Restrictions are being lifted but there’s still uncertainty about how life will play out in our new physically distanced world. It’s time to reassess life, and business, to work out our ‘new normal’.
For some, including myself, the last couple of months have been an opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button. Others, however, had to deal with the fall out of the lockdown, such as property managers who were caught between tenants and landlords negotiating new arrangements – all for less money, right? If so, perhaps you’ve barely had time to catch your breath?
Starting with a clean slate
As the dust settles, now is an excellent time to take stock and consider where to from here. It’s time to reevaluate how much time we keep available for family and friends, and in what direction to take our businesses. There’s plenty of opportunities ahead, we just need to recognise and navigate them.
You’ve no doubt heard about the concept of ‘finding your why’ or your purpose. Your ‘why’ is a more personal expression of what is generally called your ‘mission statement’ or your ‘core values’. It applies to both your personal life and your business and ties directly back to your marketing messages, it’s both in your head and on paper. It’s your personality and your promise to your clients.
Why do you need to know your why?
Think about how much energy you need to bring to your business or your day-to-day life. If you have a strong purpose you’ll spring out of bed in the morning excited about what you can create each day – energy will come to you in abundance.
An inspiring speech by Jim Carey includes lots of great nuggets of advice for living your best life. Have a listen;
In Jim Carey’s address to college graduates, he shares these ideas;
“Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens FOR you.”
“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take the chance on doing what you love.”
Your why (or your purpose) is like the spine of your life’s structure. Whatever life throws at you, if you have a clear idea about your ‘why’, you can face troubles head-on.
Many of us find it hard to articulate our why. That could mean we’re operating on autopilot or it indicates that we don’t really have a passion for what we’re doing.
No matter what your business or how your life flows when we hit a roadblock or extended downturn we have to be able to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves down and carry on.
Why now’s a great time to hit the ‘reset’ button
The Coronavirus caused life and the world economy to shudder to a halt, and many of us have been rocked by the suddenness with which our lives changed. However, there can be a silver lining to a bad or uncomfortable situation.
The last couple of months have given me, personally, a great opportunity to look more closely at life ‒ family, relationships and business ‒ and dig deep to identify what makes me happy. I’ve had a lot of change happen this past year (separating from my husband), so I gained some breathing space to tie up loose ends (both sell and move house), spend some valuable time with my kids (mainly learning to fish!) and renew my energy and enthusiasm for life again.
Change is a given, learning to cope is crucial
If you’re like most of us, you’ve had to adapt quickly to rapidly changing circumstances. You might find you’re struggling to cope when it feels like the rug has been pulled from underneath you. If this is how you’re feeling, it might be because you haven’t figured out the underlying purpose behind all you do.
The circumstances around the Coronavirus reminded me of the story, Who Moved My Cheese. If there was ever a time to watch the tale of Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw, it’s now.
Rewatching this anecdote, I gained some fresh inspiration to face life’s challenges head-on, and figure out ways to reinvent my ‘new normal’. Here are the questions that Who Moved My Cheese looks to address;
“Are you following your instincts?”
“Are you ready to get back out into the maze? Even though it may feel uncomfortable or like unfamiliar territory?”
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Interestingly both Jim Carey and Who Moved My Cheese highlight that fear, once faced, usually abates pretty quickly and the task ahead turns out to be less daunting than you initially thought, and often rewarding to boot.
A new challenge is simply a journey into the unknown. Once you take a few initial steps, you realise it’s not so scary after all.
How will you adapt to the new normal?
Now is an ideal time to reflect on life. Do you want to continue with the same old stories you’ve been telling yourself? If you’ve read this far, I’ll make a guess and say they aren’t working. It’s therefore probably time to start digging.
If your goal in life is simply to make more money, then you may not be sustained by a sense of purpose, especially if circumstances outside your control make it impossible to achieve financial goals. Most of us feel untethered when we can’t act, which has been especially true in these challenging times, and stress can make us unmotivated.
Your ‘why’ is your purpose to yourself and others. If you truly believe in your why you’ll continue to do what you do even if the goal posts move because it’s what you love and it’s how you help others.
How to articulate your why
To start with, I confess that I haven’t yet fully articulated my ‘why’ but I’m working through the process. I found that a good way to start is by completing the following statements:
- How can I help to improve the world through what I do?
- What is stopping me from growing?
- If I knew I only had six months on this planet, is there something I’d rather be doing?
The benefits of revealing your why
In the real estate game, we talk a lot about being ‘authentic’. But you can’t be authentic if you don’t know who you are or what you stand for. Finding your purpose in life will deliver many benefits, not least of which is a better understanding of what makes you tick.
- Enthusiasm: Much of our lives is compromised because of underlying anxiety, ‘imposter syndrome’ and the like. Finding your why, and your purpose releases you to be whole-hearted about your life and your business.
- Focus: You’ll achieve more focus on yourself and your business because you won’t doubt your direction.
- Certainty: You will have clarity and charge ahead with your life, knowing your purpose. You won’t waste time on unproductive endeavours.
- Fulfilment: As you achieve your goals that are defined by your purpose, you’ll feel a greater sense of satisfaction and gratification.
- Relationships: When you know who you are and what you stand for, you can create and maintain better relationships with family, friends, colleagues and the wider community.
Be the change you’ve always wanted
A message that caught my attention in Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review from 1975, because 45 years on it still rings true;
“Get yourself together. Clean up your act. Find your community.”
“Pick up on some kind of redemption of your own consciousness. Become more mindful of your own friends, your own work, your own proper meditation, your own art, and your own beauty.”
“Go out and make it for your own eternity.”
To paraphrase the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche; “to give birth to a star, we must first deal with chaos”. Why not take advantage of this current chaos to create your own new bright star?