As restrictions tighten up in Europe and as Ireland is facing a second lock down, I just wanted to share my point of view on the situation. Because despite being LOCKED DOWN, these past months have actually OPENED UP a world of great things for me and my family.
We are spending more quality time together. We created new family routines that we now all swear by. My husband and I have reintroduced our Friday breakfast that we had dropped after baby #2. My kids love our Saturday movie nights. We have started taking online dancing classes with a professional teacher in Argentina. We had great and fun virtual date nights with friends in France, Canada and Italy and even in Ireland. But above all, we are just spending more time together, creating moments and memories that we are just grateful for at the end of each day.
Would I like to have my normal life back? I don’t know. Some aspects yes of course. I miss not seeing in person my family and close friends. But do I miss it all? Not necessarily. I don’t miss it because I enjoyed what we have been able to do together until now.
Everything is a question of point of view: the half full or half empty glass thing 😉 I could have chosen the half empty side and complained about everything (or almost) the locked down situation is bringing. But I am actually choosing to focus on the half full side of things and all the great things that are happening as a result.
Now my question for you is what do you choose?
And this applies to ALL the situations in your life. Not just the lockdown. So… what do you choose? What is your point of view on your current situation?
Let me suggest a few tips to help you get into the “half full” side of things on a day-to-day basis:
- Have a gratitude journal and every evening, before going to bed, just write down a list of things that made you happy during the day. Some days it may be hard and you may need to come back to the basics like having a roof on your head, food on your table, internet connection and a phone/computer that allows you to read this post 😉 It may sound very cliche but that’s actually important. Focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t.
- Say thank you. When someone does something nice for you or when something nice happens casually. Just take the time to say thank you (out loud or in your head) and beyond this acknowledge the flow of events that led to this happening. Don’t take this for granted.
- When something less pleasant happens focus on what it brought you. I detail this more in my blog post Learn to fail. Say thank you too. Because if it did not happen, probably this was not meant to happen for some reasons that sometimes we don’t know or we are not able to perceive quite yet.
- Ask yourself: what is right about this that I am not getting?* What are the possibilities that I am not exploring? Open new doors and new possibilities. As a personal example and coming back to the tango lessons, it has been YEARS since my husband and I have wanted to learn to dance together. We never did it because we just thought it was impossible with 2 kids of young age at home, and because paying for the lesson + the baby sitting would have been too expensive. But at the end of the day we explored new possibilities and opportunities to do what we wanted, and the “cherry on the cake” is we discovered an amazing human being in the Tango teacher Luciana.
- Last but not least, create the habit of focusing on the half full glass. As I explained in this blog post we can educate our brain and create new habits. It’s like learning a new language. But it is possible, it is just a matter of wanting it and committing to it. Don’t forget your point of view creates your reality. Indeed because your point of view (in other words your thinking habits) creates the way your brain works and responds. So if your brain is used to focus on the “good” side of things, that’s the reaction it will have to any triggers. And vice versa.
Starting with the lock down but really with anything else – What is the reality you are creating for yourself? Are you happy with it? If not, what are the immediate next steps you will take as a result?
Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments and don’t forget to enjoy your personal growth journey.
*if you want to go one step further on this topic and questions I would like to recommend the book “Being you changing the world” from Dr Dain Heer where this very question is coming from.
PS: I am wondering if we should actually stop calling the lock down a “lock down” but something else instead that has less of a negative connotation. Any idea?