It’s in uncertain times when we often discover sometimes we need to pick up the pace! How many times have you heard the saying – “It’s a Marathon not a sprint?”
The analogy makes sense; that great things can take years to build. But the reality is we can’t control some of the impacts on our personal and business lives. What we can do is decide to control what you can control, and how to respond. This is about doing the right thing, for yourself, and for those around you.
We can’t be too attached to how we think our lives are supposed to work out because time will move us in different directions, and in-n-out of our comfort zones. It’s this uncertainty that will force many of us to make changes. Most of those changes we won’t want, and some will feel devastating. But there will be many changes that will bookmark far more than we can think or imagine!
We need to shift our perspective and realize that sometimes crisis, hurt, and disappointment are all part of the process – our race, and our journey. This is a quote from Steve Jobs 2005-Stanford speech.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life”. ~ Steve Jobs.
Change is constant and inevitable – we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
This is about adaptability, and the ability to function outside of our ‘comfort zone’ during disruptive times. While resilience is having the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. And vulnerability is to reveal, and not hate the fact we are going through something. Because falling down and shedding tears is nothing to be ashamed of. These are all inter-woven skill-sets that are not inherent but will evolve over and over again.
This evolution can best be understood when segmented into the transitional stages of pre-liminal > liminal > post-liminal – (the concept of liminality was developed by French anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep).
The pre-liminal stage is pivotal, in that we each take some time to self-examine and process. This period of separation is imperative to better understand the areas of impact both on us and others.
There will be some expected contention because we will all experience difficulties and crisis at variable levels of disruption and resistance. Acknowledgment and understanding are the important building blocks needed for a solid foundation. If we don’t ‘come to terms’ then we will more likely get stuck at each roadblock that we will inevitably come against. We must run our race at a steady pace to maintain the flow of transition and elevation in our lives.
Trust only movement as time heals nothing unless we move along with it.
It starts with our mind-set. And understanding that while anything and everything can be taken or lost in our lives – we still have the freedom to choose our attitude.
Our minds can easily become fixed and replay a loop of our ‘saved’ past and current experiences – these are what our heart won’t delete. We must be intentional and learn to step outside of our limited thinking and inject new thought patterns. For instance saying; “I’ve fallen, and I won’t stay down.” This is an agile and divergent way of thinking in the interest of developing and implementing new insights, approaches, and strategies.
Over the course of time we will gain clarity to see why certain shifts and pivotal changes were necessary to happen in our lives. This is learning from our past experiences and recognizing when previous ways of thinking, old habits, old patterns, and approaches don’t work anymore. A similar saying goes “you can live your life forward, but understand it backwards”.
When we have a growth mindset; our setbacks become less detrimental because we have acquired new knowledge, skill-sets, and feel better equipped to learn and grow through them. This is unlearning. A process of behavioral modification through practice, training, or experience that will last a life-time. Forward thinking is key!
Choosing to not allow our thoughts to control the way that we feel will require us to act with an overlay of resilience and vulnerability.
This is a unique liminal stage of transition with expected tugs and pulls and give and takes. This rite of passage will have many thresholds marked with uncertainty and fear. We must pick-up our pace and move through it – talk and feel it!
A heightened level of understanding will come to us when we admit and reveal our vulnerabilities. This will generate self-empowerment and provide us with a greater sense of freedom.
We tend to want to ignore or skip stages of emotional recovery, and not take any time to grieve, or to vent our frustrations. This is why we can easily burn-out, and grow weary and get tired of being resilient.
It is so important to have a ‘safe place’ that allows us to speak and feel freely. The desire to ‘save face’ is what holds us back from speaking our truth, because sadly we live in a society where we always want to appear that we are OK.
The reason why we don’t want to show any vulnerability is because of personal shame. Because we think that this will show our weakness, and that it’s best to ignore and smudge out our real struggles and needs. As the saying goes “stay calm – and carry on.” But to the contrary; by displaying our vulnerability we will appear to be resilient! And you will also feel more resilient!
Our vulnerabilities don’t define us anymore than our strengths do! Own it!
The Post-liminal phase is where ‘actions speak louder than words’. Adaptability is what will separate those who think they can wait for circumstances to change – from those who are willing to face uncertainty and discomfort head-on. This requires us to be fearlessness.
It is clear that there isn’t always a perfect time-line to follow or a set of sequences to implement and track. Our circumstances can change at any given moment and push us to evolve over and over again – to re-build, and revise our ideas and goals. It’s worth celebrating that with each pivotal shift comes a better version of ourselves!
Purpose is having a higher goal to get through, or do, or achieve. This is living with a sense of discovery of what we need, what we want to create, and what we want to become or model. Leading a purposeful life gives meaning to even the smallest of things.
This is turning doubt into hope and happiness.
In the end we must operate from a place of optimism grounded in both realism and openness. This is keeping a clear perspective which will allow us to better visualize a bright future. It’s equally by trust and belief in ourselves that we will see our road-map as motivating not cumbersome or daunting.
We must keep on searching for the meaning to our existence, and find a reason to keep on going even during the most difficult of times. Those that have a ‘why’ – will find that it’s easier to bear anything. But remember that knowing the ‘why’ to forge ahead is different than knowing ‘why’ of how something happened to us. Accept that there will be many questions that go unanswered.
When we are surround by like-minded people that are fearless and promote a spirit of positivity – we will in-turn feel inspired. This will send sparks of courage and resiliency that is contagious! Let’s come into agreement and choose to lead by example showing that evolving and actually accomplishing something worthwhile requires enduring that which many have spent most of their lives trying to avoid.
The rest is faith driven. This is a choice.
Our perseverance is fueled by faith that is renewed even when there appears to be no response during our times of need. Our spirituality is different for each of us; but in a general sense it is having a belief in something that is greater than ourselves. As Steve Jobs said – “You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
We can’t press fast-forward but a little progress each day adds up to big results. We aren’t supposed to know what the future holds or how the dots will connect, but to instead have steadfast faith that positive and lasting change will bring about great victories within our lives, communities, and worldwide.
“Take this ‘life inventory’ with me today and trust that everything that happens to us is part of our plan – one dot connecting to another to form a future that will be greater than what we could have previously imagined.”
Let’s reclaim a new life agenda!