Volume 104: Moving into 2021

As we look back at 2020, I’m sure many reading this would like a mulligan. The ability to redo this year and attack some of its challenges differently. With lockdowns, an election cycle that just won’t go away, and ongoing health and economic uncertainty, it’s been an unusual year.

As you read this, there are less than 30 hours left in 2020. Many will spend that time wondering what could have been, as many of us entered 2020 with extremely high hopes and expectations. Vacations were planned and cancelled, professional and personal goals went unfulfilled, and at the end of the day, many people will look at 2020 as a net negative.

But looking back with regret, or to dwell on past mistakes, is an empty exercise. 2020 is over.

Whether we classify the year as “good” or “bad” just doesn’t matter, because there’s nothing we can do about it anymore. Wasting calories on this isn’t good for any of us.

George Washington once said, “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”

I tend to agree with our first President here: if we must look back, let’s do so only to learn what lessons we can to make 2021 better.

Looking Forward with The Benefit of Dearly Bought Experience:

On January 1, 2021, the world’s problems won’t magically be fixed. The societal, health, and economic uncertainty from the virus, from elections, from general life and business, won’t just go away.

However, turning the calendar does provide a chance for a mental reset. Three weeks ago, we talked about using an abundance mindset and looking for the positive in all situations, and it’s still the right mindset to move forward with.

Instead of looking back at 2020 and wondering what could have been, or labeling the year with this or that, let’s look at what the year was. As our first President suggested, let’s look at what we can take from it.

For those that had to shift to work-from-home, what “past errors” can you learn from and avoid moving forward?

For those that missed out on family or social gatherings, how have you/can you adapt to conduct those now? What “useful lessons” can you learn? What might you change about your gatherings once things return to “normal”?

For those that missed vacations and other chances to unwind, how can you make sure you don’t miss those opportunities moving forward? How can you create opportunities to unwind without leaving your home?

In essence, what this boils down to is making a choice: we can’t change what’s happened, but we can take positive lessons from it, and figure out the best way to push forward.

So, let’s do that.


As we move into 2021, I don’t know how quickly things will return to normal. I have no idea what will happen, I don’t think any of us do. But regardless of that, we can and should move forward with confident optimism and wisdom from our “dearly bought experience” from 2020.

It’s okay to lose every once in a while. It’s human to lose every once in a while. It’s not okay to repeatedly lose the same way. Look back long enough to learn and grow from the challenges that 2020 brought, and then push forward into a new year with new challenges and new possibilities.

And so, from the Oberg and Associates, LLC Team to all those in the Corrugated Industry, Happy New Year, and, as always…


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