Recently, I read one of my Outside Insights articles from two years ago where I wrote about the importance of appreciating the small stuff around you. Reflexively I thought, who was that guy? And how did he get to a place where he had time to actually appreciate the small things in life? Two years of pandemic life and the economic curveballs of late often require me to have tunnel vision – not looking at anything but the end goal: serve others as best as I can to keep my business going strong.
But that throwback blog had me thinking, if I’ve reached the point where appreciating the small things that feel all too foreign, I need a wake up call. And so I went to Wydaho for a very necessary workation around the nature that inspires me most, and where I would have more space to think.
I’ve come to learn that taking the time to notice, let alone appreciate, the small things can be very challenging for entrepreneurs. The risks we take to start our companies become all-consuming in a way that’s hard to understand unless you have been there.
At the height of my entrepreneurial journey, I stopped eating well, I had no time to take care of myself, lived off of savings, and spent more money than I saved. I had a flood, a fire, a theft, and tree recessions under my belt along with the other hallmark growing pains that come with running a business. I had been through some stuff. I was seasoned. I learned lessons from real life experiences that shaped me into the leader and business owner that was prepared for everything. I had seen it all – or so I thought. You’re lying if you say you had an active pandemic plan for your business in March of 2020. Who could have predicted the last two years?
Something I never learned as a young entrepreneur, or perhaps just didn’t listen to, was that everything is temporary. Yes, bad times can go on uncomfortably long. However, change will always come. Thank goodness.
This was the last blog before the pandemic. In March of 2020 my one month sabbatical, provided to every Placers employee after 10 years, was cut short 8 days. Lockdown orders swept down and I raced home across the country as rumors of states shutting their borders became increasingly real.
I am writing this on my first day back from Wydaho. I predicted the end of the pandemic three weeks ago and was rewarded with Covid not long after as a humble reminder of my arrogance. All is fine, just a cold and a bruised ego. A silver lining can be found in most situations – for me, the Pandemic helped me appreciate what I have by reminding me vividly what I could have lost.
As I took the time to intentionally reflect on the “small” things around me and the enormous value that they hold, I was reminded of the pure, and rare, spirit of unity that was so clear at the beginning of the pandemic. When you feel like you could lose everything, you learn to appreciate all that you do have – the people around you, the privilege of waking up each morning with a fresh page, family, health, etc. How ironic that all of the things people just don’t take time to be thankful for on a day-to-day basis are often the most important.
To sum it up: If you’re finding it hard to appreciate the small stuff lately, you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. Read my blog from two years ago written with a perspective not yet molded by today’s realities. No matter how crazy things get, we can all get back to that mindset. And folks, committing to that mindset could do wonders for our mental health.
Until next time, friends.
If you enjoyed this article, I recommend reading these past Outside Insights posts:
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