IT has felt strange to be out in Jamaica in the lead up to Christmas. Life out here is relaxed and I can’t complain.

I felt bad telling friends how nice it was to swim in the sea and eat fresh food after reading about what the UK was facing over the Christmas period.

As I chatted to a friend in the UK they told me of what they faced over the next few weeks and I didn’t want to tell them I was just going to the beach for a swim.

This has been an extremely difficult year for everyone with each of us facing different challenges and now it seems Covid could likely run well into 2021.

I have seen so many people argue about vaccines and what each leader should have done. It has pulled many people apart.

As humans we are programmed with a negative bias. I have spoken about being a merit finder or fault finder several times over the year and 2020 has certainly made it easy to fault find.

Living with Covid has taken its toll. So how do we keep going? How do way keep a positive outlook?

For some this can be easy, while others really struggle. Remember we are in the same storm but not necessarily all in the same boat.

What can we learn from people like Olympic rower Pete Reed, who has faced an incredible journey after suffering a spinal stroke, yet remains focused and driven?

Last week Pete described the importance of living with gratitude, to use challenges you face as a lesson in adapting by using your strengths and ultimately to grow as a person.

What Pete has showed many this year is that it is the simple things in life that matter the most.

I remember the highlight of my day in hospital was having a bed bath and getting a fresh gown. It was so nice to just feel clean.

Another person who is an inspiration after making the most of his strengths rather than focusing on what is bad around his situation is Edinburgh’s Davy Zyw.

He was diagnosed two years ago with motor neuron disease and told that by 2020 he would probably be on a ventilator and paralysed.

Instead Davy, 32, took on the North Coast 500 and even more impressively completed the 500-mile cycle in four days whilst raising money for the Doddie Weir foundation. Covering 500 miles in four days is good going for someone who is fully fit let alone someone with MND.

In many ways Davy, like Pete and myself, has found meaning in his situation. It’s a very hard journey to find meaning in something like this, but in some ways it makes you live very much in the present as you have had to have some very difficult conversations.

When faced with something like this, you would forgive any person for giving up.

But not Davy, who continues to train hard and do all he can to help others.

Testimony to having a strong body and mind after his diagnosis, he and his brother took on a cycling and camping adventure through Patagonia for a month.

A keen sportsman, it was on a snowboarding holiday he discovered his first symptom when his thumb stopped working.

It’s hard to imagine the journey he went on medically from that moment to getting told about his MND. It is not something as a fit young guy you ever dream about. No one prepares you for that.

For me, with paralysis, the real hard part is that your body basically stops working even though your mind is still sharp.

For anyone that is horrendous. Losing your independence is one of the hardest things to accept, but for a sportsman who loved the freedom his body gave him, it is heart breaking.

However, as I sit looking through his Instagram on my limited internet access, Davy is everything we as humans should strive to be. He is clearly living by his values and wanting to make the world a better place and to squeeze everything he can out of life.

Of course there will be hard times where he will struggle and I can relate to that, those days where your body just doesn’t work and you have to rely on others to help you even get dressed.

However we learn from these days and mentally find something to drive us on even more.

So I leave you this week with another challenge. If you’re struggling at all this Christmas, stop and ask yourself “what would Davy do?”.