1. Being Grateful for Everything we can be possibly be Grateful for: Gratitude is something we can never practice enough and in these challenging times, it's been refreshing to see a bit of an uptick in opportunities for meditation, shared gratitude and appreciation for what we have. If you want my personal favorite primer on gratitude, become a fan and follower of Brother David Steindl-Rast. This video provides a fantastic foundation for building your gratitude practice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zl9puhwiyw
2. Exercising and Enjoying the great outdoors: Speaking of being grateful, I'm incredibly grateful that I've been running for the past fourteen years (with a few breaks here and there for injuries!). But it's been incredible to see my usual running pathways filled with new participants that I haven't seen before. Whether it's just because they've wanted to get out of the house, the need for human connection or true health concerns, it would be great for our overall health if this was to continue.
3. Saying hello to strangers (and maybe closer in than six feet): Equally important, it's been wonderful to see that some of the folks that I always see - as well as our new running and walking friends - always share a friendly wave and a smile. Something inside tells me that they're also longing to stop, give a warmer hello and connect.
4. Using the telephone (again): This week, there was a story in the New York Times highlighting the fact that Verizon had anticipated an uptick in internet usage but what had most surprised them was the heavier use of telephones! Since my days as a stockbroker, I've always been a fan of the phone (I got to know it really well while cold-calling!). While sure we're amping up our Zoom skills, It's been nice to see people eager to go old school and actually speak with people.
5. Realizing that we’re all in this together (before, during and after): It's been inspiring to see calls for togetherness, community and a sense of connectedness during this challenging moment. I truly, truly hope it will continue. While a crisis brings us together, imagine what that sense of purpose and belonging could create when we are all at our capacity. It's incredible to think about and what we should be striving for.
One of the more positive elements to come out of this stay at home moment has been the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues. As a coach, it’s also been a good time to catch up with clients whom I haven’t spoken to for a while. One of the exchanges that really struck me was a note from one of my clients who is an up and coming leader for a sports-based youth development nonprofit. He noted that while he has a wonderful relationship with his wife, sharing 100% of their days in a 900 square foot apartment, has truly tested the bonds of their relationship. Fortunately, they’re coming through with flying colors! It seems the coronavirus may replace travel as the new testing grounds for compatibility with our partners.
I posted a few weeks ago about some of the unique opportunities that have come with the coronavirus. Those included the ability to practice our humanity, the joy of family re-connection, and the chance to really talk to friends (I’m talking about talking, like on the phone - not just likes and messages on facebook). If you’re curious, you can read the first one HERE. Since then, more opportunities have popped up so I thought I’d share them here:
While the coronavirus has been devastating in so many ways, I believe it's worth trying to look at our world through the lens of a little lightness. I hope I’ve helped you do that as well.
Robert is an Executive and Business Development Coach. You can read him here or on www.younonprofitnow.com