A Gift In An Unusual Wrapping
Christmas is the time we give gifts. We anticipate with inner joy at what the gift might be as we rip the wrapping.
The wrapping comes in different designs. Some people use newspaper or paper bags, but regardless of the outer cover, we expect something good under the outer wrapping.
The COVID-19 is the wrapping for the gifts inside 2020. I do not deny the tragic loss of life nor the chaos it has caused around the world. But I want to look at the year from a different perspective and consider the COVID episode a gift.
Why is COVID-19 is a gift? Overnight it eliminated the noise in our life. It has done the work of narrowing our focus and harnessing our energy, which is the perfect storm for success.
I name it a gift because of Rabbi Goodblatt, who mentored me. I had a crushing event in my life, and in conversation, he said, "now that this has happened, what are you going to do? You can resist reality, but you'll lose every time. Find the sweetness in this challenge." He reminded me that I had the power of choice to wallow in my loss, or I can come to terms with it, find the good within, and move forward.
I've come to terms with the fact that the familiar life structures in my life are gone. Anytime there is a change in your schedule, it is time to update your plan.
With the noise of life eliminated, it provides a grand opportunity to focus your energy on one thing, your mindset. To be a better version of you after this episode passes, build habits that train your mind.
A better tomorrow begins today. Build a habit of consistency. Each night spend a few minutes writing out your schedule for the next day.
Make it a habit to challenge yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Do what is hard first. Win that war first. Doing what is easy is not the mind of a free person; that's the mindset of an addict.
What do you say to yourself when you train to fatigue? Build a habit of positive self-talk. Thoughts become words, and words become our actions that turn into patterns, which shape our character that becomes our destiny. These positive affirmations program your mind into believing the stated concept. Muhammad Ali claimed he was the greatest of all time years before he was a Heavyweight Champion. Strong affirmations affect your mood and mindset to manifest the change you want in your life.
Years ago, I would occasionally run with one foot on the sidewalk and my other foot on the road. I did this to remind myself that life is not perfect, but I can have a perfect response to events, a good habit to have.
Be intentional in developing the skills above, and when you return to the court, you'll be the perfect storm. Now is the time to update your plan to improve. The best people, the best teams, always find a way to get better.
There is still time to unwrap the gift we received in 2020. The gift you open this Christmas is the one you will use in 2021 to create the life you want.