A crisis such as global health pandemic (or race pandemic) always presents us with a turning point—for better or for worse. And how we EMERGE from crisis depends on how we perceive AND RESPOND to the crisis. The good news is WE GET TO CHOOSE how we PERCEIVE crisis AND RESPOND to it.
This past year, I decluttered. Not my house per se but my life. This global pandemic helped me to slow down and reevaluate my priorities in life. It helped me to evaluate what I was giving all of my time, attention and energy to. This past year, I would go as far as saying I’ve adopted a minimalist mindset. And it has changed my life.
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 MSG
I used to think I had to have structured exercise every day in order to be fit or feel my best. And although I believe scheduling exercise into my day is important, I’ve discovered that a small step (or microstep) of simply increasing my movement every day led to the biggest gains in my well-being.
Current Mood? Languishing.“Languishing is a search for bliss in a bleak day, connection in a lonely week, or purpose in a perpetual pandemic.”~ Adam Grant
FINALLY I have a word to describe what I’ve been experiencing in waves throughout 2020 and 2021. It’s not burnout because I still have energy. And it’s not depression because I don’t feel hopeless. According to organizational psychologist Adam Grant, LANGUISHING dulls your motivation and disrupts your ability to focus and one of the dangers of this emotional state is “NOT noticing the dulling of DELIGHT or the dwindling of DRIVE.”
I’m sure many (if not most) of us have experienced languishing as a result of all the chaos and crises happening in the world and in our personal lives. I know I have. Adam posits that our
“Fragmented attention is an enemy of engagement and excellence.”
If you’ve been experiencing fragmented attention like me these days, our ability to engage and be excellent is diminishing and that’s not good.
An Antidote to Languishing
So how do we get our FOCUS👀 back during these times so we can excel in our work and better engage with those we lead, love, work with and serve?Adam recommends setting boundaries (or limits) on WHO and WHAT gets our attention. He also recommends focusing on SMALL WINS each day—things that are meaningful to YOU. I like to think of SMALL WINS as “meaningful moments or activities” in my day.
Some of the most meaningful moments of my day are when I offer encouragement to a friend or provide some sort of spiritual, emotional or concrete support to help someone in need. 🙋🏽♀️For me, my small wins are when I contribute value to something OR someone.
Yesterday, one of my small wins was listening to a fellow sister share her story concerning how she had experienced a personal race-related trauma. Showing up to hear, validate and empathize with her story was one of my “small wins” for the day because helping others is meaningful and important to me.
I believe one way we can fight languishing is by creating white space (or margin) to facilitate meaningful moments in our day. Moments where we are fully present so we can fully love, support and serve others in meaningful ways.
How about you?
What meaningful moments will you create space for in an effort to combat your languishing? Remember, you’re not alone. But together, we can get out of our languishing and get back on the path to our flourishing🌱 Let’s set those “attention” boundaries and start making small wins a daily practice.
They say hindsight is 20-20 because when you look back at things that have happened in your life, hopefully you’ve learned some things or gained a different perspective. Hopefully you’ve gained a new or deeper understanding of why you experienced what you did.