Listen (5 min. 13 seconds)

I have the unique opportunity – and joy – of watching my granddaughters every Thursday. We call it “Thursdays with Pops.”

My skills in changing a diaper quickly, correctly preparing and cutting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and physically pivoting on a dime to chase children running in opposite directions have been both challenged and honed. I’m happily exhausted at the end of each day.

I also learn a lot, or at least am reminded of what I think I know, but often don’t remember.

At their young ages, my granddaughters are still very singularly focused.

In other words, the catastrophe of dumping milk on ones head will soon be forgotten when the next objective has been presented in about 27 seconds. There is no anxiety of what will occur in three hours because, well, she is “here” now. There is no frantic checking of emails and social media accounts; no apprehension about something that was said (or not said); and no yearning to replay every mistake or dread the future.

My granddaughters are the epitomes of being in the moment.

Something happens to all of us where that “in the moment” mentality erodes away. Maybe it’s school and expectations. Perhaps it is unsolicited commentary and judgments from “friends” on the playground. Or maybe we’ve created some frenzied circle of life that we keep passing on to our children. Whatever it is, you can be assured that very often we are far better off with the “in the moment” mentality of a two year old.

In a bizarre and unprecedented year (of which you don’t need me to recap), it’s pretty clear that to move boldly and successfully into the last few months of it and beyond, we need to consider it the same as a glassful of milk that got dumped over our heads. It’s time to clean it up and get on to the next objective with laser focus.

Sounds easy, but it’s not because we are adult humans. So allow me to share three quick strategies employed by toddlers…

  1. Cleaning up is a pain in the butt, but then it’s over so let’s eat. Yep, the mess is real and might take a lot of effort, but then we start clean. Then we can get working on that PB&J.
  2. It’s okay to throw a tantrum, as long as you get over it fast. Sometimes it’s anger, other times it might be sadness or simply being overwhelmed. No matter the case, there is always a new puzzle or game ready to play and enjoy.
  3. Do everything with all your energy and focus. While there may be chaos around you, slow your mind down and focus on what’s in front of you. If that turns out to not be the most important thing, then find what is and go get that.

Bottom line: We are all susceptible to being overwhelmed, stressed out, angry, and sometimes scared. All of those can paralyze us mentally, emotionally, and physically. Let’s get back to our own childhood roots and get focused on having fun. We didn’t start a business or career to be depressed. That bright shiny object may not actually be the distraction, but the prize. And remember, there will be more milk getting dumped over our heads in the future, but there is always a PB&J waiting to be enjoyed.

Be unleashed.

Quote of the Day:

“Greatness is a road leading to the unknown.”

~ Charles de Gaulle

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Unleashed is the registered trademark of Toro Consulting, Inc.

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