We learn the greatest lessons in life at the deepest and darkest of times. For all the negativity we digest, there are gifts we can take away and establish life lessons of appreciation, perspective, and thankfulness. They aren’t always easy to find, as negativity is hard to see past. It’s there, just never stop looking.

Change breeds complacency, or change breeds opportunity. A phrase I say repeatedly, and theory I have fully accepted. The world is constantly evolving, and old ways of comfort become dormant. When the pandemic broke out, and lockdown was put into effect, I accepted a multitude of changes in life and business. I digested change, and understood that doing meetings virtually was more efficient than old ways; working from home eliminated time wasting travel, created a better work life balance, and provided new opportunities that weren’t accepted in the past. Change had bred opportunity, and I was all over it!

There is a trade off. As a speaker who travels all over the world to inspire, connect, and share my story of going through brain cancer at 39, there was no direct connection with the audience; I couldn’t read the emotions, provide direct attention to people, or hug someone who needed it. What I did find was doing them virtually, I was spending significantly more time with my wife and children. I was here for all they had going on, and that was something that hi me in the heart-strings; to maintain my craft, and be a better father and husband was real and pure.

I kept my same never ending work-ethic; speeches, podcasts, meetings; and at the high point I was doing 14-16 Zoom meetings per day. It was a lot, and it started to weigh on me. I was never good at taking my foot off the gas pedal, and continually would focus on out working others, and accomplishing goals. What I started to realize was that travel actually provided breaks in the action, allowed moments of personal time, and what I found was a meditational moment in being alone and in solitude before getting back into action. I realized because I was so much more efficient in this new normal, I did not need to avoid downtime and give up all the breaks in a given day; in fact breaks, and personal moments, made me better, more on point, and and kept that fire burning in in my belly at a higher degree!

If I was able to give myself advice prior to the pandemic, it would be in the acclimation process of change. Change will always breed opportunity; it provides ways to get better, more efficient, and has lead to less travel. Always take time during the day to focus on YOURSELF; walk away for a bit, and stay grounded. Time is your biggest asset; don’t waste it, use it wisely. Keep yourself focused and fresh by taking time for you!

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