I’m concerned about something I’m hearing a lot more from my peers, my friends, and my coaching clients. In an almost habitual way, some people around me are bypassing “reality” and leaping forward, toward a future I’m afraid will surprise some of them. Or worse, does not turn out the way they’d assumed.

Raise your hand if you’ve said ANYthing like the following over the past couple of months:

  • “I can’t wait until things get back to normal.”
  • “I wish we could hurry up and get back to meeting in person.”
  • “When can we just go back to our regular lives?”
  • “If we could do this [whatever ‘this’ is] in person, it would be so much [fill in the blank: easier, better, more, etc].”

Now really, if you’ve said something like the above I want to sit down (most likely across the Zoom screen!) and share a conversation with you. The first thing I’d do is give you short responses (my opinion, of course!) to each of those four sentences above. Here they are:

  • They’re not going to, ever.
  • Be VERY careful what you wish for.
  • We’re not going to, ever.
  • Be VERY careful what you think about that.

Not even a year ago, I read the book “The Art of Gathering” and felt my life literally shake beneath my feet. I’ve re-read that book [I do practice speed reading, even made a course if you wanna take it!] 4 more times since then. Every time, I walk away with two thoughts:

  1. How we meet and why it matters…matters.
  2. Ms. Parker wrote this book before the pandemic!

Now, if you don’t have time to read an entire book, just do an Internet search for some of her videos and podcasts. In a half-hour or so, I can “almost” promise you’ll get an idea or two. Whether you listen to hear ideas or make your own, I have a couple of challenges for us all to take on over the next 6 months or so. Here they are:

First, reflect deeply on the life you had “before” the pandemic. What parts of that were hard? Off course? Good? In line with your dreams? Over the next 6 months we’re going to be tested. Restrictions will soften, opportunities will increase, and we’ll have the chance to do more of the “things” that make life worth living. Be VERY careful about going backwards…now is the time to leap forward.

Second, make it matter. Make every meeting, every date with your significant other, every parent-child outing, every long run, yoga class, carpool to work, and flight for vacation, worthwhile. What does that mean? What does that mean to you? What does that mean to me?

I have a philosophy, and it’s pretty simple. It shows up in two sentences: (1) Every good thing has happened to me because of the people I’m surrounded by, (2) I am one awkward eye contact glance away from a new best friend. So, when we do get back to meeting in person, I’m going to do a LOT more looking around, making eye contact and looking for that connection, that spark between us. Will I find it every time? No. Do I anticipate finding it more than before? Absolutely.

And, third, reflect deeply on what you want. Want you want to be. What you want to have. What you want to do. The future is heading our way. Or, we are stepping into the future. Either way, we’re going to look in the mirror in a few months, I want us all to look at ourselves and ask: “Is what I’m about to do today worth it?”

When I’m concerned, I like to talk with people. My hope is that by sharing my concerns with you here you’ve been sparked to share YOUR concerns. Sit down with a friend, or send me an email. Let’s keep talking about this stuff!