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Positively Speaking: Will you choose to be a victor or victim in 2021?

"#Optimists positively impact those they touch and make a positive — and often profound — difference in the world."

By Gary Moore

Will you choose to be a victor or victim in 2021?

Last week we spoke of the choice to make 2021 a better year and not remain stuck in our past. To act as if you have no power to change the course of your life only becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we want 2021 to be a better year, we must do something to make it so.

In other words, in this new year, will you choose to be a victim or a victor?

As I’ve said, maybe hundreds of times in this column, it is a choice we make. We can choose to remain (or become) a victim of circumstances or choose to create a happy, hope-filled life. Which will you choose?

I was CEO of a business with a distribution center in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. It was a devastating event to the entire region and our business, creating losses that could never be recovered.

I visited New Orleans several times afterwards, and even though time had passed and life moved on, there was a minority of the population who chose to remain living in emotional devastation. Some call it “victim syndrome.”

I understand that the loss of loved ones, property and lifestyle is devastating. I also suffered through it. However, there is a choice to be made. You can live in the past negativity or choose to positively move forward. I’m not making light of tragedy and loss. I am, however, encouraging those who have suffered to positively move on.

Rather than choosing to remain in the sorrow and pain of these past events, make a conscious and active decision to put your eyes on a brighter future. Allow optimism to give you hope. 

Apply the same logic to 2020, our year of pandemic, creating tragic loss and brutal politics. Our citizens have lost loved ones. We’ve endured the loss of businesses and careers, while suffering through financial hardships, the likes of the Great Recession and maybe the Great Depression. 2020 has passed. We now have three vaccines and more on the way. What will you choose for you and your family?

Victim or victor?

For you “nattering naybobs of negativity,” I can see you rolling your eyes and hear you shaking your heads, saying, “Just making a choice solves nothing,” and you are right. The keyword is “just.”

If you choose to move forward in optimism, you also must move your mind and body in a positive direction. Making the choice is only the first step, but a big one. Taking positive action is also required.

I’ll leave you this week with these two truths.

Make the choice to move forward in optimism. Do not look to our government to solve your problems. Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, they are incapable of doing for you what needs to be done. Become more self-reliant. Your heart, mind and soul feel more optimistic when you realize you have the power to build your own reality. Create the future you wish in your mind, engage the passions of your heart, and physically act to make your vision of a positive future come true. And ...

Do not look to the government to bring us back together. There is more benefit in the minds of both red and blue leadership to keep us divided. If we are to come together to create a better nation and world, it’s up to us, and it begins with creating a better personal life. We can’t help others if we can’t help ourselves first.

Focus this year on what you care about and feel is profoundly important. Be optimistic and stay focused. Believe this new year will be better. Not by magic but by an optimistic look forward and positive actions to make real your new vision of the future. And remember ... success is often just a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

Optimists are happier, healthier, and more active than pessimists. Optimists positively impact those they touch and make a positive — and often profound — difference in the world.

I’m extremely optimistic about our future. You can and should be, too.

Will you join me? 

Gary W. Moore is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at

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