By Brian Mitchell, Managing Partner & CEO.
Yes, Covid sucks, 2020 in general sucks, the political era sucks, perhaps your career or income has stalled, perhaps other personal matters are impacting your success or happiness. Some days you just want to stay in bed! I get it, I can empathize on many levels. After that day (or week!) with your head beneath the covers, what are you gonna do about your situation? There is only so much in our control and we need to be able to take action on what we can actually influence. You might be familiar with the serenity prayer that says “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I’ve found these words comforting in 2020 in particular and a reminder that worrying about what is out of my control is not a good use of time and energy, and that identifying what I can truly impact is where I need to be focused.
So what is the point?
Opportunity tends to come out of difficult circumstances. Growth stems from challenge. Wisdom comes from errors followed by corrections. Fall down 7, get up 8. NOW is an inflection point to plan for something even greater. Instead of saying “I can’t be successful in……”, think and say “HOW can I be successful in……”. Asking ourselves ‘how’ assumes eventual success. I’ve blogged in the past about Angela Duckworth’s writings in GRIT and Carol Dweck’s idea of the “power of yet” . Carol says adding “yet” to a challenge changes the entire dynamic and assumption of future success; for example, “I can’t play guitar YET”, “I’m not independently wealthy YET”, “I can’t do it YET”. ‘Yet’ assumes eventual success.
So these are just mission-oriented words and are only useful if the initial spark of desire is backed up with definitive plans to reach whatever the objective being pursued. So what do you want to achieve and what is within your control right now? What strategies can you consider now? What plans can you define, measure, and begin to implement now? None of us can help what a dreadful year 2020 has been on many fronts, but it’s always darkest before the dawn and the height of our individual and collective emergence from this storm will be interdependent with the actions we take today, tomorrow, and each day forward. The key is to desire a goal, make a plan, take action, and keep moving step by step.
I’m not sure I’ve relayed anything new in this message, but it seems to me (and definitely for me) that breaking things down back to basics and owning our own momentum is vital right now. Today might be grey and maybe tomorrow too, but next week/month/years will have as many sunny days as we create for ourselves.