Ok. It’s time. Can we stop talking about how hard, challenging, and difficult 2020 was? Can we stop saying how it was a year like no other? Can we stop commiserating on how rough quarantine is, how different our jobs are now, and how much we want things to go back to normal?
I mean, I get it. I don’t disagree.
I’m also ready to move on. Why allow those frustrations and problems to negatively impact our present and future? I know that’s not a unique problem to this pandemic but it has become a clear issue as a result of it.
Why Should We Care? As long as we are focused on our problems, we can’t see our opportunities. Quarantine, while it has certainly presented problems - disrupting work schedules, school, child care, daily routines. It has also offered opportunities that many would’ve never taken the time to pursue without it - time with family, cleaning up your diet, gaining clarity in your personal life, pursuing personal goals, connecting with old friends.
The reality is, some people won the quarantine and some people lost it. Want to guess which group of people have grown during ‘these challenging times’? That’s right, not the people calling them ‘challenging times’. It’s just the times - no more or less challenging than any other times - just the times.
Our attention steers our perceptions. The more we talk about and direct our attention to the difficulties presented by any issue, the more challenging we perceive it to be. On the contrary, if we focus our attention on the opportunities, the brighter our future looks to be.
REAL TALK - Action Steps So how do we do this? How do we focus our attention on the positive so our perceptions follow? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Recognize what you have to be thankful for. The more simple, the better - those are the things we take for granted the most. Write them down.
Meditate, take a walk, journal, pray - create a routine that works for you, but take time out of your schedule to allow your mind to develop the ability to be intentional.
Do Hard Things
Nothing is better for you to move through difficult times than to accomplish hard things. The feeling of progress and growth is central to staying present and moving forward.
Stop spending your time and energy on things you can’t change. Accept it for what it is, a time in your life, and start looking for the opportunities you’ve been missing out on. This message is in no way intended to diminish the hurt of losing a loved one as a result of the pandemic. Moreover, it’s a call to spend more time appreciating the life each of our loved ones while we can.
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