We hear a lot about the challenging times we live in. What if I were to tell you that we live in a neutral time? Do you believe me? We compare what is happening now to what was before and we label what we are experiencing as challenging. Since many of our lives look different now compared to four months ago, we call what we are experiencing challenging and people ask me how to stay positive.
Most all of our lives do look differently now. There are many things we are not allowed to do and we have many restrictions on other activities that are allowed. Instead of focusing on what we cannot do, could we ask ourselves what we can do and reframe our expectations? It is natural to want something better, but by the very definition of better, it is different from what we are used to. See the challenges we have as an opportunity to innovate, to try something new.
Our extended family likes to get together for reunions. With COVID-19, not all family felt comfortable congregating together as we have in the past. So, we held our first ever Jenkins Virtual Family Reunion. We planned events and times when everyone would get together through Zoom. The reunion didn’t look like years past, but we had the opportunity to connect and renew our family bonds.
In flying there is an instrument that sits front and center for the pilot. It is the Attitude Indicator. It tells the pilot where the plane is in relation to the ground. Attitudes are not about how we feel, it is our position toward something. We could have skipped the reunion this year, but our Attitude Indicator was that our family was important and we wanted to connect with one another, so we found a way.
If you are feeling stuck with where you are because of restrictions, tell yourself you are right on track. This helps us to stay positive and open to new ideas, it increases our brains capacity to innovate. Simply by opening yourself up to possibilities, we become more positive and that affects not only us, but the people around us.
What will this holiday or the next holiday look like for you and your family? I am not sure, but I do know that you are right where you are supposed to be and you have a say in how you will celebrate and connect. You’ve got this.
By Dr. Paul Jenkins