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The past nearly 2 years have been difficult for most, if not all, of us – and I don’t need to list the myriad ways here. Suffice it to say that, in our lifetimes at least, we’ve never experienced anything like it.

However, during this time, I, like many of you, have strived to maintain a positive attitude and balanced perspective, and I have periodically shared some of my thoughts on doing so, including this Resiliency Tip Sheet and Getting Unstuck.

Also, and importantly, I believe that there have been some very valuable lessons learned from these challenging times (beyond how to wash our hands for 20 seconds and how to log into multiple Zoom meetings per day) and I’d like to share a few of them with you:

We’ve learned that things don’t always go as planned. These recent times are a prime example of how, in life, things don’t always go how we planned. We might have studied all the strategies and practiced all the right moves only to be surprised with something that threw us for a complete loop. The key is to stay positive, keep trying, and to always be moving forward.

We’ve learned how to pivot. We’ve heard this word a whole lot during the pandemic. But knowing how to pivot is an essential skill. Pivoting includes assessing the current situation, evaluating your options, deciding on a path forward, and proceeding in earnest.

We’ve learned to solve problems. The past months have compelled us to be especially creative in how we approach our jobs, our relationships, and other interests. By working our brains as much as our bodies, we can solve tough problems; which involves identifying the “real” problem and assessing how it impacts what’s most important to you.

We’ve learned the value of communication. Sure, we’ve been doing a lot of communicating over screens and from behind face masks. Yet we’re still able to express ourselves and to connect in meaningful ways. Let’s do our best to continue to leverage these heightened communication skills going forward.

We’ve learned that we’re all in this together. It’s easy to take sides in life, and there’s no harm in a little friendly competition and constructive disagreement. Yet, this year has given us the opportunity to see one another with a bit more empathy and kindness. We’re all hoping for an end to the virus and for a return to some of our previous and preferred ways of being and doing things. This experience has been challenging, for sure, but it’s also been a reminder that we’re all human, and we’re all in this together.

Additional Thought

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a roller coaster-like emotional journey for so many of us. Since your life and situation may be changing week-to-week, if not day-to-day, try using this quick and easy tool every so often to assess your emotional state. Once you identify where you are on the Emotions Curve, it may be easier to determine what to do next.

Thanks to the good folks at Paradigm Associates for their contributions to this blog.