I believe change is the one word that most accurately sums up our current set of circumstances. Change or even the prospect of change is uncomfortable and fear is often the by-product.
But embracing change by finding good in bad situations is not only possible, it is essential to any successful strategy for moving forward, whether in the midst of a crisis or not. We must be willing to face our fears and view change through a positive lens.
My book, The Daily Six, was published back in 2005 and it lays out the foundation upon which my life’s work is built. It is the basis for all that I do both personally and professionally. Today, as we deal with the fallout from Covid19, the principles espoused in my book are proving to be even more pertinent than when originally published. And the explanation is simple. Desperate times call for clear direction.
When universal truths are reduced to their most basic form, a clear path emerges. The ability to remain balanced and positive while we navigate a myriad of unexpected challenges requires that clarity. We are living in complicated times, facing multiple issues such as: personal health and safety, loss of loved ones, work from home, virtual communication, financial insecurity and significant adjustments to our various business models. We are struggling to accept a new normal that is still in the making. At the same time, we are striving to remain mindful of the commitment we have made to our core values.
In these unprecedented and uncertain times, let us look forward and accept that the future depends on our ability to change.
1. Willingness – Before we can face what lies ahead in positive ways, we must be willing and open to change.
The life we knew before the pandemic will never be the same. We must be willing to adapt and make the changes necessary to not only survive but also prosper in ways we may never have considered before. We must be willing to: ask for help and support, try new things, solve problems by redirecting or expanding our skillset and think in more creative ways.
When we are willing to face our fears and accept change, we will be ready to move ahead, toward a better tomorrow.
2. Quiet Time – Think of Quiet Time as our emotional reset button. It allows us stay calm and balanced when the rest of life is spinning out of control.
While we may have influence over our circumstances and the actions of others, we do not have control. The only things we truly have the ability to control are our own thoughts, emotions and actions.
Quiet Time can take the form of prayer, meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques or anything else that brings us peace and helps us focus our thoughts, reign in our emotions and control our actions.
3. Service – A connected community is a healthy community. When we help and support our family and friends, our employees and co-workers, our fellow citizens and the world at large, we are indeed, helping ourselves. The value of Service is taught in every religion. It is a universal core value and comes in all sizes and shapes, from a simple kindness to a charity that changes the lives of millions.
4. Love & Forgiveness – This is a big one, especially if we are sheltering in place. Even those we hold dear can eventually get on our nerves when we’re together 24/7. Just ask my wife. But when we practice love and forgiveness, we become thoughtful, kinder and more caring. We are quicker to forgive and move on which strengthens our bonds and allows our relationships to grow stronger.
5. Gratitude – Nothing changes our perspective quicker than gratitude. For example, if we are sheltering in place and are grateful for the extra time with our family, our spirits will be much higher than if we are angry and resentful about being stuck at home.
Life is a series of choices, and choosing to be grateful for where you are in the moment, goes along way toward personal fulfillment and happiness.
6. Action – We begin with willingness and we end by taking action because without action, all we have is a plan. For example, 75% of all strategic plans fail, and the primary reason is lack of action. Organizations often invest heavily on the plan but not the implementation. Consistent follow-up and action are the keys to any successful strategic plan.
The path to a successful new normal is not easy but it is simple. The journey begins when we are willing to face our fears and accept change. We stay on the path, remaining centered and balanced, by using some form of quiet time. To stay positive, we incorporate service, love & forgiveness and gratitude into our daily lives. Lastly, we take actions to create a future that far exceeds the past. It is our ability to move forward, creating and accepting change that will guide us in the years ahead.