Since Monday, we’ve been talking about the coming shutdown.
Nobody wants this pandemic. Nobody wants to spend the next few weeks, or even months, cooped up indoors while Spring is blooming outside.
However, I truly believe this period could be an opportunity.
A kind of metamorphosis.
An opportunity to disconnect from the daily grind, reconnect with your purpose, and grow. An opportunity to emerge into the world as a new person, stronger, more motivated, and ready to make the next chapter of your life your best years ever. An opportunity that is precious and rare.
However, we need to go into this with our heads straight.
As I’ve mentioned over the last three days, there are three specific “inner game” challenges we need to overcome. The first is connection. We need to take the lead, foster connection with others, and become a pillar of support. There are tech tools to help with this, which we talked about on Tuesday. However, the most important thing is the intention.
The second test is purpose. You need to find a purpose. Something that’s worth holding onto during these dark weeks ahead. Something that will make you want to keep jumping out of bed at the crack of dawn, when it’s tempting to lie in bed. Something that will give you hope and motivation.
And what about the third test?
That’s the topic of today’s email. You need to become comfortable with silence and emptiness. Or, at least, you need a plan for managing it.
Working from home is very different from working in an office.
Especially if you’re alone.
You need to be able to tolerate the silence.
And you need to feel comfortable managing unstructured time, for maintaining focus and discipline, and staying on track.
If you don’t?
You may find that your mind gets consumed by dark thoughts, negative self-talk, and excuses. And, before you know it, you’re wasting time on Facebook, watching cat videos on YouTube, or wallowing in the news on TV.
This period of “social distancing” will pass.
Probably quicker than we know it.
And when it does, and the dark cloud has passed us, and life is back to relative normal, you can look back and know that you cultivated a powerful skill that will serve you, and your goals, for the rest of your life.
You need to embrace the emptiness.
Make it your friend.
Do this consciously, right now.
Decide that you’re not going to do what most other folks do, and try to run away from emptiness — by giving in to TV, Facebook, alcohol, food, etc.
This is the third and final “inner game” test.