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(c) 2019 Karen Southall Watts

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Pandemic Pondering: What happens to your goal setting when disaster strikes?

You did what all the experts and gurus told you to do – you made a personal success plan. Or maybe you called yours a 5-year plan, or you created a magnificent vision board. No matter the form, you had goals and plans for your career, your business, and your life. Now the world is facing a dangerous public health threat. You’re either stuck at home trying to work from home, or worrying about your lack of a paycheck because your job can’t be done remotely. Perhaps you’re one of the essential workers still going to work in safety or sanitation services, or working to make sure the rest of us can buy food and medicines, or get medical care. [If so you’re probably too busy to read this, but I hope your friends and neighbors who do send you a thank you.]

Now What?

Step one, try not to panic (or allow isolation wine drinking to go from a funny meme to a real problem) you need your wits about you. Do an intense reality check. What’s happening in your life and how have you set your life up at this point? This matters for career folks, entrepreneurs, and even those who are retired. I recommend visiting the 50th Law by Robert Green and 50 Cent for pointers here. With all this time to ponder life, get real with yourself. Having a positive attitude does not mean ignoring reality.

Step two, clarify your core values – again. Maybe that know yourself stuff is the section of self-help books you always skip, or in a workshop you sneak out to the restrooms when the “touchy-feely” stuff starts. Well, there’s nothing like being isolated at home, gazing into your device screens, and watching the world go bonkers, to stimulate a bit of moral reflection. Who are the most important people in your life? What causes really matter to you? In a life stripped of everything but the essential…what’s essential?

That’s a lot to ponder. Stay tuned for the next bit. Stay safe. Stay well.

This is the Haw River in North Carolina, in an area where I spent many happy years with my children exploring nature.


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