In this tango with a virus, we cannot allow pessimism a slot on our dance card.

The correlation between the COVID-19 pandemic and dancing is seemingly a strange one to some. After all, this is not a dance partner we CHOSE. But it is the one we have right now and for the time being – one we must find a way to waltz with – as safely as possible. Yet after many months of countless people dancing as though, and sometimes because, their lives have depended on it – feet can become fatigued, bodies achy, and our minds weary. I want to encourage each of you that THIS is the very time we cannot let up – because so much GOOD is on the horizon, and we cannot afford to have pessimism cloud that bright light at the end of this long road on which we have travelled.

The standard way of living for everyone I know has been altered in some form since March of 2020. For some, it is significant – health in jeopardy, loved ones, and jobs lost, or relationships in peril. For others, that alteration may be less seemingly drastic – a different way of working, kids at home from school, or a reworked way of living otherwise everyday life. However, I do not know anyone who hasn’t sacrificed something. And that can feel heavy for a collective community. Perhaps you are feeling the weight and the hopelessness that might come with it. But I am here to tell you – you were born for this. Quite literally.

More than half a decade ago now, long before this COVID-19 pandemic arrived, I wrote a book about harnessing the power within EVERY human to play our personal best in the sport of life. Titled The Win Within: Capturing Your Victorious Spirit, in the book, I share real stories of professional athletes who have circled the drain of devastating injury or life calamity – only to claw their way back up and emerge victoriously. The point of the anecdotes in my book was to illustrate to each reader – regardless of how “sporty” they might be – that every one of us is hardwired for victory. The ability to thrive is embedded into the code of our human DNA. And it’s still there and we must continue to tap into it.

We could describe adaptability to change as a uniquely human superpower. After all, it’s something we’ve been doing since the dawn of man. And unlike many other animal species out there, we’re good at adapting to change. That may not seem the case in 2020 – when this year has hurled so much negativity in our world – but it remains true, even at this very moment. Humans are good at acclimating to a changing environment. We just need to believe that our adaptability is true. 

One of the most important things we can do to adapt to our current circumstances doesn’t take genius-level intelligence. In my opinion, it takes just one thing that has nothing to do with how smart anyone is – positivity. I know that’s asking a lot right now. But I am here to tell you that pessimism has no place in our ability to thrive and only serves to pull us down. In staring down the barrel of your current life circumstances and figuring out how to positively change those circumstances, start by adjusting your outlook on your life. 

If the stuff life has thrown at you lately feels like there is no possible way to dance through it gracefully, and when all you’ve got is two left feet, go easy on yourself and your neighbor. Just because humans are hardwired for adaptability to change doesn’t mean we learn how to do it overnight.

Starting small can begin with changing the way you look at your life right now. Instead of wondering why 2020 happened TO you, what if you thought about why YOU happened to 2020? What unique talents or gifts do you bring to this world that could be used for GOOD in this time? How can you affect life for not only yourself but for others as well, in positive, meaningful ways as we close out this wild ride of a year?

Let’s rid ourselves of pessimism both now and in the future. Let’s stare once more into the of this storm and dare it to its worst because we are prepared to do our best. We are unbreakable, and we will prevail in mind, body and spirit. Let’s revel in this last dance of 2020 to display our collective grace, compassion, and strength that will inspire us to seize 2021 with passion, health, happiness, and gratitude.