3 Lessons to Take Into 2022

Richard Vincent
4 min readJan 15, 2022
Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.

Ahh, 2022. The year of, broadly speaking, the same things happening as in 2021, just without the novelty. But let’s not start the year with pessimism — what we miss out on in originality, we make up for in experience. With that in mind, here are three lessons that we can take into the new year to change our lives for the better.

  1. Do difficult things on Mondays

Sometimes when you start the working week, the last thing you want to do is draft up a long, complicated email; or have a difficult conversation with a colleague or, to be fair, do anything that requires the use of more than a few braincells that have remained awake during the weekend.

In fact, in any area of life, the motivation to do difficult things can evade us. The problem is that the longer we put off the things we don’t want to do, the more difficult they can become. The wall of psychological resistance builds up in our minds until it becomes even more impenetrable than when the issue first arose.

The solution is to do difficult things as soon as possible. Start the week, and every day, with what’s difficult, and you’ll create the momentum to soar through everything else. Breaking down mental barriers as soon as they are created becomes easier with practice and will motivate you to keep making progress.

So, charge head-first into life like an overexcited dog who has just seen a squirrel. Except instead of a squirrel it’s an, albeit slightly less exciting (and fluffy), email.

2. Don’t think of pink elephants

Carl Jung famously said, “What you resist persists.”

If you try to not think of a pink elephant, you’ll find that suddenly your brain becomes particularly interested in thinking about that very thing. Try it now — don’t think of something for a few seconds. Did you manage it? We like to think that we have complete mental autonomy until that large rosy trunk sneaks into our mind’s eye.

When you create resistance in the mind, it seems to work against you.

This resistance is like building a dam to stop the flow of thoughts, only to create a build-up of pressure that bursts through in a stream of everything you tried to hold back. We know that suppressing our emotions is unhealthy, and it…

Richard Vincent

Physics graduate. I write about physics and sometimes philosophy, ethics, psychology and insights found at the intersection of these.