Thoughts to Hold On To
HOLD ON ! ! ! As I write those two words, I think how they could be the beginning of numerous newsletters that would emphasize a variety of emotions, struggles, victories, frustrations, breakthroughs, and memories, all coming as a result of the challenging time we are traveling through.
It could be a newsletter with the opening line something such as, "HOLD ON to happiness anywhere you can find it, and use it to build other positive emotions to keep you motivated."
We could start another newsletter with, "Just tie a knot, and HOLD ON when it feels like the struggles you are going through have you at the end of your rope."
It would be a great reminder to read a newsletter that suggested, "HOLD ON to the victories and successes you are having right now as you get through these challenging times, and use them to build belief that you can accomplish things that are worthwhile and meaningful."
I believe I could have fun writing one that began something like, "HOLD ON A SECOND . . . what makes you think allowing yourself to get frustrated is going to produce any positive results?" I have yet to hear a sports announcer say anything close to, "You can tell the entire team is really frustrated, and that has put them in a position to win again."
It could be a very meaningful and perhaps emotional newsletter if it began with, "HOLD ON to the memories of those that you may have lost to COVID-19 or who are no longer here to give you the strength they so often gave to help you make it through a hard time." Use those memories to help you find your own strength and help someone as you have been helped. Each of us could write something special in that newsletter.
The list could go on and on . . . . There is this possibility: "HOLD ON, do you really benefit from listening to the news, or visiting their websites?" Can we put a HOLD ON the political quagmire we find ourselves in and stay focused on solutions? How about, "HOLD ON TO YOUR COMMITMENT TO SOCIAL DISTANCING," or maybe it could just all be summed up in a newsletter that introduced you to a song, "HOLD ON" by ALABAMA SHAKES . . . here is the link . . . HOLD ON to it and listen when you have the time to really listen.
The Thought that Has a Hold on Me
Each one of those newsletters would probably come together pretty quickly and be a benefit to someone who reads it. Yet, the "HOLD ON" that I have been thinking about over the past couple of weeks is in a plea for all of us to HOLD ON TO WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED DURING THIS CHALLENGING TIME! HOLD ON to the wisdom you will have gained, because this time will pass, and on the other side of it will be a new normal. A new time that for those who are prepared will provide a blank canvas to create anything we choose.
It could be the simplest of things that might have the biggest impact on your happiness in the near future, as you have learned that you can benefit from spending time with your spouse and children in a way that allows you to reconnect or rekindle your friendship and love for each other. You can shut off the TV and work with your children on their homework or a creative activity you have them focused on that has taken their mind away from being stuck in a video game. Perhaps you have found happiness in going outside by yourself or with your family and really found the value in just walking in nature or planning and planting a garden because you know it's the right thing to do. If you HOLD ON to the things you have been learning that make you a healthier, happier person, then even greater things will be waiting for you in the future.
Business As We Know It
HOLD ON to the lessons you are now learning in your career that will take you further as time goes on. Maybe you have found you can work from home and be productive and not eat everything in the fridge. There are going to be incredible opportunities for the creative-minded entrepreneurs to build on the work-at-home trend that will emerge. If you have learned to work at home, what you can take back to the office that could create less stress, fewer distractions and better results in your work? It is going to be exciting to watch the new standards of productivity coming from the habits and focus we are learning today.
How about Zoom and other online meetings that have us preparing in more effective ways to present our ideas, share information and efficiently communicate? As one busy executive told me recently, it reminds us that we need to be intentional about connecting on a personal level with people even on a Zoom meeting. We need to take time to ask about their family, kids, and interests and build upon their feedback in future conversations. "Just because we are Zooming, it does not mean we are robots."
What have you learned about connecting with your customers? How are you perceiving them, and how are you wanting them to perceive you? I have been hearing more and more companies refer to customers as "our partners" because they have been forced to find ways to sustain relevance in a time when budgets are tighter and terms must be negotiated. There is a desire to partner and get through these scenarios together. The customer and service provider's relationships are going to be incredibly intertwined and productive as lessons learned are applied in the future.
As I try to find a stopping point for this newsletter, I realize that the things we can HOLD ON to, when it comes to what we have learned, are endless. Yet, at the top of the list and the most important thing we can HOLD ON to is hope for a better future. We go forward with the self-confidence we have gained because of the challenges we have faced, overcome and grown from. Holding on to these things will have all of us ready to GRAB HOLD of the opportunities that are right around the corner. Just HOLD ON!
You may or may not have ever heard of John Prine, but he was one of the many who passed away this week a victim of COVID-19. To the Paluch family, he was a source of poetic inspiration and entertainment as we would listen to his songs and then try and play and sing them ourselves.
"If I can make myself laugh about something that I should be crying about, that's pretty good."
- John Prine
"Blow up your TV ... throw away your paper ... move to the country and build you a home. Plant a little garden ... eat a lot of peaches..."
"Spanish Pipedream" by John Prine
"Bewildered, bewildered, you have no complaint. You are what you are, and you ain't what you ain't."
- John Prine
Broken hearts and dirty windows
Make life difficult to see
That's why last night and this mornin'
Always look the same to me.
"Souvenirs" by John Prine
"When I'm writing a lyric, things can only get so serious before they start becoming humorous."
- John Prine
Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day.
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello."
Hello in there
"Hello in There" by John Prine