Write Your Story
How will you write your story?
I started this series with a blog titled “What I Did During the Pandemic.” It was like those “What I Did During My Summer Vacation” essays I used to have all my third-grade students write way back when I was teaching. In the weeks since that first blog, I’ve been thinking about this even more. I heard someone say, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” And I think that’s true.
A crisis gives us the opportunity to step up, be generous, courageous, creative, proactive, kind and thoughtful. During a crisis, we’re called to grow and get better. Remember, we want to look back after this is all over and be proud of the way we handled ourselves, and be proud of how we treated people.
Of course, we can ignore the call and just hide out on the couch, watching “Games of Thrones” re-runs, while hoarding toilet paper and eating junk food. We could spend all day watching the news and freaking out. We could pull the covers up over our heads and hide until it’s all over.
We can keep wishing for the “good ole days” to come back and choose not to modify our behavior and businesses so that we can thrive. It’s all our choice. But I’m guessing that most of you watching or reading this would like to choose something different.
Like me, I think you want to look back at this time and say, “Yep, I’m proud of who I was and what I did during that time. I wasn’t perfect but I made the effort.” I remember the first days when all of this was starting to hit us. Honestly, part of me was freaked out and a little panicked.
After I calmed myself down, I made the decision for who and what I wanted to be during this time. I decided I want to be a leader. I wanted to be an uplifter and energy giver. I wanted to offer whatever I could during this time to help people out. That decision has made all the difference in the world. You see, the more you help others, the more you actually help yourself.
I’ve been even more energized and happy throughout all of this, and it’s partially because I’m taking the focus off of myself and putting my focus on making a positive impact on others. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve had all the same challenges most of us are facing. One of which has been particularly scary and trying. You see, my dad was on a cruise and contracted the CoronaVirus. He tested positive and was very very sick. He had a fever for over 14 days, he could barely walk and was very lethargic. We thought he was going to die, he came so close.
Looking through that glass window, I have never seen him so lifeless and weak. He couldn’t even lift his head to see me. And the fact that I could not help him or hold him, made me feel so helpless. But that decision, my intention to be a leader and uplifter during this time, has helped me stay focused and positive through all of it.
And thank goodness, my dad seems to be on the road to recovery. Thank you, God.
So, I’m going to ask you to think about, “What is your intention for this time? What do you want to write in your essay, ‘What I did during the pandemic?’ What will you be proud of yourself for?” And it doesn’t have to be saving the world or getting an online Ph.D. or building a billion-dollar business.
It can be things like, “I learned to be more patient with my kids and to listen to them” or “I worked on my relationship with my spouse” or “I started the book I’ve always wanted to write.”
The trick is to set up whatever you want to be proud of later, set as your intention to start right now. A real intention isn’t just some good idea that you think about for a few minutes then forget about. It’s something you remind yourself of every day and put some action toward it.
I always have my students write down their intentions and goals, whether it’s for that particular day or for the next several months. Then I have them break their goals and intentions down into specific action steps or micro-commitments and put those down on paper, too.
For example, what if your intention is, “I’m going to be a calming influence that helps others stay calm.” Write that down on a sticky note and stick it on your mirror. Write it down on your daily To-Do list and come up with some action steps you can take like, meditating first thing in the morning, calling a friend who seems panicked or talking to your children about their fears. Or what if your intention is, “During this time, I’m going to connect with my current clients and find new ones.”
Write it down on a sticky note and on your To-Do list.
Now, think of action steps you could take like, expanding your online presence—or maybe taking a class to learn about how to expand your online presence. Maybe offering something special to your clients that they could really use right now. Think of something you could do every day, big or small, to fulfill your intention. I hope this was helpful to you.
We will get through this. So, what will your “What I Did During the Pandemic” essay look like? And remember, you get to choose.
Write Your Story
So, how will you write your story?
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