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Bill Gates Just Said What Most of Us Needed to Hear. It's the Perfect Advice for 2020

It's been quite a year. 

You already knew that, though. You've already been living through the chaos that has been the past seven months, a time that has seen a global pandemic, a recession, millions of people lose their jobs, and thousands of businesses close their doors--many of them permanently. 

It's easy, especially in times like this, to fall victim to the idea that you can't control the world around you. As a result, it doesn't take much to feel like you have little influence over your own future. 

Except, that's not usually true. The most remarkable thing is that it's often not that difficult to turn things around if you know where to start. 

In an interview with Politico's Playbook on October 13, Bill Gates reminds us of that simple fact, and it's just the message we need to hear this year. Gates was talking specifically about the pandemic--which is important--but the point he makes goes far beyond Covid-19.

Gates points out that since a vaccine isn't likely to be widely available until next year, "all we have is our behavior." Specifically, he was referring to behavior that includes social distancing and wearing masks.

"All we have is our behavior."

That's a pretty powerful reminder that goes against our natural tendency to try and fix our circumstances instead of ourselves. It's a lot easier to blame external factors for the situation we're in, especially when those circumstances have seemed almost entirely outside our control for much of the past seven months. However, changing our situation could be as simple as changing the way we interact.

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