Last week I was talking with an older friend. He was sharing his concerns over the situation with covid-19, and some real fears around the economy and what it might look like moving forward. As we talked, he shared some of the things that he did not do in his life and some of the regrets that he has. He is 92 years old and has quite a long life to review. The things that he missed and the things that he wished he could have done have been on his mind a lot lately. When I asked him about what he was proud of and what stood out in his life, he had to stop and think. He preferred to talk about missed opportunities, the should of, could of, would of’s in his life. He shared that he was never one to rock the boat or take chances. He had thoughts about doing things out of his comfort zone, but never took the leap. He let those around him influence his decisions and actions. Now, he is spending quite a bit of time processing regret and wondering what could have been.
It makes me think of this quote from the author Paulo Coelho, ”How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.” We all have regrets, things that we wished we would not have done and things that we wished we would have done. I am pretty sure that if we all took the time to write down the regrets that we have and compare them to the joys and highlights the list of joys would be a lot longer and be a more meaningful representation of our lives.
After our talk, I thought about my life right now with the “Stay Safe at Home” order in our state. Every day comes with scary news reports, followed by stories of hope and rising above. Stories about those giving and caring during this time and those choosing to be doubting Thomas's or discredit the situation. The good and the bad, the ying and the yang, those focusing on their regrets and those opening to opportunity and rising to a new challenge.
Opportunity is a positive word, it means advancing, moving forward, progress. It also requires action, a motion on our part, we have to do the moving. That is when doubt and fear can arise. That is when opportunity becomes something that we can miss because we are afraid of missing it.
We are currently in the 50 days after Easter, The period of seven weeks of jubilation, 50 days of celebration between Easter and Pentecost, that I shared about in a previous blog. A time to renew and look forward to a new season. A time for hope and new opportunity. I recently shared with a group of friends (we were on Zoom and social distancing) that this time has been like a roller coaster ride, so many ups and unexpected downs, moving fast and in unexpected ways. A time unlike anything I have experienced before.
Due to the current circumstances (which are beyond our control) Henrieta and I have had some changes in how we work. We have had to cancel quite a few of our speaking engagements. We do not know when we can go back to the in person, workshops, retreats, and seminars that we love to do. We have had to look for, and we have found, new and different ways to do the work that we enjoy. We have had some new and exciting opportunities. These opportunities bring with them some of that doubt and fear. We know that we will get through this time in our business and in our personal lives. I want to make sure that when I look back on this time in my life, that it is full of the joys and celebrations and that I can let go of the regrets.
What are the opportunities that are presenting themselves currently for you? Are you looking for them? Are you stepping past the doubt and fear that can hold you back so that you can explore them?
“Expect change. Analyze the landscape. Take the opportunities. Stop being the chess piece; become the player. It’s your move.”