These are tense times in our world. Never before in our generation have we faced such unrest, economic hardship, racial tension, senseless loss of life, and what feels like indefinite adversity.
No one is immune to these difficulties and challenges. Me, included. I lost one of my dearest friends of over 45 years to a senseless murder a few weeks ago. Heartbroken does not begin to describe it. I’ve experienced one of my businesses take a serious hit due to social distancing over the past 4 months. And yes, even though I have always been ‘single’, have lived alone for over 40 years, and am an ‘off the scale’ introvert……I’ve found myself hungry for company, someone to be interested in me and my life, and the comfort of a real, tight hug.
So, like many, I’ve had to dig deep. I’ve had to look squarely in the mirror and pay attention to what I was to be learning….embrace the lesson…and move resolutely forward.
Easy? No…..not at all.
Yet, how we respond to what is happening around us is a choice.
Once again, my dad’s ABC’s come into focus. He used to say – that we only control our ABC’s (not anyone else’s or anything else around us)….we only control our Attitude, our Behaviors, and our Choices. That’s it. Yet….that is a mighty powerful realization.
So what am I learning and how do these ABC’s apply?
There are 3 observations I want to share:
As Martha Beck so astutely has been known to say (and yes, not sure if this is her original quote – as it actual comes from Zen Buddhism): “The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” Mindset is everything. Everything.
It would be pretty easy to ‘settle’….to ‘just get by’….especially now. That tendency to settle for mediocrity or ‘good enough’ is ripe for the picking. Yet, now more than ever, that is simply not the message we need to send.
How we respond when we are in an adverse situation speaks volumes.
People are watching. We gain trust and respect by how we ‘rise up’ when these hurdles hit us. Do we stay consistent? Do we ‘up our game’? Do we ‘keep on keeping on’ when the road is, not only bumpy, but filled with huge, deep potholes? And yes…. I get in….in spades. It is not always easy. It takes courage. We all know bravery isn’t not being scared…it’s being afraid and doing it anyway.
Secondly, I’ve had to get over any concern I had relative to folks making false assumptions based on partial perceptions. In other words, I needed to be vulnerable, realize I had to ‘reinvent myself’ (again!), and ask for help on how to rebuild my business to leverage the ‘new world order’. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. I needed to get out of my comfort zone….and learn new technologies, design new ways to build and deliver my services, and hire experts to help me do this.
Whew….what a learning curve over the past few months. Understatement.
Two of Jim Rohn’s most impactful quotes came front and center to life:
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”
So, that’s right…I leaned in….and I began to work with smart ‘leading edge’ folks. And I have re-invented how I build and deliver my services…ONLINE and VIRTUAL….and many of my clients are taking full advantage. Let’s face it….every person, team, and organization can benefit from support, encouragement, expertise, alignment, and motivation. Now, more than ever. And my clients are loving the VIRTUAL approach – as it is easy for them to tap in from anywhere they are in the world. In fact, many will probably not go back to the ‘old way’ except for special conferences, etc.
Finally, despite the unspeakable loss and hardship which has impacted my life (and many others, as well), I stand resolutely grateful.
I’m grateful for the most simplistic things; and reflect on these daily.
Grateful for dear, life-long friends, despite being taken too early and in an untimely and tragic manner.
Grateful my parents were spared seeing our world in such an uproar.
Grateful for my loyal and steadfast life partner – my sister.
Grateful for my health.
Grateful for my constant companion, Lulu, who though quite ill, is still pain-free and with me.
Grateful for resiliency and dreams to still be experienced.
Grateful for loyal friends who see me for who I am and still love me.
Grateful for people who challenge me through their words and deeds, making me stronger, wiser, and more insightful.
Grateful for clients who continue to amaze and inspire me with their commitment to growth and excellence in their lives and work – and who continue to support me despite the current state.
Grateful for my intact mind, which continues to have an unquenchable thirst for growth and exploration.
Grateful for our freedoms – to live, believe, and do precisely what we want.
Grateful for our troops who continue to sacrifice for these freedoms.
Grateful for our world with all the diverse people, exquisite gifts of nature, beautiful music and art, and all sensory experiences – which make my life rich beyond measure.
Grateful to and for the Divine Creator who gives us these riches and continues to bless each and everyone one of us through our individual and collective lives experiences.
So….have these times been surreal? That is the ultimate understatement. Yet, they have served as a catalyst in many ways. They have pushed me to stay consistent and to continue to ‘stretch and grow’ – in life and in business. They have encouraged me to reach out for help and support – which has taught me new skills and approaches. And they have reminded me of the many things for which we can be grateful….despite the current uncertain climate. The choices are always ours.