One of the few silver linings to this pandemic is that the world has been forced to STOP – Rest, Reflect, and Reset.
This is an unusual time for all of us. Some people may be sitting at home ruminating about how much they hate their current job and deciding that they need to make a change. Others have sadly lost a much-treasured livelihood and are immersed in fear that they won’t find something as fulfilling again when this is all over. Then, there are the pockets of people realizing that “life is short” and feeling inspired to take the plunge to start their own business or commence a long overdue venture.
It’s easy to switch onto autopilot when going about our daily chaotic lives, and we forget to take the time to pause and check-in with ourselves. Self-reflection is a key way in which to nurture your wellbeing, and it shouldn’t take a lockdown for us to find the time to carry out some soul-searching.
Co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs would routinely look into the mirror every morning and ask himself, “if today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If the answer was “no” too many days in a row, he knew something had to change.
I am lucky that I am living the life of my dreams professionally, but it was quite the journey to get here. As they say, the path to success is rarely linear, and that was definitively true for me. It took years of rejection, setbacks, and what felt like random detours to get to where I am now. But looking back, I can see that every single experience, both good and bad, led me to this perfect point in my career.
That clarity is what’s helping guide me through these challenging and uncertain times, and I can say with conviction that even if I am fired from my dream job tomorrow – I know I will be ok.
Connecting the dots of your life is a crucial way to remain confident, motivated, and focused when things get difficult. And for a lot of people, that challenging time is now.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
Here are five key life lessons that I have learned along the way that I think will help anyone pondering over their career during this quarantine.
Lesson One: Trust The Journey
When facing significant disappointment, have faith that you will be guided towards reaching the very best outcome for your life. Through being open and embracing any lessons along the way, you will end up exactly where you were meant to be.
The last time I was really upset about something that happened in my career my dear friend reminded me, the best is yet to come, and now it’s closer!
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. 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 – because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. And that will make all the difference.”
– Steve Jobs (Stanford Commencement Speech)
Lesson Two: Embrace The Fear
“If you aren’t scared, it’s probably not worth doing.” You should always do what you are afraid to do. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and challenging yourself is a vital way in which to build strength of character. The junctures that scare you are the ones that will make you grow and ultimately set you up for greater success.
Lesson Three: Follow Your Heart
If you put a big paycheck and fancy title before your core values and key aspirations, you will not find true happiness. Any joy that you uncover will be short-lived satisfaction, hollow or fleeing purpose, and you will always find yourself searching for more ways to fill up the void created from not doing what you love.
Lesson Four: Be Good At Failing
Let-downs, rejection, and catastrophes are all part of the process and are even necessary to building resilience for you to keep pursuing your dreams. When you accept and expect setbacks, then you’ll be better placed to realize that failure and disappointments are an opportunity to harness the courage to strive forward.
Lesson Five: Find Your WHY?
Having a clear sense of purpose is the key to success in both business and life, but you have to first find your “why?” The world’s top leaders have a strong clarity around their true purpose, and their actions are focused around supporting that why. When you know why something is your purpose and then stay true to that intention, you will always find your “how.”
So, let’s take this time to figure out what truly makes us happy and set goals to ensure that we stay on track when this all ends. It’s time to create a new normal where we can live a healthier, more joyful, and fulfilling life!