In a few months, we have all learned we are all united.
The world got smaller and our families got closer.
The “little things” got a little more important and we all have a big job ahead of us.
I know you are constantly reminded of the challenge ahead and cannot forget the reason why we must all play our part. I just wanted to give you some positive motivation and remind you while you are playing your part, remember that gratitude, compassion and love are incredibly contagious too.
Right now, amid a time when you have had many “luxuries” removed from your life, you have gained the most important luxury: you have probably had more time for yourself.
More time to think.
More time to connect.
More time for discovery.
Right now, you are not powerless; your most powerful tools, your time and your thoughts, are what you control. But how you will use both moving forward will determine the butterfly you will become when you emerge from this temporary cocoon. And be confident; you control whether you will emerge better or worse. There will be no neutral here.
Right now, you may be looking for “motivation.” I want to remind you that the greatest motivation in good times and in bad has always been a person’s sense of Meaning; a crystal-clear Purpose.
Right now, amid the constant news feed and settling into new routines, of course I ask you to be sure to take on some healthy habits of good sleep, nutrition and exercise. But in addition to those, more importantly you should also take advantage of your luxury of time to discover your Meaning. The reason you were put on this earth. The reason others will remember your name.
Do this now and you will emerge with more power and direction. You will have no choice but for the greatness that has been hidden dormant inside waiting to shine through.
I know there has been a spark here and there throughout your life shining toward what you were meant to do. Now is the time to fan those flames until the fire of your purpose can no longer be ignored.
And the greatest meanings in history have been the ones that have served a purpose greater than oneself; the ones that have made positive impact for the greater good. Don’t think money, think meaning. Think of how you can devote your great gifts to others.
This quote from Viktor Frankl, the author of the mandatory book, Man’s Search for Meaning, says it all:
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by a lack of meaning and purpose.”
When you look at a caterpillar, nothing inside or out of it says it can become a butterfly. Only by going through it’s own struggle of transformation alone does it emerge something beautifully different.
Right now, your situation is temporary. Someday in the future I promise you will want to know your work mattered. You will want a legacy; a sense that something you did will live on…immortal.
The best way to do that now? Don’t “pass” or “spend” the time you have been gifted. Invest it in you.
Time to do the deep work.
Why you might ask?
Because it is your choice who you will become!
Even amid the current challenge and constant “noise” filled with some resentment and fear, I am also seeing positive messages about the greatness of people like caring, compassion, gratitude and growth.
When you emerge from this, like any struggle, you can choose to use the time to become more or less. There is no middle here.
As you settle into your new routine, choose one that makes you more valuable.
Who have you been complaining you never had a chance to become?
Now can be the time to improve your diet.
There is some extra time to learn that language or instrument.
You now have the hours a week to get into the routine of daily exercise.
Make those improvements to your business you’ve thought about.
Read that book that’s been on the nightstand forever.
Write what you are grateful for in the journal you wanted to fill.
Spend time talking with you family who is finally accessible and listening.
Never before have you had such an obstacle. Never again may you have such an opportunity.
It is all about how you use it.
To do this, instead on focusing on what you have LOST, it is time to focus on what you have LEFT!
Right now, due to the seclusion required to “do the right thing” for the world, you may feel there have been things that have been “taken away” from you.
In addition to your daily coffee run, interactions with your friends, or ability to generate money with your coworkers, you may feel that your Happiness, Security and Freedom have been stripped from you by someone or something out of your control.
This feeling, however, is not true.
As you settle into the current circumstance, I hope you will discover what the greatest people in history have found during the greatest of challenges: Happiness, Security and Freedom are not controlled by what you are without, they are governed by what you are within.
The battleground for this war is not at the cafe, work, school or political arena. This turf is the 6-inch strip between your ears. Your battle is and has always been waged in your mind.
Your ultimate weapon to restore your happiness and security right now are your thoughts. And as you will hopefully also be enlightened, your thoughts are the only thing truly under your control.
Don’t believe it? Well, as you have now seen and learned, everything can be stripped from you at some point for some reason over which you have little influence. Everything that is, except what you choose to think.
I can tell you to think about something all I want. I can spend my life telling you something or threaten you with the worst horrors to think about the color “red,” but you can be happy knowing you always have the security, freedom and control over your thoughts to think about the color “green” instead.
I challenge you to spend a part of today thinking about your thinking.
You may just find through all of this that control over your thoughts could be the greatest gift or strength from this entire experience.
Control, freedom and happiness are what you may seek right now, but they are illusions. Instead of letting someone or the lack of something on the outside control your feelings, be the warrior who controls them on the inside instead.
Peace can be found during the most turbulent times.
You just have to look for it not on the battlefield waging outside, but in the storm raging within. Right now isn’t the time to think about what you have lost; it’s time to calm that storm by thinking about what you have left and use those things to become the best version of yourself right now!
Stay safe and well.
P.S. If you are looking for more motivation and lessons to help you improve, you must read Coach to Coach. I have been hearing from so many people how the stories inside the easy-to-read book are helping them. I would not share it if I didn’t believe in it so much.
Now you have time to read and grow. This is one place I recommend you start: