There are a few times in life when the world gets tipped on its head and everyone loses their balance. For me—and I’m sure many others over the age of 30—that happened on 9/11 and then again during the 2008 economic crash. It’s a world of such uncertainty and instability that you don’t know what the following day will bring. The current situation we are in with the global pandemic is very similar and yet dramatically different. In the first two instances the majority of the world had to hold on and continue on with our lives as best we could. In our current situation, much of our world has come to a grinding halt. What a scary and frightening time, and yet crazy to say … amazing opportunity!
I am consumed with sadness and consistent prayer for those who are sick, and for those who are unable to continue with their normal work life. None of this is easy. For most people change is difficult, especially when we can’t see the light at the end of the rainbow… heck, we can’t even see the glimmer of darn rainbow right now.
When will all this be over?
What will happen in the meantime?
How will our world look through this change?
What will our new-normal look and feel like?
By definition change puts us in an unfamiliar situation. One of the scariest parts of change is the unknown. That’s why exercising our courage muscle is imperative at this time. Courage is taking a step forward toward a goal without any guarantee of a result. Being Brave, Resilient, Confident, and having a Positive Mindset are all muscles that if we work on strengthening every single day will see us through this time and make us more courageous humans when we come out of this. From my experience, and I’m sure you’ll agree… the times in life when we get knocked down are when we can see just how strong we truly are. Once we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and take the first step into a positive direction… that is when the most growth happens.
Now is a GREAT time to redefine what Success looks like for YOU personally, not for your parents, not for your coaches, not for your partner or friends. We can look at this time of quarantine as a massive REFRESH button… on our goals, our relationships, our attitudes. We shouldn’t wait for all of this to be over to launch into a new chapter. Life threw us all into a new chapter unwillingly. It’s up to each of us to now write how that chapter will play out.
If you received a phone call tomorrow that you couldn’t return to work, to school or to your gym for 6 months, what would you do? Would you wait it out and let 6 months of your life pass you by? Too many times when I was growing up and bad things happened, I remember just wanting to crawl in bed and then pick up my life once the hard times had passed. I remember thinking that when I had cancer. I’ll just wait this out and start living my Life again once I’m done with chemo and surgery.
Then I realized… This Is Life. It’s all life. The good, the bad, the scary, the painful, the heartaches. To choose to opt out when the going gets tough and to think you’ll jump back in once the bad part is over isn’t realistic; and more importantly you miss out on the painstakingly hard and painful challenges that ultimately lead to your biggest successes.
None of us chose this time of change. And some are having a much more difficult time than others getting through each day. Now is our time to redefine what success looks like for us individually, within our social circles and in our global community. Success for today may look like simply getting through the day without lashing out at a loved one. Or success today may look like choosing an apple instead of chips (Lord give me strength). Or success today may be filling out 10 job applications. No one should define what your personal success looks like today, or any day.
If you’re not sure where to start, and if you have some time to spare… I’m a big fan of creating a vision board. Vision boards have been proven to be extremely powerful in helping highly successful people achieve their visions—their short and long term goals. If you have kids, this is a great activity for all ages. Craft a vision board with your kids and stress the tremendous gift of time you have right now. A vision board is a daily reminder of who we want to be. One of the most important parts of choosing the visuals that you’ll add to your vision board is asking yourself “Why?” Why does this picture, word or phrase resonate with me to the point I want it on my vision board; and how does it motivate me to step bravely into the space of who I want to become?
We will get through this. There is a rainbow out there. We need to patiently and bravely choose our own yellow brick road and maintain a stalwart path until it comes into focus and we feel its light shine on all of us… one day, one choice, one brave step at a time.