2020 has been pretty sucky in a lot of ways, that is not news. We started the year with wildfires ravaging Australia, decimating both wildlife and local communities, we then steamrolled straight into the grasp of COVID19, the global pandemic and the lockdown measures that came alongside, the global economy then took a huge hit thanks to the spread of the virus, we witnessed vast amounts of violence and our eyes were opened to the Black Lives Matter movement off the back of a number of tragic, avoidable deaths. There were a number of disasters globally – both natural and terrorist-based disasters. We then saw wildfires return to headlines, although this time they spread across the West Coast of the US, in addition we lost a number of historical and socially significant figures, including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and we are still battling the pandemic all these months later.

It’s been a year.

With 2021 on the horizon, I have been finding videos that will help inspire me to take back control next year and to get me pumped for a new start and a new chapter for us all. Below are four videos to get you started on your journey to a better year. Listen whilst you get the washing up done or to help you get out of bed in the morning, make time to make plans for yourself, your loved one and the wider world. As always, please comment below with any additional suggestions you have for important, empowering, inspirational videos or speeches that we could all use to propel us into 2021 and beyond!

Ellen DeGeneres addressing the graduating class of 2009 at Tulane University. This year has made a lot of us really take a look at our lives and discover what we want and need out of life. Hearing someone as iconic as Ellen DeGeneres talk about their struggles, their aspirations, the obstacles that she has overcome throughout her life to get to where she is today. Inspiring, empowering and packed full of lessons that we can all use to take 2021 by the horns and make steps towards the lives that we want. Ellen DeGeneres shows that being authentically yourself is imperative to success and happiness and fulfilment in your daily life.

Luisa Neubauer explains incredibly well why you should be a climate activist and how to do it effectively. This gives great insight into the realities of the issues we are facing as a planet, how we refuse to learn from the facts that scientists are desperately trying to disperse into the public consciousness and how the action that we are taking is far too slow to make an impact on the bleak predictions of our future. Unapologetic in her criticism of politicians, big business and those why refuse to acknowledge that major change is needed is refreshing and eye-opening. I think that this will help empower us all to become active in our support of environmental initiatives and climate issues. We have shown throughout 2020 that change is possible, that we can band together for the health of each other and our planet – so let us use this lesson as momentum to push forward and face a new normal unafraid and open to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone in order to achieve something great.

Brené Brown is a great go-to for empowerment – there are so many of her speeches of hers out there to inspire you and she also has a podcast, so you can get your fix if she floats your boat. She is an author, speaker, researcher, storyteller, professor and all-round bad ass. Definitely worth 20 mins of your time to listen to this speech to help you get out of your own way and achieve what you really want out of life. Using her research and her own experiences, she takes a hard look at us as humans and how we can get the most out of our daily lives, careers, relationships and beyond.  

This poem by Cleo Wade is about being an advocate for love and acceptance in a time when both seem in short supply. I think we all need a little bit of that to help us leave 2020 behind us and spread our wings into 2021.

And, finally, when all else fails, I always return to ‘Desiderata’ by Max Ehrmann (1927). Enjoy.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no double the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

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