Sure it has opened the worlds eyes to the needs and challenges surrounding a pandemic. It has led to people coming together to address them. It has also divided people on how it has all been handled.
But that’s not what I am talking about here. No, the global wake up call I am referring to is the one currently opening the door to the change you know you need to make in your own little corner of the world.
Years ago, not long after the death of someone close to me, I recall getting together with a group of friends. Everyone experienced the wake up call of someone close to them dying far too young. The message they received was something very personal and very different for everyone. As we talked and shared stories the messages turned to the wake up call and the change people intended to make because of it.
“I’ve really got to start taking better care of my health.”
“I should leave the office earlier.”
“I’ve got to get in for a medical with my doctor.”
“I need to stay in contact with everyone.”
“It’s time to start living more for today.”
Everyone had a unique and meaningful thought. In time I suspect most slid from that intention (myself included) and things drifted back to the way it was. Nothing changed.
Is your wake up call telling you something specific?
The comments made at that time mirrored those I shared in a recent post where Neil Pasricha highlighted research on “The 5 Greatest Regrets of the Dying”.
Now, none of us were dying but having had a friend pass away had us all exploring how we wanted to live moving forward. So here they are. I wish…
- That I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I hadn’t worked so hard.
- That I had the courage to express my feelings.
- I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- That I had let myself be happier.
Have you had the feeling of wanting to live more in alignment with any of these?
The tremendous door opening opportunity of this global wake up call is for you to be able to create change in your business or your career AND your life. Change that…
- delivers the freedom to be happier and more fulfilled in all that you do.
- leads to you being able to live each day with the form of success that matters most to you.
- shifts health and self care to the top of your priority list.
- heightens the value of relationships with the most important people in your life and the time you spend with them.
I have identified three levels of the wake up call. You may resonate with each to a certain degree. So wherever you are at, I hope this post adds to your wake up call and initiates the change that can ultimately alter your world for the better!
Level 1 – Old Habits
We are creatures of habit. We get into daily routines that gradually become unconscious routines. It’s just what we do or how we do things. No thought about it. Just the way it is.
Even when the way it is does not really work for us we continue on that path anyway. Think of your business or your career as it was last year or before the pandemic. Was it really working for you? Was it delivering the success you really wanted for your business or career AND your life as a whole? Perhaps not.
Yet you continued along not really liking how things are going but not creating the change you need to do things differently.
It’s the old boiling frog analogy.
Put a frog in a warm pot of water over a stove and it will get used to it’s environment. Turn up the heat a bit and initially the frog does not like it but gradually gets used to the warmer water. At any time it can easily jump out but does not. Periodically if your turn the temperature up and allow the frog to get used to it then it will remain in the water and eventually boil to death.
The pain became incrementally worse but was never strong enough to motivate change. The wake up call was never received.
Many of us live out much of our lives in level one. Never truly happy but never bad enough to do something about it. Is that good enough for you?
Level 2 – Sink or Swim
When you do get that wake up call you might be firmly stuck in the unsustainable position of sink or swim. Some days you feel like you are sinking just below the surfaced others you are above just enough to grasp for air.
You are bombarded with urgency after urgency at work and it feels like everything is piling up in a never ending manner. Days become longer, work becomes harder as you either wear more and more hats or you just can’t get to the thing you know matters most.
Even when you do get some things accomplished there are 3 more onto the never ending pile. Long work days end up in work taken home along with the stress that goes with it. Strain with family members because of not being there or not being yourself when you are home or doing more work at home doesn’t help. It weighs on your mind. It impacts sleep leaving your exhausted and dependent on caffeine or worse. Your health declines, your relationships decline, your productivity declines (despite working longer), and your profitability actually declines too.
Where does it end? So far it hasn’t, right?
As a business owners you’ve learned that this is the way it is. Work harder, work longer and that’s the way to success… financial success. You’ve been told to put everything else on hold because once you achieve success (this success), then you will have time for everything else. But it never comes and gradually you sink more than you swim.
Ask a business owner you have also learned to keep everything close inside.
- show weakness
- show fear
- slow down
- ask for help
All this does is continue your slide deeper and deeper underwater.
I know I am painting a rather bleak picture. Even if you are in level 2 you may be finding a way to get by… financially or personally. But at what price?
It may not feel like there is another way and you may feel like there just is no time to work on change but where does it go from here?
An early grave… divorce… business closure… or just dreams gone away.
Level 3 – The Global Wake Up Call
So here we are… the global wake up call of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In one way or another you have been forced into some level of awakening. From wherever you were at before this all began you were jolted into a different reality, as was everyone else.
How many of these were thrust upon you over the past few months?
- Isolating at home
- Home schooling your kids – or supporting them in online schooling
- At home with your immediate family all the time
- Your business shut down or is continuing from home
- Vacations were cancelled
- You created a home office to work from
- You share an office/work space with your spouse
- Zoom meeting after zoom meeting all day long
- A loved one’s health was impacted by the pandemic
- You had to lay off staff
- Birthday parties, anniversaries, and other celebrations were cancelled
- You needed to research and apply for support for your business or yourself
- You had a new, steep learning curve to shift online in business and in life
- Getting used to wearing a protective mask
- Your business is re-opening or will soon
- You are not able to visit your parent in a long term care facility
- Your business is closed for good
- What else?
Did you adapt and continue in business during all of this? Maybe you took the down time to begin to exercise or embraced supporting your kids with their schooling. Perhaps you began to prepare for whatever comes next. That’s awesome. Please keep at it!
Then again, maybe you are headed back along the same old stressful path and this massive global wake up call will not lead to any real change.
Are you headed towards repeating a history you wish was different?
Chart a different path. Envision a new future for you, your family AND your business. This is the perfect opportunity while the whole world is exploring change on so many levels and in so many ways. Need help? Contact me today.
Now is the time!