Today, along with tens of millions of other people around the globe, I celebrated Easter virtually for the first time in my life. We agreed ahead of time with my daughter to stream Joel Osteen’s Easter service live. My daughter, Lauryn, is still hunkered down on her college campus. She Facetimed us so we could connect and watch the service together. If she had been home, we would have attended our regular church’s Easter service. I decided to “dress up” a bit with a big Easter hat, just so I didn’t feel cheated in not getting to wear one this year. It made me feel like I was retaliating in some small way against the shelter-in-place orders of this crisis.
During the Easter service, Tyler Perry joined as a guest to offer some inspirational words. His comments were centered around how busy we normally are in our daily lives, which causes us to take the small things for granted: seeing family and friends, going to our favorite restaurant, traveling at a moment’s notice and even enjoying time with colleagues at work. He used an analogy which really stuck with me and provided me the title for the blog. He said that during many of his normal workdays, he sometimes has so many windows opened on his computer that the speed starts to slow down drastically. He eventually realizes he needs to shut down and “reset” the computer, or it might crash. He was making the point that we do the same thing in our lives without realizing it. We get so busy with so many things that sometimes we need a “reset” to acknowledge the people and things in our life that truly matter. These things fulfill us, and ultimately bring us happiness, even if we are not intentionally connecting those dots.
Tyler’s analogy was spot on and so typical of all aspects of our life, including health and prosperity. I think back on the times in my life when things didn’t go exactly as planned:
A) I didn’t get the job or promotion I had hoped for;
B) I didn’t receive the salary increase I was expecting;
C) I was unemployed unexpectedly;
D) My house burned down (yes, that actually happened); or
E) There were medical issues and a death in the family.
Then there are the broader national issues that impact us all at some level:
C) The mortgage crisis; and
D) The current global pandemic with the COVID-19 virus.
Usually in these moments, we are so caught up in the short-term impact to our life that we can’t think beyond it clearly. That is totally to be expected in any time of crisis, but in my own personal experience I always look back on those brief times of change and think “if only I had known something better was just around the corner I would have spent more time reflecting on the future instead of stressing”.
Sometimes life gives us these “moments of pause” and we don’t always see them as an opportunity for true reflection. Some of you reading this blog are currently unemployed; furloughed; or working in isolation remotely. There are millions of lives that have been disrupted, both medically and economically. As you are aware, it is truly unprecedented.
Ironically, the very technology that is blamed for ‘distracting’ us from those we love has become the sole source for staying connected!
While this global crisis is critical, most of our lives will eventually return to normal. We may even take some of the new “adaptations” we have adjusted to with us into the new future. These changes will make us wiser globally, as a nation and as individuals. We never know what life will bring us, so all we can do is be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.
It may be hard for you given your situation, but I want to challenge you to maximize this current imposed “moment of pause” and evaluate what you have learned over the last few weeks and how you want to come out of this crisis in the weeks ahead. Make this an opportunity to “reset” and ask yourself some really tough questions:
A) Were you prepared financially for the unexpected? If not, why not?
B) If you are unemployed now, were you in the right position prior to the crisis? (a job that fulfilled you)
C) Should you be looking for a change in position as employment comes back over the next weeks? If so, what research could you be doing right now while you are not working that will give you some additional knowledge in order to make a shift?
D) If you are happy with the position you had and want to return to it, how can you manage your income differently in the future to make you more resilient to life’s unexpected turns?
E) Do you have clearly defined life goals with measurable timelines written down?
From a health perspective, we know the virus hit certain preexisting conditions hard: people with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and smokers to name a few. Are you in one of those categories? Are there action you can take to make sure you are not in a vulnerable group in the future? What steps can you take now -in this moment- in that direction? For those who have lost or may lose loved ones during this crisis, those lives are changed forever. The hole left after losing a loved one impacts us emotionally (and possibly economically) for the rest of our lives. When illness strikes, the status of your overall health becomes critical, but many times we don’t have the time to change our status once we are hit. These “moments of pause” allow us to self-evaluate and change that status to a position of strength to fight illness and disease.
We can’t do anything about the past, but we can certainly plan for our future!
I am always challenging people to be as prepared as they can be regarding both their health and their wealth. As humans, we are not always willing to act until we get into a crisis, and then reality hits us hard. Suddenly, when you have no paycheck coming in the following week, you realize how important it is to be financially prepared. The same goes for our health. When you contract an illness or disease, you realize how crucial it is to be at optimal health. The time and sacrifice required to do both of those things are worth it, but that doesn’t change the moment of crisis you find yourself in now. The only way to make sure it doesn’t happen to you again is to start preparing now. Decide what you need to do differently coming out of this crisis. Develop your plan. As we recover from this crisis, make sure you are building the future that not only fulfills you, but makes you as resilient as possible from any impending storm that life might bring.
Remember, YOU ARE THE CEO OF YOUR OWN LIFE!!!
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