Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it. The question is, where does the vision come from? And this is the power of WHY. Our visions are the world we imagine, the tangible results of what the world would look like if we spent every day in pursuit of our WHY. Leaders don’t have all the great ideas; they provide support for those who want to contribute. Leaders achieve very little by themselves; they inspire people to come together for the good of the group. Leaders never start with what needs to be done. Leaders start with WHY we need to do things. Leaders inspire action.“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek
I’m entering week 3 of my social distancing adventure.
I’ve been surprisingly social despite the social distancing. Technology allows us to do amazing things. One of the common things I’ve noticed when talking to people is the feeling like people have fewer options right now.
A lot of people are feel like they’ve lost some of their freedom. In the wake of COVID-19, they’re left feeling sad or anxious that their life is no longer the same as it was a couple months ago.
This morning I was on a call and I was reminded about a thought relevant to this. Reflecting on everything that has happened, things are different today than they were yesterday. Things are different today than they were this time last year. But the game has not changed.
Perhaps a random event card has come into play, and that changes how we need to think about our next move. If I have to make some decision X, there are now different risks and consequences I have to consider now that this event card has taken effect. But the game has not changed.
Perhaps you were used to seeing certain cards in your hand that you would continually draw. But now you’re seeing different cards in your hand. Maybe you don’t know what will happen if you play a certain card? Maybe you don’t know how to use these new cards in the most optimal way? But the game has not changed.
Many of us have expectations about our lives and how things are supposed to go.
We hop in the shower in the morning, and we expect hot, running water to come out of the faucet. We expect that when we arrive at work, we still have our job. We expect that there is lunch for us to eat, and that we won’t get food poisoning from eating it. We expect that our yoga studio down the street will still be there after work, and that regular class will take place at the same time it was scheduled yesterday. We expect that our partner and kids will come home at the end of the day, and we expect that they will still love us. We expect that we will be able to sleep soundly through the night in the safety of our homes. And we expect that in the morning, we will wake up to live another day.
Rather than expect things, perhaps it would be more fruitful to be grateful for things as they happen. We can be grateful that we have a home that we stay in or leave. We can be grateful that we still have the health to go for a walk. We can be grateful that are beautiful parks, beaches, and mountains to wander through. We can be grateful that there are people who farm crops and raise animals, and that there are people who will produce food from those, and that there are people who will drive those foods to grocery stores, and that grocery stores allow us to purchase food from them. We can be grateful that we opened our eyes this morning, and we can be grateful that we’re still alive to be experiencing this right now.
I’m not saying I’m great at the whole gratitude practice (I’m not). Nor am I saying I don’t have those same expectations (there are certainly days where I mope that I haven’t played sports in a long time, and that I probably won’t be playing them for a long time to come).
But I do try to catch myself when I get stuck in that pit. I mean, if I ask myself “What am I doing right now?”, I might find that I’m “sitting here, doing nothing but feeling bad for myself because the community centres, leagues, and parks aren’t open.” That doesn’t strike me as something I want to be doing. So I try to catch that and use that window to do something I want to be doing instead.
I think gratitude is a step we can take away from feeling like the world is happening to us; it’s a step we can take towards feeling like the world is happening for us.
There are still opportunities out there. We just have to be open to seeing them.
As for me, I’ve been continuing to use my social distancing time to:
- connect with people I haven’t connected with in quite some time
- cross off a bunch of stuff from my to-do list that has been sitting there for months or years
- get back into running outside
- learn how to do body weight exercises (I can do more push-ups now than I’ve ever been able to do before)
- break my junk food and eating out habits that I’ve been holding onto too long despite my 2020 goals (plus this also helps me to save money)
- do a lot of stretching that probably would have been more effective had I spread it out over the past couple decades 😛