Here we are in the dog days of summer and we are still dealing with the Covid-19 situation affecting all of our lives. From a two-week shut down in mid March we’ve all been forced to endure all sorts of changes and restrictions for the betterment of our collective health. What have you been doing with your time since this begun?
I know for many people, when the government shutdown began we all viewed it as temporary, and largely everyone to a letter, complied. This cost people thousands of dollars, many have already lost their businesses, and here we are in August now many, if not most, parents are concerned with what is going to happen in the fall for school with their children. I know the spring instant -adjustment to virtual learning caught many school districts unprepared. There is certainly hope that having had months to prepare and readjust how to prepare and readjust going into the Fall start of school will resume and resemble a traditional classroom setting the highest degree possible.
As most of the focus with combating Covid-19 has been on prevention of spread to other people, I know many people have taken to starting new habits and routines for the benefit of themselves and taking advantage of their new found available time. Like many people I’ve been on a host of Zoom calls and a good percentage of those calls have focused at least in part on personal development and growth. What should we do with this time for new opportunities for growth? What can we do to make ourselves better? How can we become more productive? What is the most efficient way to operate under the new for now normal?
Personally, it has allowed me to get back to what I believe has made me successful throughout my career and that is my immersion in reading. I strive to read at least a book a month on personal development, leadership, business, or productivity. The extra time that we’ve had has also allowed me for the first time ever to delve into the world of podcasts. The amount of material out there is amazing. There’s so much good quality, uplifting, and productive material out there for free that, if we are not taking advantage of it, that is on us.
When one delves into this arena there has to be a starting point. Once you have a starting point you can find other areas of interest for you to explore. This is not a linear path. As I always seek to be engaged with folks much brighter than I, I am constantly picking their brains on what they are reading what they’re listening to who is influencing their day-to-day lives. I thoroughly enjoy cooking as an outlet at the end of the day. My grill / smoker is my favorite toy of all time. Like every habit or hobby, you only get better at it by doing it. I’ve been experimenting with different dry rubs, different sauces, different wood chips and wood chunks to smoke with, and obviously the quality of the meats and vegetables that I am cooking. There is an endless assortment of combinations that can turn out outstanding.
As is the case with cooking, opportunities for personal development comes the same way. Inasmuch as some of the rubs that I am using right now I never heard of a year ago, some of the books I am reading and some of the podcasts I am listening to I didn’t even hear of 3 months ago. That is the beauty of us living in this information age. It is all out there for our taking if we choose to take advantage of the great resources at our disposal. I have been a long-time fan and student of John Maxwell. I believe I first read his 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership about 15 years ago or so. I was involved in a ten week Mastermind group studying these laws. Between the words written by Dr. Maxwell and the input from the group I cannot properly surmise how much I’ve gained and how much I’ve grown. Fast-forwarding to the new and novel, about 2 months ago one of the people on one of my Zoom calls mentioned Simon Sinek. I jotted the name down as I had never heard of this gentleman before. Now I am reading his book The Infinite Game and I listen to his podcast weekly.
The purpose of this article is not to say look at me. It is indeed to say look at all the opportunities out there for us if we choose to improve ourselves, choose to break out of our comfort zone and grow! As the government is teetering right now on receding back into even more restrictive measures to combat Covid, I encourage everyone I speak with to utilize whatever newfound time is available to better themselves and to take advantage of all of the great material and opportunities there are out there.
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