This seems familiar to me.
Because this wasn’t the way it was suppose to go.
I was freshly laid off. Having moved into my grandmother’s house only a month prior to help care for her as she was living alone. The long term plan was to also save up for a down payment for my own home in a year’s time and then move out.
But I was laid off. A month after the move.
What followed I can’t explain as some sort of seven step guide. It’s merely my story. But in the immediate months that followed, almost the week right after, I started down a path I am forever referring to as my next education.
My initial jumping off point was I knew I didn’t want to do what I was just doing as a career. I knew I had to pivot. I knew things weren’t going to be the same.
This lead me to reading books by Jon Acuff, James Altucher, Jeff Goins and many more. Books I never dared to read before because I thought they were too self-helpy/salesperson/’I can help you but first pay me money!’ I was only interested in scholarly books or theological books. But the career driven, make your own path, exit the Matrix and do things different books? They were never on my radar.
Until they got on my radar because of the strong desire to pivot.
Well, one thing led to another and within a couple months time I was reading a library copy of Tim Ferriss‘ The 4-Hour Workweek. And I have wrote about this story in particular before, but what I want to detail this time around was having exposed myself to a line of thinking and problem solving and paradigm shifting I had never considered before, I found myself doing mini experiments and exercises in finding what matters most to me and how I can daily change for the better regardless of being suddenly ‘stuck.’
The self education just snowballed into reading more and more similar books, listening to podcasts of the same nature and more. What happened immediately was a thirst for knowledge.
Next came following through with all this knowledge into action. The advice of several of these authors were implemented into daily practices, routines, or otherwise one-off challenges I had again never considered. Birthed out of this time frame was the formation of practices I have maintained in some fashion to this day which have greatly leveled me up.
not only to get the toxic stuff out of my head onto paper, but also, not surprisingly, to greatly improve my writing skills.
A more structured eating and gym regimine,
as I had already been on a journey where I lost 30lbs prior to the lay off. I have since been told by several people given the situation I was in, I had all the excuses in the world of letting a few things go in those regards. Sit around and play video games and eat unhealthy. But I did the exact opposite because having tested out new ways of doing things and seeing the positive results, I trusted learning and implementing whatever someone who has been there and done it has to offer in regards to diet and exercise. This lead to the next 50lbs being lost. And a completely new way of treating food as fuel and exercise as stimulation for the mind.
Reading on top of reading on top of reading.
I remember after graduate school being burned out with books and assigned class reading. But with a new sense of freedom I was looking forward to recreational reading on my own terms. Well, five years would pass by before I got serious about recreational reading. The lay off gave me time to sit down and read masterminds, folks who are so much more in the know than I am, who offered wisdom through their years of being there and done that. It become intoxicating and was leveling me up more.
There are countless other improvements which were made during this knocked off course time period.
What is standing out to me in the period of time the globe is finding itself in at present are the two streams I see daily on the social media feeds.
One stream is fueled to take this time to improve themselves.
The other stream is fueled by panic and fear.
I am once again realizing, having gone lax on some of my own daily regimens, that pregnant in this moment is the opportunity to regain some disciplines all over again. To better myself. To complete a couple trajectories I was on just prior to the events in the world going on right now.
And more importantly, I realize it’s not just time for me to better myself. It is time to help others more than ever.
Because now in the midst of our situation at hand we didn’t plan for, we can pivot, we can improve, we can change, and it can be for the better.