“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”– Maya Angelou
Most of us did not anticipate what was coming back in 2019. We looked forward to the start of a new decade, a rebirth if you will, and a fresh kickstart was expected to burgeon out of the new year.
But this happened to not be the case.
The COVID-19 crisis has made sure that we barely transitioned out of the first quarter of the year without our safety bubbles bursting. Now we’re stuck with our fingers between our teeth asking, what next?
(If you need to familiarize yourself further with discomfort and uncertainty, then watch this TedTalk. Because Tedtalk is great, after all.)
All the plans, the endeavors, the novelties, and the visions are now faceless in light of this global pandemic. Many of us live in fear – for both our health and the future. And some of us are just horribly disappointed, especially when we hear that these national quarantines could last for many more months.
What we all need to realize is that under such pressure, there’s a solution, and an outcome better than before the crisis.
Now is the time to view our lives from an unfamiliar angle. In other words, see the larger picture from a broader perspective. It’s important that we emphasize where we put our focus on during this time because it’s easy to wobble off the tight rope towards fear-based thinking and decisions rather than positive growth. Our energy needs to go somewhere on a daily basis, and now is the prime time to re-assess where that energy is going.
While Alex and I originally had the plan to finish up converting the van and hitting the road next month, things went out of whack when this mess hit our lives.
Just like everybody else, it shook up the stability of planning and finances. Our motivation for traveling seemed to dwindle and we put the van work aside for a while.
But during these few weeks of quarantine, we’ve gravitated towards responding to what our inner needs are calling out for. The longing for experiencing life through unconventionality and adventure has amplified. Seeing all of society stop in its tracks while panic consumes the world made us quiet – enough to hear the small, underestimated thing called intuition.
You could say that our priorities have shifted and our desires rekindled. The world is on pause, and it will most likely remain this way even after the pandemic dies out.
So while both Alex and I are practically jobless, and with some money saved up, it seems like the future is far in the distance and not even worth planning for anymore.
This year has shown us that unpredictability is very real and unexpected scenarios could certainly occur at any time. So why should we waste away our lives and time and wellbeing for a “plan” that may never happen?
For myself, I’m done living a safe, secure life. It feels good to be comfortable, but it often robs us of going after what we truly want. Whatever satisfies that inner hunger can’t be done if we think remaining in the same place with the same people benefits us. It doesn’t!
Taking risks is not for everybody, but I do believe it’s very important in order to live a life worth living.
Change is necessary at all moments of the day. And if we can’t embrace change, then better times won’t welcome us.
So, what I’ve learned during this long pause is that we all need to ask ourselves a few simple questions:
- What are my core values? How can I align with them?
Perhaps all your life you’ve been ignoring them or stifling their existence without realizing it. But our inner values are what steers us in the direction of who we really are and what we really need in the first place.
- From now on, what do I want to put my energy into?
The one life that we have may seem uncertain and unpredictable. Instead of drowning in apprehension, we can decide to make the things that really matter a priority from now on. This means we need to be aware of what we decide to focus on.
- How do I want to change things, starting with this moment?
Now is the time for us to set ourselves free. If it can’t be physically in the time being, then we can do so within ourselves or in our surrounding environments. Unhealthy habits? Convert them slowly but surely towards healthier ones. Toxic relationships? Say no to them, no matter how painful it could be. Self-care and a better diet? Exercise? Maybe this once seemed like a far-away vision that never really motivated you. But let’s start by taking small steps that make this moment, day and week carry more meaning than it once did.
Let’s utilize our inner navigational system.
It’s time for us to look at what we have and who we are and re-assess what we’ve been living for. There is no better time to do this. Take advantage of the slow life we’re living now and start emphasizing a new and improved future. Ditch the old and make way for the new.