Now that you made into 2021, do you feel lucky?
21 is the number most associated with luck, rolling the dice, and taking chances. It’s the number of spots on a standard die. It’s also the other name for Blackjack, the most popular gambling card game besides poker. The object of the game is simple: beat the dealer by getting a count as close to 21 as possible without going over 21. While it’s all about the cards, skill is a key part of the game. Knowing how to play your hand, maximize your profits, or minimize your losses is what separates the professionals from the palookas.
It will be exactly the same for 2021. We’ve all been dealt a hand that we have to play as best we can. There is an extraordinary level of luck involved. Some of us are in businesses that are thriving in a post-pandemic world. Others are not so fortunate. Their industries have been decimated and they need to begin all over again. Either way, uncertainty, and unpredictability will be signature themes this year.
In my work with Environics/Lipkin, the research and motivation company that I founded 20 years ago, I have discovered that people who feel lucky do four things that their more pessimistic counterparts refrain from doing: they try more things, they take more chances, they persevere with their tasks longer and they make the most of their failures. The net result is a self-fulfilling prophecy: they turn their feelings into results. They keep turning their virtuous flywheel until it becomes self-perpetuating. For those people who feel lucky, even the setbacks they endured in 2020 will become their stepping-stones in 2021. Are you one of them? What would you do differently if you consciously and intentionally felt lucky?
And that’s where the Ox comes in. In the Chinese Zodiac, beginning February 12, 2021 is the year of the Ox. The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese Zodiac. The first is the Rat. It’s appropriate that the Rat represented 2020 as the year of the plague. The Ox, on the other hand, represents recovery. It symbolizes land, work, diligence, earth, loyalty, stability, and nourishment. In China and Korea, the Ox is celebrated as an animal of strength, associated with harvest and fertility. A famous Korean saying states, “It is a bad ploughman that quarrels with his ox.”
So what’s the moral of the story? 2021 will be a renaissance year but it will take everything you have and then some. It will stretch you to breaking point, but you won’t. You’ll work harder than you ever have before. You’ll go further than you ever have before. You’ll grow stronger than you ever have before. There is no other way. First comes sweat. Then comes tears. Then comes luck. If you want to succeed, you’ve got to let the tension between actual and ideal pull you into the future. If you work hard, the work will sweep you away.
There are six reasons why 2021 will be a renaissance year, maybe even a record year:
- The economy will grow by 4-5% after a 4-5% decline in 2020. The resurgence that began in the third quarter of last year will accelerate into the third quarter of 2021. The snap-back has started.
- The administration of the vaccine will pick up pace as health systems and supply chains master the complexity of distribution. Already, Israel, with a population of nine million people, has vaccinated almost 10% of its population. Herd immunity is just a few short months away.
- Tech-celeration is enabling rapid adaptation to the not-normal-normal. We are far better equipped to navigate our way forward than we were in March last year. The workplace of the future is anywhere and everywhere. And the new generation of electrification technologies, powered by renewable energy will help decarbonize the economy while creating millions of jobs.
- There will be a massive commitment to personal growth and learning as the vast majority of people retool themselves for dramatic change. There is a burgeoning appreciation that the pre-covid past is nothing like the post covid future. Necessity and opportunity are unleashing robust ingenuity and entrepreneurialism.
- Countries are coming together in a spirit of common purpose and shared humanity. It is epitomized by Jacinda Ahern, the New Zealand prime minister when she referred to her country as “a team of five million.” When we can finally socialize again, people will celebrate and appreciate each other with renewed joy and gusto. The things that unite us will be far stronger than those that divide us.
- There will be greater global alignment motivated by the new Pragmatist-In-Chief in the White House and the simple need to marshal every resource to fight the virus. The scars of the last four years won’t disappear but they will dissipate.
So what will it take for you to win your personal gold in this highly lucrative environment? How can you make 2021 your best year ever? Here is the Mike Lipkin four-part formula. You create your own:
- Know the specific prize you want to achieve by December 31 2021 so the power of focus can clear your path. The prize must be bigger than any problem that gets in the way, It must excite you and challenge you in equal measure. I want to deliver 100 virtual keynotes, increase my net worth by 20%, and weigh 180 pounds. What’s yours?
- Know what motivates you at your core so you burn bright, not burn out. This is the fire that enables you to become the Keeper of The Flame and light the way for others. I’m inspired to inspire people. I want to make money by helping others make money. My greatest pleasure is the knowledge that I have helped someone create their breakthrough. What motivates you at your core?
- Know your unique promise that makes you valuable to the people who are valuable to you. This is your gift that you keep giving to others so they keep coming back for more. It’s how you build continuous loyalty and reciprocation. I am The Potentiator. I activate people with insights and inspiration. I give them what they need most in that moment to succeed. I bring luck because I help them feel lucky. What’s your unique promise?
- Know your everyday essential actions. These are the nonnegotiable steps you need to take every day. They are the micro-rituals that become empowering habits that make you unstoppable over time. I will eat right. I will sleep well. I will work out. I will be a great partner. I will make it pleasurable and profitable for others to talk to me. I will continually reach out to a wide circle of champions. I will master new technologies. I will learn from every experience. I will read, watch and listen to the masters of life. I will create content that entertains and informs. I will face my fears. I will love my life. I will be bold, not reckless. I will cast out doubt. I will be humble and proud. I will find feedback. I will remind myself how lucky I am. I will think beyond myself. What will you do?
That’s it. That’s how I plan to work like an ox to beat the dealer in 2021. I hope my declaration of intent inspires you to declare your intent. People cannot help you get what you want if they don’t know what it is. So help them help you. Then you can help them. And that’s how we’ll be lucky together. Let’s get to work.