What to do when you’re sent home through no fault of your own…
Look, this shi(f)t is real. But it’s gonna pass. And when it’s over, don’t you want to look back with pride at everything you achieved in the midst of a pandemic?
For us humans, it’s easy to be great when things are great. But now, it’s time for us to step up, to all rise. Yep, that means you, too.
And hey, well, have you noticed that with all of this time on our hands, we (humanity) HAVE stepped up our creativity and are more connected globally than ever?
No doubt you’ve seen (if not participated in) a virtual gathering of some kind. People are learning to cook. Businesses are going digital. Environmentally, emissions are down and nature is thriving. The silver linings are rising, thick and fast — like Zoom’s share price.
So now you’re wondering how you can make this amazing for YOU, too? Glad you asked.
Consider this an invaluable lesson in learning from possibly the (dis)comfort of your younger-self’s bedroom.
Be safe and take care of yourself, seriously.
Don’t stock up on your vices. Eat really well (yes, that means no more Cheetos). Sleep. Exercise. Stay clean.
Get creative on the “how” and “where,” sure, but get it done. Because from here, we’re going to get you back on the path to realize your dreams.
In case you missed the memo; your generation is STILL poised to be the most entrepreneurial and innovative yet – pandemic or not.
AND, it’s entirely possible from wherever you find yourself riding out this wave (maybe tsunami’s more accurate).
Don’t believe the hype.*
No, we’re not talking about the health and safety warnings.
We’re talking about the negative thoughts and theories that are, understandably, starting to swirl around your head.
Say, oh maybe the ones that go, “My entire college degree is now useless. I’ve wasted four years and thousands of dollars.” These thoughts can feel uncontrollable, we know.
In our world, a theory is when you have an opinion on something and, subconsciously, you’re collecting evidence to prove it. Like, “it’s impossible to keep up good grades and a hot body.” Can you see how that particular theory influences the actions you take (or don’t take) when it comes to studying, and your physical wellness?
Here’s the good news: your thoughts and theories are NOT hard-wired and you (yes, even YOU) have control over what goes on in your head.
Even better, we’re about to give you the tools to manage it.
First, ask yourself: “What am I saying to myself that gets me out of, or away with, something that I can blame on the pandemic?”
It probably goes a little something like… “I just can’t focus unless I’m in the school library.” or “urgh, missing out on study abroad in Amsterdam throws off my entire future.” or “even if I do somehow manage to graduate, there will be no jobs. I will be stuck living back home forever.”
Then, write those thoughts down (on paper, in your phone, whatever – get them out), and start talking back to them; “Sure, this summer was all about Amsterdam, but maybe it really was a distraction I was using to not have to work on my real dream and move my start-up along,” for example.
Decide which thoughts you actually want to cultivate instead. How about “I finally have time to come up with a business plan for my Flying Saucer start-up (it’s like Uber meets hot dog condiment tray via drone, duh!).”
As simplistic as this may sound, it works (replacing the thoughts, that is. We’re making no promises about the mustard delivery app).
Look, the truth is, the more you let dark thoughts run amok in your mind, the more they become real and prove your negative theories. Once they see the light (on paper or out loud) they dissipate or get dealt with. It’s kind of like magic.
Trust us, you can do this. You’ve made amazing things happen before. And, you will do it again. No question.
Think about it – what dream did you realize? And no, I don’t mean that time you were only 10 minutes late to your first class (rather than your usual 30, if you made it at all).
Let’s recap: Hear the negative self talk. Call it out. Shut it down. Replace it. Take action.
Good. Now we have YOU taking the lead in the classroom full of bratty (and unwelcome) voices in your head, you can start to curate.
Design every day.*
Each morning, before you check your DMs, you will write what we call a Designed Day (DD). Within it is exactly how your best day would unfold, with attitude and aspirations. It’s written in past tense, as if it’s already happened.
Your DD could go like this:
- Fun work out in the yard. Loved the fresh air!
- Made it to Zoom class on time. Didn’t check my texts once! Asked a smart question.
- Set up 2 virtual study dates.
- Got my freaking (out) mind in check.
- Ate a healthy lunch while simultaneously coming up with 5 creative ways to make the most of this crazy situation.
- Reached out to 2 potential career mentors at companies I admire and respect.
- Wrote 500 words of my essay due Friday.
- Enjoyed family dinner and sparked pleasant, non-pandemic conversation.
- Proud of myself.
Pro tip: your DD should show you being a hero in the face of this global-health-crisis-sized tsunami AND taking action (big or small) towards your dreams.
If you’re thinking, “how could I possibly have time to achieve all that in one day/week/month/quarantine?” May I suggest you take a look at some of your idols (like Steve Jobs, Margot Robbie or Greta Thunberg) and how they seem to have achieved oh-so-much more than the average human for their years?
HINT: It’s all in your head*.
Great. Now you have to stay accountable to your Daily Design.
Partner with a trusted friend – maybe an older sibling, a mentor or a best friend (make it the one who doesn’t get asked to leave the library for gossiping too loudly). Your buddy is someone who believes in you AND is willing to really hold you to account (even when you try to wiggle out).
Every morning, you’ll send your Daily Design to your buddy, who will hold you accountable. Not only does this practice keep you connected to your stuck-at-homies, it has YOU in charge of your day’s creation.
As the author of your life (even if the story has taken an unexpected twist), you get to end your day powerfully. You know what you did and didn’t do so you can set yourself up for the next day. Your buddy is also on the same page.
Being accountable to your Daily Design will help build your Personal IntegrityⓇ*, which is the ability to make and keep a promise to yourself that is a match with your dreams – and, we believe, is the secret sauce to happiness, personal pride, and confidence.
Staying connected (and I mean more than just DMing with your crush on the daily), sticking to a routine, and being the author of your life, is going to get you through this with the power to thrive.
Now’s your chance. Be a hero. Heck, be your own SUPERhero!
Handel Group, and the rest of humanity
P.S. For the record, this advice is relevant to us all. Your parents, friends, professors, and anyone who has been impacted by this thing. And, well, isn’t that everyone, and everything, on planet earth?
P.P.S. If you liked what you read, connected with any of the content, or want to explore this kind of work on a deeper level, you can get more coaching from us via Inner.U Student (currently 50% off – a pandemic-sized discount).
*Read more on these topics on our blog. WARNING: shock awakenings (and some shocking language) within.