This year has been difficult for many of us, often in ways we could never have anticipated.

Some of us might even feel shattered.

But often, when we put ourselves back together, we’re stronger for it.

We made a short video showing how you can reflect on this year and discover how you’ve grown (or are still growing) as you put the pieces of 2020 together and consider your next steps.

You can watch it here.

Click to watch it here.



Hello, I’m Dr. Chris Mullis with NorthStar Capital Advisors and I’m here to help put this year’s adversity into perspective and learn from it.

Recently I’ve been thinking about a Japanese art called Kintsugi. Have you heard of it? When a piece of pottery becomes broken, the artist puts the pieces back together using gold lacquer. This results in a unique work of art that’s far more striking than the original, unbroken version. At its core is the philosophy that scars and imperfections shouldn’t be hidden, they should be embraced and highlighted to create something more beautiful than before.

I think we can learn a lot from that philosophy. Especially this year.

I don’t know your circumstances as you watch this video. Maybe the life you thought you were living is in pieces around you. Maybe you’re just getting by. Maybe this year was your time to shine.
Wherever you are, I’d like you to take a few minutes to reflect on the lessons you can take from your experiences this year.
Why? Because hard times can teach us so much about ourselves if we take time to stop and think.

Here are five questions I’d like you to consider.

Question #1 — What “fell apart” for me this year? 

While for some of us it may be tempting to just say “everything,” really take a moment to list the plans that were canceled, opportunities that were lost, relationships that changed, and so on.

Question #2 — How did I adapt to the things outside my control? 

Maybe you planned a zoom wedding. Maybe you stopped working to stay home with kids or elderly parents. Maybe you re-examined your spending or decluttered your house. Or maybe you broke down. All answers are OK.

Question #3 — What did I learn that surprised me? 

Did you discover a new passion for cooking? Did you learn new things about your friends and family? Did you discover that you actually miss spending time in the office? Any surprise, good or bad, can make the list.

Question #4 — How have I grown from these experiences?

Maybe you’ve questioned some long-held beliefs or shifted your priorities. Or perhaps you found strength you didn’t know you had. Reflect on the many ways you’ve become more resilient this year.

Finally, Question #5 — What am I grateful for?

Gratitude and thankfulness are so important. Especially during the tough times. Research consistently shows that people who actively notice and express the things that make them grateful are much happier. So give it a shot. No matter how big or small, list the things you’re grateful for.

I’ll start. I’m so grateful for my family and particularly my wife Rita. I couldn’t have gotten through this year without them. I’m also grateful for my clients and my friends. And I’m grateful for you, taking the time to watch this video.

When a cup shatters on the floor, we can’t put it back together exactly as it was before. But we can accept and embrace its history — and make something better and stronger with the broken pieces.
Whether you’ve felt more like the shattered cup or the shining gold lacquer this year, consider the ways you’ve grown from the experience and how you’ll use them to become stronger.

You may be in the middle of a growing pain right now.  If there is anything I can do to help you make sense of your current situation or make a new plan for moving forward, please reach out anytime. I’m here to give you a hand if you need one.

Thank you and be well.