The summer holiday period is an ideal time to reflect on your personal and business visions.
2021 was a tough year full of many challenges for most business owners. Some businesses were closed due to COVID restrictions; others had their employees working from home. There were supply-chain issues, staff shortages, and difficulties maintaining contact with customers.
The problem with tough times is that they can lead to feelings of woefulness or despondency, and nothing can undermine lives and businesses as quickly as negative feelings and negative mindsets. So, it will pay benefits to start by reflecting on the many things that we can be grateful for. And there are always many reasons for gratitude:
- Gratitude for our families and friends (even though pandemic-related restrictions may have changed or restricted our interactions with them)
- Gratitude for the many small and large kindnesses that we have received.
- Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of many religions
- Gratitude for the tough times in our lives that help us to appreciate the good times.
The list of causes for gratitude could be never-ending.
As I get older I suffer the aches and pains that come with my age and I live with the knowledge an incurable illness has reduced my life expectancy. But I’m grateful for the wonderful life that I’ve already had. Even in the toughest times of my life, there has always been food on my table. I have travelled enough to know that that makes my life bounteous compared to the lives of most people on our planet.
It was tough in 2021 to be separated by travel restrictions and public health regulations from some of our beloved family and friends. But many of my grandfather’s generation were also separated from their loved ones when they were sent (as volunteers or conscripts) to the Great War, and they spent months or years in filthy rat-infested trenches where they were exposed to bitter cold and wet conditions, live gunfire and artillery fire, and diverse diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. I am grateful that my separation from my loved ones was spent in relative safety and comfort, isolating at home on my sofa.
I’m grateful for Skype and Viber and Zoom and such-like modern telecommunications that helped us keep in touch with those dear to us even through the lockdowns.
I’m grateful for my feelings of gratitude because it is my experience that:
- Gratitude increases my happiness and strengthens other positive emotions
- Gratitude increases my energy levels
- Gratitude makes us more resilient and helps us to bounce back faster
- Gratitude helps our relationships
- Gratitude increases our productivity
- Gratitude helps us to network, helps us to make friends, and deepens friendships
- Gratitude improves my decision-making and increases productivity
- Gratitude has made me a more effective manager
- Gratitude increased my goal achievement.
When grounded in gratitude and positivity, the holidays are an ideal time to reflect on those big-picture personal and business visions.
- Do you want more from life?
- Do you want more time with your family?
- Do you want more time pursuing certain activities or achievements (and is your “bucket-list” up-to-date?)
- Do you want better health and/or deeper relationships?
- Is your business helping you to achieve your personal vision? And how could things be improved to bring your business vision more in line with your personal vision?
The tough times that we have experienced during 2021 may well have changed your views on a number of matters, and the holiday period is an excellent time to consider whether your personal and business visions should be updated in the light of changes.