to your greatest self. Then you have likely come to the right place.

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Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in six words. He came up with the famous six-word story: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Inspired by this story, Larry Smith of SMITH Magazine challenged others to try to write their lives in six words.

I thought this idea was quite the challenge. How could you encapsulate a life in six words? I was struck by both the brilliant simplicity and the enormity of the challenge: sum up the total sense of who I am and what I believe and package it in a six- word micro-memoir.

I was stumped. For several days, I considered what impact these six words would have on how I value myself. Six words does not allow for any excess; it requires the writer to focus in on what is most important. The exercise took on a new challenge for me. I realized it was asking me to distill my life down to my core essential truth.

When I eventually committed my six words to paper, I felt a great wave of relief come over me. I was calmed by its truth: Living my Life on my Terms. In six words, I captured the feeling of the gratefulness I felt and how far I’d come to understand what a gift life is. Every time I see these words they continue to strengthen and inspire me.

Try it yourself. What are your six words?

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A point of caution here: Stories of grievance have a shelf life. There is a point of repetition where you risk becoming a broken record. No one has the patience to listen to the same grievance over and over again. Grievances can also eventually manifest themselves to include things that did not happen. People who have chosen to dedicate their lives to bearing crosses often become so obsessed that they lose the connection to what really happened.

Don’t become trapped in this cycle. You get a limited number of passes before your story of grievance needs to evolve into one of “heroism”—and this is the story you can tell over and over again. No one gets tired of hearing about heroism. It is motivating and positive. A story of overcoming hardship gives strength to others, and every hero deserves to share their story.

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“What I call the four foundations—openness, faith, future, and forgiveness—are principles that we can use to change the way we interact with the world. These foundations will be the topics of Part One of this book. Our perception—how we see the world around us—is shaped by our life experiences. In our earliest years, we form many of the biases we carry throughout our lives; these biases often predict how we react to the world around us and prevent us from making the changes necessary to living our greatest lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We all have the potential to become mindful of our biases and loosen their grip upon us. With conscious effort, we can achieve a state of being that aligns with who we want to be, not where we came from.People often say that change starts with altering actions and behaviors, but I believe this statement is a case of mistaking means for ends. We start the change process by having a vision of who we want to be or what we want to accomplish. Only then will our actions and behaviors change to accommodate that vision.”

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Accelerate

"People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of."
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

It’s a beautiful summer morning on the ocean, and the perfect wave is coming in. You’ve spotted the wave, paddled hard to be in the right position to catch it, and now you are on the top—on the crest. You lean in, commit yourself, and tip the board forward. You invite the surging force of the breaking water to take over, and the result is a massive jolt of acceleration. Looking back, it seems as if everything that happened was pre-destined, there is such perfect harmony between yourself, your purpose, and nature. In that moment, riding atop the surge, is acceleration. 

"I have trust in my intuition, powered by the confidence that comes from past achievements. I have done it before; I can do it again.”

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“Foundation 4: Forgiveness

The final foundation is forgiveness. When an injustice has been perpetrated against you, it can be incredibly difficult to heal and move forward. That said, when we hang on to the anger that resides deep within us, it tarnishes the soul and blurs our ability to envision and realize the future we desire. To move forward, we must prevail and overcome. But how? How do you move on?
The chapter on forgiveness was the hardest and most personal for me to write. For a long time I struggled to forgive people who had hurt me, but in my journey I realized that only through forgiveness can we unlock a future in which we become the best versions of ourselves. That future is worth the discomfort of being vulnerable. ”

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“If you put your best foot forward and do everything within your power, you will come to a place that is your destiny. “Believe” that you are loved. “Believe” that you have value. And “believe” that you are an important part of this vast universe, one that is a far better place because you have chosen to pursue your greatness, and in doing so, have affected the world in ways that you may never become aware of.”

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“If you are meant to be on the path that you are on, the universe will find a way, even when you can’t. When you realize this fact, you will have stumbled upon one of the secret ingredients for success; if you focus on “what” you need to happen—you articulate your goal—the universe will supply the “how.” That is the power of faith. ”

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Accelerators are the fuel for greatness. With every personal and professional project that we commit to and bring to the finish line, we increase the confidence we have in ourselves, the faith that others have in us, and our abilities to achieve larger tasks. But to open those doors, it starts with commitment. It starts with taking the shot. Just do it! as the famous ad campaign goes.

Mrs. Ellison, my grade five teacher, who at the time seemed older than God, would single me out because I did not have my lunch or because my work was not completed. She would hear no excuses. It did not matter to her that at ten years old, I had no one to make me lunch or that I would come to school in pretty bad shape. She would look me straight in the eye, a tremor in her voice, point a shaky finger at me, and say, “Young man, where there is a will, there is a way.”

In retrospect, I have to thank her for her unwavering lack of empathy for me, even if the appropriate action might have been to call a children’s aid society. She drummed that phrase into my head and it stuck. When I find myself in front of what appears to be an impenetrable wall, I recount her words, often saying them out loud in a chant-like fashion.

This mantra has kept me pushing and persevering over the years. There is always a way to move through walls. I have moved through many in my journey, and I will move through more. The commitment to moving through walls reminds me that by keeping stock in my faith and asking the universe to deliver, I will find that crack in the dam and a trickle of opportunity will make its way through to lead me to the next great place on my journey.

Challenging ourselves and pushing the boundaries of what we think we’re capable of is a powerful accelerator. Accelerators related to physical endeavors can be particularly powerful. By persevering through physical discomfort, we learn to access new sources of confidence and motivation. Not to mention, it keeps you looking and feeling great, which is an accelerator all on its own!

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