When it comes to full shutdowns for public safety, Boston knows how to rally. A baseline of Boston winters. Those summer days when you deliver your elderly neighbor’s groceries. That zero-hesitation all-in drop-everything was all the difference after the Marathon bombing. Anyone who takes their winters below freezing knows that wasting emergency resources by ignoring a #stayhome order costs lives. That said, it’s a lot easier to stay Zen when the outside world is cancelled when you’ve got the infrastructure and daily rhythms down. When the COVID-19 #stayhome orders came, we’d already pulled out all the winter tricks like restarting Purple Carrot and upgrading a few other subscriptions of choice.
Although we were ready for how slowing down outside speeds up internal change, few could have been prepared for was how intense the COVID-19 edition would be.
A catalyst, not the cause
If sunshine owns the mental disinfectant metaphor, then isolation has a lock on psychological forensics. While not many of us have experienced the level of isolation we are now, New Englanders knew about the corner at the end of the first month—that instant when things start to break the surface like they got set to 1.75x playback. We understood that the pandemic and social distancing were not the causes of our sudden discomfort or even turmoil. #stayhome was a catalyst that burned through our ability to ignore ourselves.
The ability to choose what you make of a situation is not a survival skill. The framework applies as much to how you spend the smaller moments of your day, to how you adapt to unforeseen circumstances. We’ve talked about how in daily and unexpected moments, a clear and current understanding of your value system can help you to adapt efficiently while staying on-course.
You cannot change the past that got you to this point. And you have no control over microscopic organisms, your cat or the other humans in your life. What you do have is total control of your reactions. Owning your path forward is about directing, not controlling. Regardless of how you got to today, owning your path forward starts with a deep dive to identify what you truly value.
Redefining success: Don’t mistake the markers for the prize
Adapting to social distancing and a post-COVID-19 world, will require conscious choices between aspects of our pre-COVID-19 lives. Some things will never be the same. To make those calls, we need to understand what we value enough to carry forward. Once clear on our values, we can use this information to refine our definition of success at the personal level.
It’s easy to get caught up. To miss the target of fulfillment aiming for what are really only markers of success, like achievement and money. It’s understandable that the focus of most of your ‘primetime’ hours can creep to become the focus of your life. Ironically, often at the cost of enjoying the lifestyle it affords. Why earn the big bucks if you only get 3 weeks of vacation to enjoy it?
Fact: Things are going to keep changing for the rest of your life
Join WEST on Friday, May 15th for a fireside chat with bestselling author Kimberly Napier. Kimberly will share her step-by-step proprietary process to help you get grounded and create a life and work you love. Use this talk as an invitation to ask yourself questions. What do you really value most? What you would like to take from this time?
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