6 Unexpected Lessons I Learned in Lockdown

I’ve been thinking about one of the biggest dangers of personal growth these last couple of weeks.

The danger is this: we learn a crucially important, life-changing lesson, and then forget all about it and move on with our lives.

So what can we do? Well, the first step is consciously taking stock of what those lessons are, and codifying them so we don’t forget them.

In this week’s video I reveal 6 of the unexpected lessons I’ve learned in the last 3 months…

Come see if any of mine are the same as yours. And, in the process, write down what yours are. I can’t say this enough: do not move on from this moment in time without bottling the lessons and taking them with you, or all of this pain and struggle will have been for nothing.

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Some places have opened up. Other places are beginning to open up. And I think this is an important juncture because I’ve had, like you probably, many realizations during this time.

What I’m really afraid of is that those realizations will count for nothing if we just mindlessly go into the next chapter of our lives without finding a way to cement them. So I thought I’d talk about some of my realizations and, as I do, it might evoke some of your realizations in a conscious way that you can record so that you don’t let them go. Winston Churchill once said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and carry on as if nothing happened.” Let’s not be those people.

Number one, chores are more than bores. I have, I suppose, since an early age, even when I was coming up from nothing, had this entrepreneurial philosophy in my head that the moment you can delegate things so that you can continue to focus on the areas where you’re most effective and most capable of growing what you’re doing, you should. Whilst that’s true and some people have the tendency to under-delegate – they at certain points in their life, hold on to too many activities and then they never grow – I think I have fallen into the trap of over-delegating to the point where there are things in my life that I wasn’t doing anymore that meant I lost connection to my own life. I delegated cooking to Postmates and Uber Eats for example, and doing more cooking during this time has made me feel more connected to food, to life, it’s added more variety to my life. It’s just been a good thing. Not everything should be delegated all the time.

Video games, I realized I like playing video games. I got addicted to Zelda: Breath of the Wild during lockdown. I haven’t played video games since I was a teenager. I gave it up for like 15 years because I was just like, there’s no utility to this. What’s the purpose? What is it serving? But playing them again, I’m just like, why does everything need to serve a purpose? This is silly. Not everything has to have a… Sometimes you can just do something because it’s fun. I don’t want to be one of those people that everything I do has to be contributing towards some goal in my life.

I was still doing too many things because of FOMO, fear of missing out. I think that it is interesting that many of us, including myself, have felt far more comfortable slowing down during this time because we know everyone else is too. If we were being forced to slow down, but no one else was, likely we’d feel very insecure about it. I think I would. That suggests to me that there are still too many things that I’m doing. Not because I want to, but simply because other people are doing them and I feel like, oh God, I should. I want to start making a far greater distinction between things that genuinely add value to my life and things that I’m only doing because other people are going at that pace.

I put too much enjoyment off. There are things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I wanted to go and travel India for a long time. Didn’t do it because I was always, work, the next opportunity, the next thing. And now I can’t do it this year. That really should be a metaphor for life. I don’t want to go back to putting off things that I really want to do for enjoyment because there’s another opportunity or there’s another work project.

I wrote down, “Miracle days are overrated.” And what I meant by that is during quarantine, I got done a project that I’d been putting off, that was a writing project that I decided to write 500 words a day. And in a month and a half, I got it done. This was something I’d been putting off for a long time. It got done because of consistency. Not because of a miracle day. A miracle day would be me saying, “I’m going to write 10,000 words in a day and get this thing done.” It’s not realistic. I rarely ever have miracle days, but I can reliably achieve things in my life in a relaxed way if I just focus on consistency.

Lastly, I wrote down, “I’m still too hard on myself.” For all I coach people on confidence and kindness and self-compassion, I still spend too much time beating myself up for not living up to an ideal, a standard that I’ve set for myself, and the people around me have to spend way too many calories telling me constantly to not be so hard on myself. So I still have a lot to learn there. And I realized that I cannot take for granted that I am being kind and compassionate towards myself. It’s something that I have to practice daily in everything that I do.

So those are some things that I learned. What did you learn during this time? We have to hold onto those things. It’s very, very important, or whatever realizations and epiphanies we’ve had, I promise you we will lose them. They will become not even a memory – a lesson we learned that we simply forgot.

By the way, for those of you who want to continue your learning with me, and especially for those of you who are looking at this year and saying, “I need to reevaluate what’s important to me right now, what my values are, and where I’m going, and I want to process for that, I have my At-Home Retreat that many people are trying right now. And they’re going through the entire Retreat experience that I normally do live but from home and getting tremendous results with it. I think this is an incredible year for growth and for those of you that want to invest in your growth, this is an amazing way to do it. It’s the most immersive, deep process I have for doing that. So I’ll leave a link here, check it out. And as always, I will see you in next week’s video.

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