2020 Was My BEST Year... This Is How I Did It
I know that I’m supposed to start this video by talking about all of the ways that 2020 was such a challenging year for everyone, but the truth is, it wasn’t a challenging year for “everyone”, for a small group of people, it was an opportunity to prove that they could not only survive, but thrive, even and especially when the world around them descends into chaos.
The global pandemic brought into the light two very distinct types of personalities, the first personality type spent most of 2020 glued to their social media feeds, complaining about how f*cked everything is, while they sat around getting fat and out of shape, because after all, gyms were closed, what were they supposed to do?
Now the second personality type, these are the ones who see opportunity where others see adversity, they take control of their own circumstances, instead of falling victim to them.
I know what it’s like to be that first personality type, I spent most of my 20’s basically just, “reacting” to the things that happened around me, over many difficult and adversity filled years of working on myself, I’ve learned to embody that second personality type.
During the pandemic, I grew my business by close to 40% despite being in one of the industries that was most affected, I started this channel and grew it from 0 to almost 200k subscribers, and I fixed my energy issues while improving my athletic performance.
Anyone can succeed when times are good, and for anyone looking to develop the sort of power that will allow them to not only survive, but thrive when the world around them seems to be crumbling.
In this video, I’ll cover the 2 big lessons that you can learn from the pandemic and start applying in your own life immediately after you’re done watching. Let’s begin.
Lesson 1: Understanding control
In psychology, there’s something called external and internal locus of control, these have to do with how much we feel that we are in control of the things that affect our lives. External locus of control how much that we believe our successes or failures result from external factors that are outside of our control.
In 2020 the people with high external locus of control sat around pointing their fingers at all of the “bad” things that were happening all around them, If they lost their jobs, they didn’t look for another job, if they were looking for a job, they probably just gave up looking, instead of using all the time to learn new skills, or improve themselves, they sat around waiting for things to get better, while they complained to friends, family, and anyone else who would listen.
Now on the other hand, Internal locus of control is how much we believe that our successes or failures result from internal factors that we control. People with a high internal locus of control take responsibility for everything that happens to them, both good and bad.
Most people are a pretty even mix of internal and external locus of control, and here’s the thing, most of the success I’ve had on the path of self-development boils down to every single day, little by little, decreasing my external locus of control while simultaneously increasing my internal locus of control, because those of us who are entirely characterized by internal locus of control, are basically the ones who are able to make their own rules- these are the true masters of this game we call life.
When the pandemic hit, the world now had the ultimate excuse to use to justify all of their failures and shortcomings, which created massive opportunities for the small group of people who were trained to be able to see them.
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Lección 2: El maestro ve oportunidad donde otros ven adversidad
When the pandemic hit, in a lot of cases, the businesses led by owners with extremely high internal locus of control, not only survived, but thrived. There were gyms that within a few days, had their instructors giving classes through Facebook and Instagram, and within a few weeks were already offering virtual membership plans, restaurants who had traditionally only offered “dine-in” options, who not only switched to delivery, but leveraged promotions and unique menus to quickly build 5 star profiles on food delivery apps.
I even saw a few of you guys that, instead of just spending more time on social media or watching Netflix, you invested the extra time you had towards improving yourself, studied a second language, developed productive routines and positive habits, learned pandemic-proof skills that are also in extremely high demand, like web design and digital marketing.
If you follow the channel, you know that I’m the CEO of a company that sells real estate websites and marketing services to real estate agents in North America. Real estate was one of the industries that got completely shut down, real estate agents were afraid to spend money because they didn’t know how long the pandemic would last or how bad it would get, yet in 2020, we didn’t go out of business, we didn’t have to fire any of our 40+ employees, we actually grew by over 40%, the most growth we’ve ever had in a single year.
