Leaders always have a plan. They see the big picture. They have contingencies and roadmaps and timelines. But, there’s no plan for this. The future is fuzzy. We don’t know what the next week, month, or year is going to look like.
That’s a tough pill to swallow. Especially for a high-performer with serious goals and a kick-ass mentality.
But this is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
It’s Okay to Slow Down.
Until very recently, we were always running ahead of ourselves. Checking boxes and planning for the next big thing. Before the pandemic, it was easy to sprint right past the present, always keeping our gaze on the horizon. We’d been programmed to chase the next big thing. And in the process, we lost sight of what we could control in the here and now, like fine-tuning our craft or becoming truly great at our current job. Because before, there was no time.
At least, that’s what we told ourselves.
But now, we’re all stuck in place. There is no big plan for the future. We don’t have predictable milestones. We can’t lose ourselves in being busy. We have to live in the now. We have to be real with ourselves.
We have to turn inward.
Catch Up with Yourself.
I’m giving you permission to pause. Permission to catch up with yourself. Permission to become more self-aware. And yes, permission to be disappointed that things didn’t turn out the way you thought they would.
Take stock of what your life looked like before the pandemic and what it looks like now. What was your day-to-day grind like? How were you scheduling your time? Were you dedicating enough effort and attention to kicking ass at your current job – or were you solely focused on getting to the next level?
Now I want you to reflect on the present. How do you want to spend your days? How can you reframe your mindset so that you can thrive? What new goals can you set for yourself to reignite that spark and motivation?
The best part? You don’t have to set any big goals right now. In fact, I don’t think you should. Not yet. For now, I want you to focus on your day-to-day schedule. Hone in on those little milestones. Fine tune your daily routine so that you can start to reframe what a “good” or “productive” day or week or month looks like now.
Let It Make You Better.
We can’t start making big plans for the future just yet. We’ll get there. But, for now, let’s focus on moving past day-to-day survival and into a new phase. Let’s redefine what it means to thrive in this current moment. How can you derive pleasure and satisfaction and meaning from this new normal?
The answer is going to be different for everyone. But here’s what I think: you can focus on the here and now. You can reflect on how you can do whatever it is you do today really, really well. You can strive to be a better communicator, a more influential leader, a more present manager. You can sink your teeth into the job you have now, not the job you were planning to have six months from now.
I think there’s freedom and growth in that.
Whatever you do, please, please don’t wish this time away. I know that’s hard. But, don’t lose sight of this opportunity.
The struggle is the goal.
As a society, we’ve become so outcome-focused that we forgot that the journey is the good part. The destination is just a bonus.
Don’t fast forward through the hard part. Don’t speed past your opportunity to grow.
Let it make you better.
Still feeling lost? Do you need help redefining what your new normal will look like? I get it. And I’m here if you want to talk it through. We can make a plan together. You can thrive through this. I truly believe that.
I want to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.