Are you optimistic about 2021? You’re not alone. In a recent Forbes article, Robert Tucker made a compelling case for optimism in 2021. McKinsey & Co notes that consumers generally feel positive about the new year. The Medical Futurist suggests that 2021 offers great hope in “science, technology, digital health” and even “human … kindness.”
So, why do we remain so hopeful, even after a year of pandemic? Psychologists tell us that it has something to do with self improvement or perhaps wishful thinking. But our human tendency toward optimism and hope for the future goes deeper than weight-loss goals and market forecasts. And it has to do with our unconquerable spirit.
Conquering life is a choice
Those of us who are (ahem) older and more experienced know that life moves through natural cycles. Night turns to day, winter to spring. So, even after economic depressions, wars, and pandemics, things naturally get better. Thus, in some sense, a post-pandemic year simply has to be better than this one.
But we’re not just waiting around for the inevitable. Things get better, in large part, because we choose to make them so. Holocaust survivor and pyschologist Viktor Frankl suggested that we humans can choose our reaction to any circumstances, no matter how difficult or traumatic. Stephen R. Covey eloquently summed up Frankl’s idea with these words:
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”Stephen R. Covey
And that’s why you (yes, you!) can conquer life. Because you can choose to conquer life — under any circumstances.
An unconquerable spirit
Last July, my father passed away at age 88. As his caregiver amid the pandemic, I felt blessed to be with him. We were close. He was my role model and best friend. Dad and I had often spoken, having priceless conversations about life’s most important topics. Through his example, I learned how to overcome adversity. I also learned that much of life’s meaning comes from focusing on people and relationships.
His bout with childhood polio gave my dad a lifelong limp. It also gave him firsthand experience with marginalization and discrimination in an era when people referred to him as a “cripple.” Nevertheless, he built a successful business and a reputation as “the guy you need to know, look up to, and trust.” My father became a passionate leader. He inspired his colleagues, mentored young talent, and forged long-term customer relationships. He told me his “secret sauce” was to listen — truly listen — to each person and then take genuine action to help, no matter how big or small their needs.
Upon reflection, I realize my passion for accessibility and product innovation comes largely from my dad. He never let his limp slow him down. In his penchant for life, he was always learning and looking for ways to help his friends, customers, and family. And, he never allowed my own hearing loss to stand in the way of my dreams. His “stimulus” may have been an awkward limp, name-calling, and hurtful discrimination. But his response was a determination to walk, to succeed, to love others, and to truly conquer life.
A ‘conquer life’ mindset
Having a ‘conquer life’ mindset, being ready to choose our response whatever life throws at us, transforms problems into opportunities. For example, we know that masks pose a particular problem for those who are hard of hearing. But on the positive side, masks make more of us aware that lip-reading and facial expressions are an essential part of good communication. Masks also make us more aware of the hard of hearing or deaf around us. Further, some suggest that coronavirus masks even help doctors catch hearing loss earlier. And, the pandemic has driven some professionals to make sure hearing health care is more accessible for older adults.
These responses to the pandemic show that we can conquer life under any conditions. And they reflect the larger trend of embracing hearing wellness and hearing health.
At Akoio, we’re honored to be a part of that movement. Our newly launched subscription hearing aid battery service delivers batteries straight to your door so you don’t have to make a trip to the store or run out of batteries. Our free hearing guides help start meaningful conversations about hearing loss.
And that’s just the beginning. In 2021, we’ll expand our services to include more products and resources designed to help everyone hear better — whether or not you have hearing loss. It’s all part of our simple, two-word mission: conquer life.
Happy New Year!
So, we at Akoio wish all of you a happy, healthy new year. It’s a great time to reflect and to choose our response to 2020, by making 2021 our best year yet. We hope your choices are filled with optimism and destined for success. For our friends with hearing loss, and everyone interested in hearing wellness, we welcome you to the Akoio community. Please follow us, share your thoughts, and tell us your story. We look forward to being inspired by you and we’re eager to conquer life together!