No, you aren’t going crazy, though sometimes, people and circumstances would like to make you believe you’re way off base or out in left field.
Bizarre times can breed distraction, bad decisions, frustration and confusion. But it’s not a time to be hasty, whimsical or anxious. It’s a time to set yourself apart and be reasonable in a chaotic and topsy-turvy world.
Indeed, these days require wisdom, intentionality and well-reasoned decisions.
As we’ve launched a new business in the midst of this time of uncertainty, here are a few things that we’ve learned. You can apply them to everyday life, work and family and they’ll work as sanity reminders when the crazy gets going.
Pace yourself. You’ve heard it before, “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” There is no rush today, especially when it comes to decision-making. You have time, you have space. Relax, take a breath. Sure, there are deadlines, but most of life doesn’t come with one of those — at least not the deadlines we impose.
One of my coaches told me recently: A comedy is 30 minutes, but a drama is 60 minutes. In other words, take your time. It’s okay to be the turtle and not the hare. It’s better to finish second or third than not to finish at all.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple-tree or an oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer? ~Henry David Thoreau.
Take care of the essential things. We’ve come to know and love the word essential as it relates to reopening of the economy. But essential is just that: Absolutely necessary. What is absolutely required for your day to be complete? What is absolutely imperative for your success as an employee, a parent, a spouse, a child, a Christian? You may have a to-do list of 15-20 things, but take a highlighter and outline those things that are vital today. When you narrow it down, there are only a few things that really matter, at least today.
When we don’t know exactly what to do, often we just throw it all up against the side of the barn and hope something sticks. What would happen if, instead, we became more focused, more intentional, more purposeful?
Many things are good, many things are important, but just a few are essential. ~Dr. Todd Christopherson.
Keep your eye on the prize. Today as much as ever, distractions can upset your apple cart. And, all too often, they turn the day upside day and leave us discouraged and unaccomplished. When I’m working or writing, I’ve learned to turn my phone upside down, closeout email, social media and close my door. It’s amazing what happens when we become single-minded and keep the main thing the main thing.
What would happen if you picked one thing on your list and shut out everything for a day, an hour, even 30 minutes? Would you accomplish more? Would you finish more? Would you have more peace of mind? How would that make you feel emotionally? Mentally? Remember…
If you chase two rabbits, you will catch neither one. ~Russian proverb.
Maintain your common sense. In a day when common sense is not so common, it’s better to be weird and peculiar. In fact, common sense may be your best sanity monitor for survival. You are not going crazy and you are not losing your mind. It is possible to be right and be in the minority. It is possible to have common sense and not be part of the crowd.
Being pulled from pillar to post and wondering if you’re wandering? Apply some common sense and remind yourself that, unlike time, it’s a commodity that is not equally distributed.
The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense. ~Thomas A. Edison.
So, in an effort to maintain your sanity when the crazy gets going, here are some guidlines that will help you stay between the guardrails. It’s not original with me, but refer to it the next time people, circumstances and life starts to tug at your heart.
|GOD’S VOICE||SATAN’S VOICE|
|Stills you||Rushes you.|
|Leads you.||Pushes you.|
|Reassures you.||Frightens you.|
|Enlightens you.||Confuses you.|
|Encourages you.||Discourages you.|
|Comforts you.||Worries you.|
|Calms you.||Obsesses you.|
|Convicts you.||Condemns you.|