The Centre for Solution Focused Practice

Panning for gold in the garbage.

For many millions of people across the globe 2020 has been a really tough and upsetting year and so cartoons of putting the year 2020 out with the garbage will have rung bells for many of us. And yet at BRIEF we would say ‘don’t be quite so hasty’ since it is our belief that in the rubbish as we would say in the UK, or in the trash as our American friends might say, there will be some hidden gems (gold perhaps) and it would be a shame to lose them in our haste to move on, to put the awfulness behind us. So have you got 30 minutes? If so sit yourself down and here we go.
Part 1.
Think back over the course of this last year and bring to mind two or three times during the course of the year when you were truly at your best, when you approximated to a version of you that you could be pleased and proud to be.
Just sit and reflect on each of those moments for a few minutes in turn. Where were you? Who was around? What time of day was it? Do you remember what you were wearing? What was the weather like? Were you standing or sitting or running or cycling or . . . ? Which month was it? Bring the moments to life in your memory.
Now choose the first and ask yourself some questions:
What was it about that moment that caused it to stand out for you?
What does that moment tell you about the person that you can be at your best?
If someone had noticed you at that moment what would they have made of you? What sort of person would they have seen? And if they were to have described the you they saw in that moment to a friend of theirs what key words might they have used to encapsulate you?
Work hard – not just one response to each question – ask yourself ‘what else?’, and ‘what else?’ again and again.
Repeat the same process with each of the times that you have chosen to recall. You might like to jot down the words that you were most pleased to hear coming up? Which were the words that came up a number of times in your description of the version of yourself that was appearing in those moments? Which word or words most surprised you? Which of those words suggest new possibilities for the future?
Part 2.
You might like to choose one or two or three of the words that interest you, that intrigue you.
If the qualities implied in those words were to grow and develop and become more influential in the year to come how would you know? What difference would they make? In which ‘parts’ of your life would the differences show up most clearly? Who would notice the changes? What would they see? How would they respond? What might you find yourself doing more of and what might you be doing less in the year to come?
Take your time and develop as much detail in your pictures of difference as you can. Again remember the ‘what elses?’ and ‘how elses?’ and the ‘who elses?’.
Part 3.
And finally . . .
What might be the smallest signs that you are moving your life in the direction of these new possibilities? List at least 25 small signs.
Chris, Harvey and I send you our very best wishes for 2021 and hope to enjoy more of your company, your creativity and your thoughts as the new year progresses. 
Evan George
03 January 2021


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