“There is only one time that is important – Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.”
Merriam-Webster defines the term, “Comfort Zone” as a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress. Suffice it to say that very few of us, if any, are currently in that place. It would be better said that we are in the moment, and that moment is unique to each of us. While there are common challenges, such as an uncertain economy, social distancing, and medical risk, we are each finding our own way to adapt. As I see it, we have three choices; we can languish in memories of the past, dream about the day that everything will return to normal, or let this become a defining moment of our life.
For me, the past few weeks have been a series of moments that have enabled learning and growth. Days are spent talking with clients, reading, listening to podcasts, or attending webinars. Evenings and late nights have been times of reflection and journaling. I’ve also spent time reaching out to most of those on my phone’s contact list simply to see how they are doing. I’ve found it interesting that the most common response I get is, “Okay!” Should I expect more? Not really; in fact I would be a bit skeptical if someone answered with my old adage, “I’m super good and getting better!” But here’s a thought, how can each one of us take this moment in time and use it to make someone else’s life better, to create an opportunity, to not just survive, but to thrive.
Patrick Lencioni, a best-selling author and organizational consultant, identifies this moment in time as unprecedented and a time for servant leadership. Our current crisis creates an opportunity for leaders to demonstrate their true character, and our rallying cry should focus on the protection of our family, the elderly, the young, and healthcare workers. He reminds us, “Five years from now it will be our leadership that is remembered; people will remember who we are, what we said, and the actions we took. This is a time to be our best selves.”
Gary Burnison, CEO of Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, encourages us to be future focused. Imagine it’s October, 2022 and COVID-19 is a thing of the past. A vaccine and treatment exist, businesses are thriving, unemployment is low, and the global economy is strong. As you look back, do you say to yourself, “Instead of worrying so much, I wish I had used the time to [fill in the blank].” This moment is your opportunity to take advantage of that commodity of which it seems we never have enough; time! Use it to your advantage! Set goals that you will strive to achieve so that when you look back, the phrase, “I wish” is a thing of the past.
Brené Brown’s research demonstrates that, as humans, we are hardwired with a need to connect with others. Now more than ever; it is our lifeline. This is a time to express ourselves and open up to others, be it in our home, at work, or through our social network. It is not only a time to reach out to others, share our thoughts and feelings, and listen openly without judgment, but it is also a time to say, “I miss you!”, “Take care!”, and most importantly, “I love you!”
The question becomes do we sit motionless, or worse yet, retreat in the face of this challenge called COVID-19? This is our moment to become better versions of ourselves by reaching out, rekindling relationships, helping others, and seeking opportunities. In each of our lives there comes a time when we must embrace our fears, wrap our arms around them, and retake control. THAT is the power of this moment!