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The Best of 2020, Pandemic Year: Books, Shows, and Gratitude

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Christmas has come and gone, and pretty much 2020 has as well. For many, the arrival of 2021 is a welcome event as most have found 2020 to be a highly objectionable year. The reasons for that have been highlighted, and will be highlighted in many a new year in review. So, I will pass and choose to focus on the upside of the closing year. After all, the hope is that 2020 will have given us that vision (2020) in hindsight.

First and foremost, my business was down 11.2%. That’s a positive? Given what many of my colleagues experienced, I consider that very positive. I’d like to think that this minimal loss is a reflection of my uncanny ability to pivot in the wake of the closing of classrooms. In reality, while that may have some relevance, I believe that my love for the teaching I do is at the core of this “success.” I just wanted to keep working. In short 83 ZOOMS were certainly a highlight of 2020. The big one, however, was packing close to 900 agents in a room to learn about Creating Listing Abundance at the RE/MAX R4 convention.

My running, while amazingly slow this year, was also a highlight. By close of the day tomorrow, I will have “Run the Year.” That means 2020 miles in 2020 (it’ll actually be about 2022).

Like many, the event of 2020 kept many of us inside a little more often. This led to two things: a bit more television than usual (actually A LOT), and a considerable increase in book reading. Let’s start with the TV. I don’t like much on television, and I HATE commercials. I watch for one reason and one reason only, to be entertained. Either fortunately or unfortunately, I am not entertained by drama, horror, blood, gore. If I want that, I would watch the news. Because of these preferences (or UNpreferences) my watchlist is limited. Nonetheless, here’s what I liked in 2020:

1. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. (Prime Video). A great show, especially Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce
2. The Crown (Netflix). Only a season in, so lots to go, but the dialogue, visuals, and music is great.
3. Scott and Bailey (Hulu) A British cop show about two female detectives. Linda loved, so I watched too. Not my fave, but decent.
4. Faith, Hope, and Love (Netflix). A fun, Christian movie about love and dancing
5. The Social Dilemma (Netflix). Scary, and a must watch for social media users, internet surfers, and parents.
Also two new Hallmark Christmas movies that we loved:
1. 5 Star Christmas. My Hallmark fave Bethany Joy Lenz meets Linda’s fave Victor Webster – also known at our house as Hubba Hubba man.
2. One Royal Holiday. Usually don’t like the Prince meets common girl movies, but this one was fun. 

Then….. there’s books. Here are some of the best I read in 2020 (warning: doesn’t mean they were written in 2020).
1. Greenlights. (Matthew McConaughey) My BOOK OF THE YEAR! Just a fabulous read with a plethora of lessons and Greenlights.
2. The Coffee Bean (Jon Gordon & Damon West) Simple book with a simple but elegant message: be the change.
3. The Book of Joy (Dalai Lama & Desmond Tutu). Just what the title says.
4. The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness (Andi Puddicome). A former monk gets me meditating
5. Above the Clouds (Kilian Jornet). A great book about an amazing runner.
5. Running for my Life (Lopez Lomong) a great book about a world class runner’s flight from the Sudan.
6. UNmarketing (Scott Stratten) a very useful book about 21st century marketing strategies.
7. North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail (Scott Jurek) the story of the record Appalachian Trail run. 

More than movies, TV, and books, the highlight of 2020 will be the deepening of the relationships in my life. First and foremost with my wife, Linda. I am so grateful for our growth as partners this year. My family and friends and the joy of watching their lives grow is certainly at the core of my gratitude for this year.

A special thanks to everyone who trusted me to spread education and experiences to salespeople around the world. I am so filled with thanks that I get to do this thing that I love and make a living through it. Mostly, I love helping people be better.

In the end, it’s all good.

Life is full. Life is abundant. Life is worth living/loving.

Happy New Year!