At 4 pm on Friday, the 2nd of October, I stood in my nearly empty living room in Flemington thinking about the events of the past several months and wondering about new beginnings. Not much was left in the rectangular highly lit white-washed lounge-room; the movers had emptied most of it by now. The year before I had moved my life to Melbourne, Australia in search of a fresh start, of new beginnings. As I stood there staring at lonely looking white oval dining table and oversized white leather sofa, I noticed flecks and speckled dust dancing in the air from us rushing around madly packing and stacking, clearly visible in the shining sun from the late afternoon light. I would miss this magic time each day and wondered to myself, how successful had I actually been whilst living here?
I have been feeling like such a fraud, such a failure. But deep down, I know it depends on what I make success mean, what I choose to measure, and what I’m focusing on. How much success can anyone expect from being in lockdown at home for 8-months? I never foresaw this in the future when I was busy making plans about how things should be, what I should be doing, what results I should be getting. I thought about the wins I have had, the failures, the messy journey and the lessons and learning moments I could take away from my time here so far. I quietly counted my blessings and gave thanks at having the privileges I have had so far, no matter what my results vs expectations had been. I have my health, I have love, friends and family in my life, I’m committed to doing work that matters, and anything else I can change anytime I choose.
A new hour,
Each new day,
52 new weeks each year,
Every new month,
Each wonderful season,
Or a new quarter.
Every new year,
Each time we start a new job,
A new exercise regimen or lifestyle plan,
Moving to a new city,
Or when we move to a new home.
All of these are all opportunities for us to start fresh.
To press reset.
To re-evaluate how we have been living,
How we have been behaving,
Our daily actions and habits we have created,
And then shift our focus. Choose something new, anytime we desire.
As we change our environment, by default due to our new surroundings, everything feels fresh and new, and we get to decide what we will obsess over next, and how we will behave. Don’t like how we have been living? No problem. Hit reset. Think of a new future, believe we can do it, dream it, design new actions, feel the fear and dare greatly. Make it come true. Through action.
Every product or service we see around us was once only a thought in someone’s mind, but it didn’t materialise through nothing or visualisation alone, action is always required.
What we measure we can manage, and what we manage we can move.
We can choose an area to focus on, and then pick a way to measure that and obsess over it. For a freelancer or small business person, it might be our bank balance or the growth in weekly sales.
But these things will not fundamentally change our businesses. We need to pick behaviours and actions we will take, choose how often we will take them — will they be daily, monthly or weekly for example — and obsess over those too. We have to know what the things we are doing, who they are for.
The cleaners had finally finished making their plan to ensure I had got my bond back, and I could hear them chit-chatting in the background. The movers came in to remove the last of my items, and I returned from deep though to take in one final examination of the home I had grown to love. It was time to say goodbye, farewell, adios. I scooped up my most precious of items — Princess the La Perm Rex — popped her into her carrier and headed off to our new home which I would see on arrival for the very first time (moving in stage 4 lockdown means moving into a home sight unseen, what a thrill…!!!). We have been moving slowly but steadily over the past few days, as I meticulously do the following for this, the next chapter and my new beginning. Here’s my plan in action at the moment —
“First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. Finally, dare.”
Feeling like you need a new start? Steal my strategy, it’s game in action, but it is working so far. Remember, Gandhi, says ‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will’.