There’s a lot going on. Amidst it all, it helps to focus attention on the positive. So what’s good in your life and work? If you do not have a ready answer, do some digging – you’ll find something.
Recognizing what’s good can lift your spirits and build momentum to creating more good in your life. Go ahead, focus on the positive and see where it takes you.
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These days, all kinds of things can keep you busy – adapting to change, care giving for yourself or others, finding work, doing your work. All of these involve “doing”. You can also be busy on the “being” side – reassessing your life and work, dealing with the “time out” you are in, accepting the changes that are occurring, dealing with fear and uncertainty.
What is keeping you busy these days? What’s the balance you are striking between being and doing? Some of the heroes of this time have only the option of doing and we are so grateful to them. Others have an opportunity to create some busy time on the being side. You have an opening to create positive change. Your world will not be the same, as you return to activity. This shift has been too big. Spending some time reflecting on your life, work and wants serves you greatly right now.
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When you take ownership of something, it is yours. You take responsibility for it and, by implication, it is something that you want to do. In your work, are there projects, attitudes or activities that you have or haven’t taken ownership of? Not taking ownership can involve lack of enthusiasm, not performing at your best or doing things by default. Taking ownership can involve accountability, moving at a good pace or raising your profile.
If something is yours, you might as well take ownership of it. Doing so serves you and increases your value to yourself and your organization.
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Despite wishes to go back to how things were before the pandemic, it is pretty clear now that the world is in a time of significant change. In the near future, you may go back to a new workplace, new ways of communicating and new forms of socializing. In the far future, it is anyone’s guess what the world will be.
You have a choice: trying to recapture what is gone or preparing for a future that fulfills you. In crises, along with challenges come opportunities. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started in creating the future you want to live:
• What is gone from your life that will not return?
• What is new in your life that feels right?
• What can you do with the time you have now to pursue dreams that there never was time for before?
• How have your values changed?
• What will make your future life a fulfilling one?
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I am beginning to sense that with the COVID-19 situation we are in for a number of ups and downs. Week to week in my coaching and communicating with friends, I am seeing them in action. Of course, the degree of how up and how down varies with each person. Some are dealing with extreme challenges; others are finding themselves tossed to and fro. Few are experiencing life as it used to be.
We need to find ways to navigate these ups and downs or they will mess with our focus and knock us off balance. I am developing ways to handle them. Focus is key to me. If I can get myself back to center when distracted, I can regain focus. I allow that a portion of my energy is going to coping with change and have lowered my expectations a bit. I also create some structure each day so that I do not drift too far.
If ups and downs are with us for a while, lets find ways to deal with them. There’s a good chance that they are leading us to positive change and will be worth it in the long run.
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There is a lot of upheaval in the world now leaving room for creativity and innovation. You have an opportunity to seize the moment and do something bold. Many of the strictures of our recent past are gone – not by choice but because of the nature of the changes we are experiencing.
Change brings openings. What could you do now that you’ve wanted to do in the past, but conditions did not allow for it? What dream can you see an opening for?
Go ahead, surprise them!
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There are a range of experiences you can have in the situation these days: being on the front lines of response, dealing with illness, staying at home or something in-between. Do you find yourself reacting to these changes by feeling uncertain and anxious? That’s natural, when you are out of your comfort zone.
A lot has changed and you are facing a high level of unknowns. Fear is palpable and what the future will look like is anyone’s guess. To cope with these changes staying as centered as possible is essential. Find your new center amidst it all and create ways to get back there when things distract you. Maintaining focus helps as well. Create times of the day when you focus on certain things and stick with them. Allow that you may get distracted more than usual, but don’t let distraction take hold for too long. Manage your expectations as well. Keep them reasonable and nurturing.
You will get through this. Stay steady and our new normal will gradually emerge. Be well!
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Yes, this is a big question and one worth considering. Harmony gets you moving – all the pieces of your life and career work well together. To assess the level of harmony in your life, here are some questions to consider:
• How often are there conflicts in your life and career?
• How well do you discern what situations and people are best to be involved with and those you should avoid?
• Do you feel a flow in your life? A sense of ease?
• Is there anything you may be doing that causes disturbance in your life? Or other situations or people that do?
• What lacks harmony in your life and career now?
With harmony you can enjoy life and get more done. Make harmony a value that you support and honor.
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I have found that one of my challenges during this time is keeping my focus. My mind wanders and, at times, cannot hold its attention for very long. It’s not like I busy myself with distractions, rather at various times in the day, I find it challenging to keep my attention on something I want to do (a work project, cleaning the house, cooking, working in the yard). When this happens, I do my best to bring my attention back. I also give myself space. I know we are in a time of uncertainty and transition and that some of my energy is focusing on that. That’s okay. I am finding my new center and until I do, I go easy on myself, to a point.
How is your focus these days?
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The world has changed. We are in a new reality. To come to acceptance, start from the present. Look around at your world to what has changed and what is the same. Identify what you need to live in this world and thrive. If you are having trouble accepting the changes, identify the problem areas and focus on ways to make them easier to accept. For example, if you are working at home and do not like it, look for positives in it, as well as ways to minimize any negative effects.
Some things you may not be able to accept outright, such as the illness or death of a loved one or losing a job. In that case, acceptance comes in coping with what has happened, doing what you can to stay out of fear and allowing your feelings to express themselves. Acceptance will allow you to move on eventually. Resistance keeps you stuck.
Acceptance is freeing and is a process. Once you start moving towards acceptance, life will get better.
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