2020 represents a lot of loss for me, as it does for many others. It also represents a year where I was reminded of just how creative, flexible, compassionate, and resourceful I can be and how the lessons from my past can help me focus on the future.
As I reflect on my past, I consider many aspects of my journey- the obstacles overcome and the lessons learned. 2020 has been full of milestone anniversaries for some big changes and accomplishments in my life. Remembering these moments and the journey to and through them help to keep me encouraged, motivated, and ready to create my next.
- 25 years since I became a mother at 15
- 20 years since I was named Ms. University of Memphis
- 15 years since I earned my MBA from Belhaven University
- 10 years since I published my memoir, Life After Birth- A Memoir of Survival and Success as a Teenage Mother
- 5 years since I created the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum with the English Language Arts Higher Learning Standards
- 1 year since I made my first trip to the continent of Africa!
In a recent blog post, I share how it’s important to learn from the past but not dwell on it.
What milestone anniversaries does 2020 represent for your life?
The Present is a Gift
One thing we all learned this year was that tomorrow is not promised. Just being alive today, right now, is a blessing that I believe fewer of us are taking for granted. At the end of this blog post, I pose an important question for your consideration and appreciation for your healthy mind and body and for your current situation even if it isn’t exactly how you had hoped it would be.
What do you have to be grateful for in your life today, and what lessons are you learning that can help you next year?
How I Focus on the Future
Like probably most people, I can’t help but to think about the damage 2020 did- emotionally, financially, mentally, and even academically. However, I choose to focus on the future and the possibilities of what still can be. How all aspects of my life can be better than in 2020 and every year before it too.
- First, yes, I think about the bad things. But instead of thinking about the negative impacts, I look for the lessons and the opportunities in each and every situation that hurt or didn’t go as I wanted or expected.
- Next, I examine my current situation. How am I feeling? What do I want? What resources do I have available to me? What do I have to be thankful for? What can I create or pursue to feel, have, and be what I want in the future?
- Then I focus on the future. I close my eyes and daydream (night dream too) of how I want my future to look. I write down my goals and create a plan to achieve them using the lessons from my past, appreciation for my present, and my optimistic focus on the future.
Interested in getting help achieving your 2021 goals?
I’m taking on a few coaching clients for a new group coaching program that will launch in January. If you’d like more information and to see how you can secure your spot before they fill up, just sign up here and I’ll keep you posted! Don’t forget to share with your friends who are ready to focus on the future too!
So what lessons do you have from your past, including this relentless teacher of a year, will you consider as you focus on the future?
I’m Summer Owens, and my passion is helping youth and young adults realize success no matter what obstacles they face. As an international resilience and leadership keynote speaker, author, S.O. What! Success Coach, and creator of the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum, I empower people to say, “So what!” to even their greatest challenges. provide a framework to help people see past their challenges and focus on solutions using the S.O. What! Success System (Overcome Obstacles + Eliminate Excuses + Calculate Choices = S.O. What! Success). Through keynotes, workshops, books, online courses, and workbooks, I use life’s challenges and my own story of resilience as a rape survivor and teen mom success story to help others confidently pursue their dreams.
Looking for an inspiring college motivational speaker? A high school literacy curriculum? A middle school life skills workbook? A great example for teen mothers? A women’s empowerment or single mother’s conference speaker? I’m your girl and will help any audience say, “S.O. What!”.