Dear Dr. Sylvia,
I’m not sure how to say this politely. This year has been a frigging mess.
Not just for me, for so many I know.
What really matters in life.
To clarify, I’ve been lucky that no one in my immediate circle has come down with the virus. Yet, we all know someone who has a friend, colleague, or loved one hospitalized or, worse, lost life.
I just don’t have the energy to be happy on Thanksgiving or jolly for Christmas yet to come.
Thanksgiving is a traditional time to give gratitude and appreciate each other.
However, I don’t want to give thanks. My mantra for these times is to complain and sulk and be mad.
Fear of the future.
Above all, the fear I have now is about the future. I shudder thinking about what is yet to come.
Look. I have enough food and a good position in my organization.
Moreover, I’m an experienced leader and I can say all the right things.
However, I feel stuck!
For instance, I keep fighting feeling crappy and I need some encouragement to move from sad to glad.
Lost in the woods
Uncertainty can make you stumble and finally fall.
Above all, you are not alone. Almost all my clients are dealing with some form of pandemic traumatic disorder.
Subsequently, here is my suggestion for Thanksgiving this year. Maybe you decided to travel to visit family or be on a Zoom call. Or hunker down with Netflix or a game of chess. I
Most importantly, I suggest you take an hour from your day and simply be silent.
No, I’m not talking meditate.
Silence is golden.
That is to say, I’m talking just stop talking for one hour on Thursday.
Here is what to do in that hour.
In other words, this year, especially, it is a time to ask, “What really matters?”
Too often, in the past, most would talk about what we are thankful for. This is done without giving it the thought it deserves.
Perhaps this year, with all of us in a similar boat of uncertainty, the future seems cloudy and even strange.
Here is what to ask yourself when times are tough.
Above all, here are the questions to ponder in the silent realm:
- How many shirts do you need to be well-dressed?
- Who can you tell your deepest dreams to?
- Why do you choose to smile, laugh, sigh, sing?
- How do you give willingly to others?
- What will be your legacy?
Just one hour on this day of giving thanks stay in the silent zone to reassess what really matters.
As I am writing this (for myself as well as you LOST and everyone else). It made me think about a story that author Kurt Vonnegut told about his friend Joseph Heller.
When is enough the best amount?
Further, some of my favorites from Vonnegut include Cat’s Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five.
Joe Heller’s book Catch 22 was a national sensation. In fact, the title became a way for people to talk about any vicious cycle in life. This involves an absurd no-win contradictory choice that ends up badly.
We have just been going through a “catch 22” time in politics as well as in the pandemic.
In any case, here is a wonderful story perfect for Thanksgiving time that Kurt Vonnegut told about his friend Joe.
Kurt and Joe were at a holiday party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island New York. In Vonnegut’s words:
“I said, Joe how does it make you feel to know that our host
Only yesterday may have made more money than your novel
Catch 22 has earned in its entire history?
Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
Then I said, “What on earth could that be Joe?”
Finally he said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
To sum up, while giving thanks this year, in your time of silence, think about what is enough.
With deep caring,
PS. Take the Leadership Breakthrough Quiz and then email me a copy of my e-book 5 Leadership Development Lessons at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get through this time together.