‘Oh, what a beautiful morning’ is a song that often springs to mind on my daily morning walk.

As a new day begins, it is a privilege to witness the splendour of the dawn. I feel grateful to be alive in such glorious surroundings, as I immerse myself in Mother Nature. Each day truly starts with a ‘beautiful morning’.

On a recent walk, the song sparked a new idea. As I walked along, I began to think about 2020, the year I have had; what I have experienced, and what I have learned. My thinking unleashed; these ideas quickly linked to the title of the song. I thought “O” What a Wonderful Letter. Knowing haste was of the essence to capture my ideas on paper, I quickened my pace toward home. I hurriedly wrote down three ‘O’ words: Observe, Opportunity, and Optimism.

How do these ‘O’ moments connect with my reflections of 2020?

Observe. Faced with the prospect of almost daily uncertainty, I found it was vital for my wellbeing to pay close attention to how I was feeling, thinking, and being, daily. As we all know, there has been considerable noise in the macro-environment. At first, I allowed myself to get caught up in this chaos. I felt a need to know what was going on. Soon, I noticed the noise became too much. Through observation, I realized these macro issues were out of my control. When I moved my thoughts, behaviours, and actions from macro to micro, I was able to focus on what matters and the things within my control.

Opportunity. With an open mind and being forever curious, I chose to focus on the opportunity. Time, a precious gift for us all, was granted. Like me, many of my clients made the most of this time, to start projects that had been waiting in the wings, or to write the book they had been meaning to write. Amid the crisis, a colleague and I launched an online networking community that continues to grow and thrive. With the same colleague, we also committed to and are in the final stages of writing a co-authored book on leadership. Together and individually, we fully embraced the opportunity.

Optimism. As with every situation in life, there will be an end to what we have gone through and continue to live through this year. Right now, that end is not in sight. Not knowing what is around the corner can be scary, yet exciting at the same time. Choosing to live with optimism and a Can Do approach has given me permission to acknowledge the countless positive examples of hope through the crisis such as a greater sense of support within communities, deeper connections and reconnections globally, and a shift toward embracing what can be achieved.

I am heartened to take forward the learning and love from 2020 into 2021 and beyond. I feel prepared and excited for whatever comes next.‘O’ What a wonderful letter, indeed.