Lessons From the Last Year
Mar 12, 2021
Last year was definitely one of the most unique years of our lives. A little more than a year ago very few people had heard about the coronavirus, and then it hit us hard and fast. In the middle of March we were trying to get our heads around the ensuing disruption in our lives. The first time I was concerned about the coronavirus was when I went to the mall, and it was empty. The same day I heard that my cousin’s restaurant had a whole bunch of cancellations. Then, we heard about America’s royalty getting the coronavirus (yes, I’m talking about Tom Hanks). After that came the cancellation of the NBA season. One by one we cancelled most things including baseball and the Olympics. We started working from home, having school around our kitchen tables, and the world found out about a little software called Zoom.
Before the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, I was planning three amazing trips, including watching my friend speak in San Diego. We all assumed or more likely hoped that we would hunker down for a month or two, and then, poof, life would go back to normal. And now, we now know that didn’t happen.
The greatest lessons in life often come from limitations or challenges. Here’s the problem. If we don’t look at the opportunities to learn or glean lessons, then we won’t find them. This is a concept that my disability reminds me of everyday. If I don’t challenge myself to find the lessons that my disability presents, then I will wallow in self-pity and blame everything that is wrong in my life on my unique circumstance.
These are the lessons that this pandemic has taught me.
- Get on the same page. Throughout this pandemic there have been guidelines that were set out by others for us to follow. When people got on the same page and followed the social distancing and mask guidelines, we tampered the spread.
- Follow the leader. One way for us to get on the same page is listening to the people who actually possess the necessary knowledge and facts and not listening to people who make asinine assumptions.
- Life is not linear. Sometimes life is not linear. Life has its ups and life has downs. You can’t live life in down times like you can do in times of prosperity. I’m not thrilled that I cannot go anywhere, but I understand that for a period of time, I have to live life a little differently.
- Innovation. The pandemic has taught us that we can accomplish our goals in a different way. People can work remotely. Announcers don’t have to be in the arena to call a game. Even doctors can do their jobs through teleconference. Proximity to one another is no longer essential for employment.
- Engage with your challenges in a smart way. This is something I’ve been writing about and speaking about for years. There is a way to engage with your challenges. You can not just wish your challenges were not there or hope they will just go away. A better way is to weave our challenges into our lives. Many people deny the existence of the pandemic, question the severity of it, engage in conspiracy theories, and vilify people who are trying their best to get rid of this virus.
- Behavior is influenced. We are social creatures and depending on the part of the country you’re in and who you associate with, you will have a slightly different narrative about safety. We take cues about life from our trusted associates. If you want to level up and achieve amazing success, you must deal with people who support your goals and can influence you in the right way.
We can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Now we must embrace the lessons that we learned in our attempt to get back to normal and apply them to all areas of our lives.