DID YOU PIVOT YET?
Todd Dewett | October 30, 2020
Likely the most overused word in professional conversations during the pandemic has been “pivot.” It’s the go-to way of saying we’ve all been thrown a curveball and have to adjust our approach to our careers and our lives.
I don’t always follow the best practices I preach, but when a significant challenge is approaching, I try to take my own advice more seriously. The pandemic has been a game-changer for so many of us. I knew that I could not allow myself to use it as an excuse.
Let’s be honest – there are many ways we could use it as an excuse. It’s an excuse to abuse our finances that are already being stretched in uncomfortable ways. It’s an excuse to allow new levels of stress to justify neglecting key relationships. Of course, it’s also an excuse to stop thinking about our physical and mental well-being, which is why we’ve been reading so much about depression, weight gain, and other difficulties since the pandemic began.
Late last year I recognized I was getting a step slower, physically, and mentally. Hey, we all get old right? I also knew that my habits were making it worse than necessary. Two things, in particular, were obvious: I was drinking too much and was completely neglecting the need for exercise.
After I realized this, I found inspiration in a few friends and connections. I was inspired by my friend Scott Williams, as well as Greg Scheinman, Tracy Scott, and many others. In their own ways, they all reminded me that age is just a number and you can be healthy if you want to. It’s a choice. So, I made that choice. I decided to take a year off from alcohol, no exceptions. My wife was kind enough to join me on the journey.
What a journey! The year off ends on October 31 – Halloween! Yes, we intend to celebrate with libations. I can’t wait, though I doubt I’ll ever be quite as cavalier as I was over the preceding few years. During the year off I’ve regained a higher level of mental productivity and clarity. I found it so motivational that I eventually decided to start exercising as well (mostly walking and jogging). Fast forward about six months and I’ve now lost over 60 pounds and I feel spectacular.
I have to admit that when people ask me how it’s going during the pandemic, I feel odd. They all know that speaking is a big part of what I do, and that in-person speaking has basically stopped, so they assume I’m having a rough year. It is true the face-to-face speaking world has been nearly shut down, but my virtual business and online educational course business are both flourishing like never before.
I lost a bunch of weight, I’m creating new courses, I’ve just finished another book, I’m about to launch on new online coaching community… frankly, this has been the best year I’ve ever had personally and professionally (though I really miss eating out!).
It’s strange to share this with you, but I think it’s important to share. My pivot was about refocusing on my well-being while getting serious about educational courses and virtual speaking. It’s working out very well. What about you? Did you successfully pivot?
Good news: there is still time. Who knows what’s going to happen with this pandemic? It’s lasting longer than we hoped and may have a significant impact on all of 2021, but how you react is up to you. I’ve heard from so many of you, and I know that you’re stretched thin. I know that you’re stressed out. I know that jobs have been lost and opportunities have become tougher to find.
However, how you react is a choice. Are you striving for meaning? Are you looking for the silver lining? Are you counting your blessings? Are you reining in your finances to attempt to live within your means? Are you openly talking with your loved ones to be honest about these issues and to help each other cope, and learn, and maybe even laugh? Be honest – what choices are you making?
No matter how much you might be struggling, I want you to remember two things. First, you have been through difficult times before, and you survived, and now you will find a way to survive again. Second, you are not alone. It’s so important that you understand that the weight of the world isn’t on your shoulders – it’s being carried by many people all over the globe, together. Find strength by connecting with them. Start with your loved ones, then your larger friend network, as well as groups in the community. Share, listen, connect.
You’re supposed to pivot, but it’s not easy. So, don’t do it alone. I can’t wait to hear your stories of surviving and thriving. Thanks for helping me make this my best year ever. Be well.
Stay Up To Speed With Dr. D.!
Have you ever watched someone not hear you correctly? It’s so frustrating, right? You know you’re sharing a clear message, yet they respond in a manner that makes it very clear they did not hear you correctly. Here’s the advice – realize there are many reasons they might not hear you correctly. Some have to do with them, some have to do with you, sometimes it’s about the situation, and sometimes it’s a combination of factors. Don’t repeat yourself more than twice. Don’t demean or belittle the person at all (since you could be part of the problem too…). Instead, ask them to explain what they are hearing. Then, listen. Completely, until they are done. This will very likely expose where there is a disconnect so that, respectfully, you can address the specific issue that has unexpectedly garbled the message. Give it a try – you just might be understood!
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