While we wrote this this post when life was only about quarantine, it is, we believe, even more pertinent now. Now is a time to live our lives for the betterment of this world – and to take care of ourselves (and others) while we do. Nourish your body. Your mind. Your soul. And your heart. And keep going.
“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
At the beginning of the quarantine, nearly all of our clients spent nearly all of their coaching time talking about how to work remotely, and even more challenging, how to lead remotely. They certainly didn’t know how to put boundaries around their own work, without their commute as a natural barrier. They definitely didn’t know what to expect of their team members. They absolutely didn’t know how to manage their boss’s (and client’s) expectations. Should we all be on 24-7? Is someone really working if they’re not at their computer when I need them? How do we stay connected but not over connected? These were the types of questions they asked and conversations we had.
Fast forward into the quarantine, our conversations have changed. “How do we learn from this?” our clients started to ask. “How do I support my team members? How do I help them survive this? What can we take from this to make things better moving forward?”
Human beings, by nature, search for meaning. Human beings, by nature, learn and grow. And human beings, by nature, long for connection with others.
Social distancing has brought all of these essential human characteristics into the forefront. Now is an even more challenging – yet even more exciting – opportunity to lead and to lead Thoughtfully.
We coach our clients to increase their self-awareness and self-management. We coach our clients to be aware of the needs and emotions and perspectives of the people around them. We coach our clients to be dispensable and to be in service of others. Einstein’s belief that only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile encapsulates all three of these opportunities for growth.
As our best and our worst selves appear, how can we increase our self-compassion? How can we lead our teams, allow our colleagues to be their best and worst selves, and still make and execute on plans for the future? How can we step up when we’re needed and step back when others can take the helm?
There are a few simple steps we can take. Simple, but yet not always easy to do. I know that these are posted and repeated many places, and here they are here as well:
- Breathe – we must remember to go slow at times, take moments to reflect, and, most importantly, breathe deeply and fully.
- Stay present – it can be a wonderful respite to escape with mindless tv or an amazing book (I’m currently reading Casey Gerald’s memoir: There Will Be No Miracles Here), and it also is wonderful – and powerful – to be fully in each moment – mindful, present, and aware.
- Rest – take time during the day to step away from your computer or phone and allow yourself moments of rejuvenation. Make sleep a priority. Take breaks.
- Hydrate – drink more water and probably less coffee.
- Appreciate – listing three things you’re grateful for each night (or multiple times during the day as needed) as well as what you did to help those three things happen increases your self-efficacy (which we pretty much could use more of right now), your gratitude, and your awareness of what is right and good and beautiful.
This is a moment that we need to manage ourselves through as well as possible. And this is a moment when we can reflect. How can we use this time to make our lives even more worthwhile and even more in service of others? That’s a question worth pondering.
How have you lived in service of others and what have you learned and gained from it?
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If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.
For support in living an even more worthwhile life, contact Robyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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