While our competitors basically threw up their hands and panicked, I made the decision to run aggressive marketing campaigns where we basically told real estate agents that with all the extra time they now had on their hands, it was the perfect opportunity to invest in their own professional websites, and that with the pandemic now forcing everyone online, it was critical that they sign up for one of our websites to develop a strong online presence. Thanks to this marketing campaign, our business exploded, while most of our competition just sat around just hoping that things would get better.
This channel that you guys are watching right now, I launched during the first few weeks of the pandemic, and in just 8 months, NelsonQuest, went from 0 to 200k subscribers, uploading 30 videos where we’re averaging over 50,000 views per video, with our most popular video at over 1 million views.
What you didn’t see behind the scenes was how much trouble we had putting together a team, managing everything despite constant shutdowns of the entire city, my dad almost dying from a deadly infection. For the younger, weaker version of me, any of those would have been reason enough to not launch my channel, or to just give up when I was uploading videos and they weren’t getting any views.
Excuses are tempting because they allow us to not take responsibility for our own failures and shortcomings, and excuses always lead to more excuses.
As the old saying goes
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else”.
When gyms closed down, I started training in my apartment, until someone filed a complaint for all the noise I made, then I moved my training to the basement of my building, where within a few days, the police came and threatened to arrest me if I worked out there again, that same day I went out and bought an indoor bike setup, and got to work building my own gym, which has a rubber floor to minimize noise of course.
And if you’re saying to yourself “But I don’t have money to buy an indoor bike or setup a gym”, well can you do? Do that!
What I’m trying to share with you guys here is that, regardless of whether I had money or not, every single time I face some sort of “external” adversity, I try to immediately ask myself, what do I have control over here? and then then I focus all of my energy on that.
This is the primary characteristic separating who I am now, from the weak pathetic thing that I used to be.
For those of you whose goal was to simply “survive” this pandemic by waiting it out, I have two words for you: Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”
Global catastrophes aren’t bad luck, they’re inevitable.
In Moral Letters to Lucilius, seneca writes:
“Everyone approaches a danger with more courage if he has prepared in advance how to confront it. Anyone who can endure difficulties better if he has previously practiced how to deal with them. People who are unprepared can be unhinged by even the smallest things.”
So sure, while this video may help to point you in the right direction, it’s not enough, not even close, the only way to train for experience, and the only way to guarantee it is by seeking out struggle and discomfort, the very thing that society teaches us to avoid.
By training to seek adversity, to welcome it, we can slowly reduce our external locus of control, where we blame our failures and shortcomings on things we can’t control, and simultaneously develop our internal locus of control, where, by learning to laser-focus on the things that we can control, we will actually come to learn that we have way more control over our circumstances that we originally thought.
It doesn’t matter where we live, how old we are or how much money we have, we always have some degree of control, and directing our energy towards what we can control is the only way to gain more control.
When we exist within an internal locus of control, we gain a superpower, the ability to look past the illusion of adversity to see what was always there waiting to be seen in the first place, opportunity.
Guys, if you want more videos like this one, don’t just subscribe, but make sure to click the bell icon, and let me know where you fall on the spectrum of external and internal locus of control.
And lastly, if you want to check out the productivity system that I’ve used to achieve every major goal of mine over the last 10 years, which I call Dark Mode, I’ll drop a link here, obviously it’s free.
This is the path.
Good luck and I’ll cya in the next video.
- Zur, Ofer. (2008). Rethinking ‘Don’t Blame the Victim’: The Psychology of Victimhood. Journal of Couple Therapy. 4. 15-36.
- Khoury, Bassam & Knäuper, Bärbel & Pagnini, Francesco & Dyer, Natalie & Chiesa, Alberto & Carrière, Kimberly. (2017). Embodied Mindfulness. Mindfulness. 8. 1-12. 10.1007/s12671-017-0700-7.
- Pagnini, Francesco & Bercovitz, Katherine & Langer, Ellen. (2016). Perceived Control and Mindfulness: Implications for Clinical Practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration. 26. 10.1037/int0000035.