Updated: May 17, 2020
Our many missteps and false starts offer us opportunities to try again. Usually these take the form of restarts and we quite often miss these very opportunities to instead reset. So now you're probably asking yourselves what's the difference between a restart and a reset? When is the right opportunity for either and also why it even matters? The reason I think it is important to know the difference between these two processes is that they are very different and do very different things despite sounding like they have the same meaning. One is much more permanent than the other involving a bigger shift and a bigger change in mindset. There are many scenarios where one would be better than the other. A restart is an opportunity to redo or to start again most likely without making many major changes to the process whereas a reset as the name implies is the opportunity to set up a new system. One that will better serve the new trajectory you aim on taking. I can't remember who said it or where I read it but recently I took note of this quote, “Nothing is more powerful than the force of personal identity—when a person's soul transcends the limits of the moment to embrace all that they are capable of becoming." And I truly feel that this moment of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, should push us to come face-to-face with ourselves to use the opportunity to dig deep, shine a light on our truest identities and set a road map for establishing the foundation on which to build the versions of ourselves we want and need to become. There is no better time than now for a reset. I have indeed had to reset in the past. Resets usually follow a trauma of some sort. The type of trauma that forces you to look deeper than you've looked before. Events like these can help us unlock the tools that we always had, to hold ourselves together and prepare for what's next, to set up ourselves to live in a way we have not lived before, to navigate a new normal. Things never go back to being the same after a great disruption and really they shouldn’t. The opportunities for me to reset presented themselves over a period of time. You know those sayings like when it rains it pours and things usually happen in threes? Well yeah that was my experience of it. In 2012 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and fought a valiant battle but succumbed to the disease in 2014. Within this period I also had my own health scare, which in a nutshell could be categorized as a near physical and nervous breakdown that kept me home for a few months. Having weathered these storms, who knew that the forecast in 2016 would bring a retrenchment from a job I had come to love and one which also afforded me a certain lifestyle that I also loved? All of the above occurrences forced me to reset. In future posts I will go into each because there really is a lot I can share about that time. What I can tell you is that coming out of it all, I learned what true strength looked like because I saw my mother handle sickness with such grace. I also gained a new appreciation for caring for myself better and not burning the candle at both ends. The reset also served as the impetus for founding my non-profit and also moving back to my family home. Both of which I believe were the best things I could have done professionally and personally. But I digress. We're not here to talk about those instances. We’re here to talk about the unique situation that we and the rest of the world now find ourselves. What have I learnt from life in lock-down? The biggest shift has definitely been the changing of unhealthy habits. Because of my asthma, I fall into what would is categorized as a Covid-19 high-risk category. To protect my health, I have adhered to social distancing guidelines and limited exposure to the outside down to a minimum. I wear my mask and wash my hands a thousand times. This behavior change came on so suddenly because like everyone else I wanted to keep myself safe. So in the matter of just a few weeks, because of self preservation I changed my behavior. Yet if you know me well, you know that I've been trying to stop smoking for a while now and have been unsuccessful. It has now been five weeks since I had a cigarette and no longer even feel the need to smoke. I had to tell myself that if I could make such drastic adjustments in my everyday life in order to protect myself from a virus that could possibly have affect me, then I could surely change my behavior to kick a habit that is proven to have adverse effects later on. Life in lock-down for me has been an opportunity to reconnect with parts of myself that I no longer made time for. It has given me the kick in the butt that I needed to get this blog started. It has also pushed me to share myself more freely with others realizing that I am comfortable with being seen but more so becoming comfortable with sharing my stories and experiences that I think will resonate positively with others. I've realized that it really takes just one hard reset to put you on a path that is solid enough to bear the weight of unexpected change. I realize that this time I really didn't need a hard reset because my reset from a few years ago had already set me on that path but there is always room for tweaking. The biggest lesson I've been learning though is that we actually should not have to wait for a series of unfortunate events to push us to reset. The goal should be to get to a place where we are so tuned into ourselves to figure out who we are becoming and steps we need to take to get there, without having to wait for a traumatic experience to force us to reset. Mind you, I’m not there as yet either but half the battle is it knowing. I guess it's just one of the many things I'm still learning in my thirties. Having said all of this I still firmly believe that this pandemic is an opportunity for a hard reset for many of us. Ask yourself if what you are doing now brings you happiness and fulfillment? Ask yourself if right now your circle is made up of a lot of people who you know or a few people you choose to know more about. And finally, are you presenting the most authentic version of yourself to the world right now? Here are a few actions that you can plug into your hard reset strategy, that will also help you answer the questions above.
Make the Right Connections
I recently had the opportunity to attend an eight hour online summit; The Thread: Conversations Beyond The Return, Vol. 3 hosted by Tastemakers Africa. What was most definitely a super soulful Sunday, was filled with nourishment for the mind and soul as well as an opportunity to network with like minded leaders across the globe. The quote “We Are Energy" was used early on in the day and I agree with Founder and CEO, Cheraé Robinson, it was one of the most powerful. So now we got the time, we got the space and we got the digital means to seek out others with similar energies to make such a brilliant spark, bright enough to light our way out of the darkness we now face. There's no better time than now to make the right connections.
Up Your Own Ante
Once when asked about his career in writing, Stephen King said, “You should write because it brings you happiness and fulfillment. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.” Be a minimalist with your energy and time. Try as much to focus on the things, passions and endeavours that bring you the most joy. Cut away the excess, the distracting activities that have become the norm but are not the most progressive. Use the time to hone the skills that are required for whatever field it is in which your passion resides. Challenge yourself to up your own ante.
Craft a Strategy
When you decide to turn this passion into your profession, you will realize that monetizing activities is one of the most difficult pieces of the puzzle if you don’t plan it right from the beginning. Use this opportunity to be very clear on what your passion is and also sync it with what you are best at. Define your audience and figure out how best what you are offering solves their biggest problems. Remember that being of service is paramount. Draft a Marketing Plan!
Stay Human and Humane
The most important thing however is to have a strong balance in your life and be easy on yourself. Though important, your passion should not consume you. Strengthen your spiritual life, quit a negative habit or two, connect more with loved ones, have a beer if you feel like it. Stay human and humane! More than just an opportunity to share uplifting content, this Blog is also a professional outlet for me to build my Life Strategies Coaching practice that focuses on Personal Branding for Creatives. If you are a creative entrepreneur eager to strengthen your personal brand to reach your tribe with a message that is honest and impactful, then this is your opportunity to join me for this FREE Personal Brand Visioning Webinar on May 9th, 2020 at 11am.
Learn how to identify both personal and professional passions to help you build a clear framework for moving forward.
Space is limited and so only the first 15 persons will be accommodated. Visit the Events page for more information or to register.