Over the past 6 weeks I have shared my thoughts about OneDigital and how grateful I am for this organization and for all of you. Like all companies in uncertain times, we have some obstacles to address, but I believe we are responding with purpose, composure and conviction. Some difficult days and challenging work remain ahead of us, but I have never been more proud of this organization and this team. My confidence in OneDigital is grounded in our platform, our culture and most importantly, our people!
So today, rather than focus on our business, I’d like share some thoughts that have been on my mind this past month as the reality of this pandemic has settled in. Like many of you, my emotions have run the gamut over the past many weeks trying to absorb the magnitude of the changes within our personal lives, our families, our communities and across the world. Personally, I mourn that my boys are losing much of the college experience for which they worked so hard. It seems like a daily occurrence that I learn about a friend or acquaintance losing their job or facing financial hardship. And, while I don’t have any close relationships impacted by severe health concerns from the virus, I know many of you have family and friends that have experienced the ultimate pain this pandemic can cause. I can’t imagine anything more heart breaking than not being able to be by the side of a loved one as they suffer through this terrible illness. This is a heavy burden for each of us to absorb and carry with us day-to-day, but just like OneDigital, I believe these hardships also provide us the opportunity to shine and grow both individually and collectively.
So how do we move forward in a positive way in our daily lives? For me, the recipe is similar to the advice I try to follow in my business life – focus on what you can control, try to see the positive in your surroundings, look for opportunities to serve and try to show just a bit more grace to others. I have quickly discovered what drains my energy over the past several weeks so I try to avoid these situations. I turn the news off when it no longer feels newsworthy, I try to disengage in political conversations and I do my best to not dwell on situations that are clearly out of my control. And, to my surprise, I’m finding that the bright spots in my days can more than offset the minor inconveniences and changes in my personal life. The list of activities that provide me with energy in this new environment is growing and has begun to fill the emptiness I sometimes felt several weeks ago: Long walks with my wife, family dinners filled with conversation and laughs (although I’m usually the target of my boy’s jokes) and yes, the ever popular Zoom happy hours with old friends, extended family and my amazing OneDigital colleagues. While these activities may seem simple at the surface, I’ve come to realize that I appreciate so much more in my life just by looking, listening and engaging a bit more closely.
I’ve come to value the positive mindset I’ve gained from these humble activities, and so I hope I will continue to embrace these experiences when we move beyond this current “pause” in our lives. The growing bond I’m building with friends, family, neighbors and colleagues and the inspiration I draw from the bravery of so many Americans makes me hopeful that we can all emerge from this crisis with added strength, perspective and grace. My hope is that we don’t just return to our old ways but can hold on to many of these experiences that can provide important perspective as we move forward. I’m hopeful that we will all be more appreciative of the small things in our lives and realize they actually are “big” things if we just slow down to enjoy them. I’m also hopeful that we will emerge with more compassion, encouragement and kindness for one another. There is little doubt that showing just a bit more grace and goodness in these uncertain times has gone a long way and I’m hopeful we don’t lose that. It’s sometimes hard to see the good and to “BE Hopeful” in times like these, but if you look for it, you will find it. It is my hope that we hold on to these simple, yet powerful, changes that we’ve all made during this challenging time in our lives.
So, as we work toward adjusting to our new world, please join me in an effort to share some gratitude and as we look toward the future with hope and confidence for a brighter tomorrow. We will get through this together my friends.