We’ve all been seeing it. It’s become arguably one of the most overused phrases of 2020.
“Our New Normal”
The media has latched onto it. Remember the age-old political tactic: He who frames the issue, wins the argument. Reality is being re-framed in front of our very eyes. “Things are not going to be the same.” “Life in America with Coronavirus will be different.’ And the vast majority of people will just accept that mindset and fall in line.
I refuse to fall into this trap of “our new normal” thinking. My life won’t be the same? My business won’t be the same? Says who? I have ZERO tolerance for that thinking. Everything I am doing, and thinking is devoted to thriving today and emerging stronger from this mess tomorrow. Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls…the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
Having said that, I realize that some have had circumstances thrust on them that they have zero control over. For example: your employer has been forced out of business by the pandemic. Or, you have been laid off with no timeline (or promise) for a return. Perhaps you’ve actually lost someone to COVID-19. In no way am I trying to minimize the impact of that on another human being. If that is the case for you, please take this as a message of encouragement. Your circumstances are real, and they are worth grieving over. But you have the power to create your own path forward. When you are ready, you can do it.
These are circumstances that separate the agile from the uncoordinated; the weak from the strong; and ultimately, the winners from the losers. In spite of sadness and loss, the laws of the Universe have not changed. Success rewards persistence and punishes complacency and quitting. We may not always get what we deserve, but we do always get what we tolerate. I don’t want to accept this notion of a “new normal” that someone else is attempting to define for the rest of us. And if changes must be made, I am going to try like heck to define most of how it looks for me.
The most exhilarating thing about being an entrepreneur is knowing that each morning, when I look in the mirror, the answer is staring back at me. If things are going well, I can celebrate. If things need to change, there is nowhere else to look.
William Earnest Henley wrote the famous poem “Invictus” in 1875. A few of its phrases are helpful guidance:
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced or cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
If there is going to be a new normal for you – it can be the one you work to create.