This blog post is part of a series of weekly reflections by our CEO, John Boersma.
This week marks the first time (in a long time) that we may finally have more feelings of hope than of uncertainty and despair. With the economy slated to gradually begin reopening; I think that many people (while still feeling uncertain), are eagerly anticipating our world returning to some semblance of normalcy. As I talked about last week, one seemingly positive result of this pandemic has bee the almost sub-conscious self-reflection, it has stimulated in many of us, and the concurrent desire to live more intentionally moving forward. As we move into this next stage, it will be important for us (as individuals) to not forget what we have learned about ourselves, our habits and our motivations over the past two months.
I am reminded of a conversation that I recently had with a friend. We were speaking about how a disproportionate number of the happiest and most successful people we know have come from a background of hardship and struggle, not the expected background of ease and prosperity. The question is: how do so many people find fulfilling lives when the deck is so often stacked against them?
We decided it was one thing. They focus on the details, doing the small things over and over again, which ultimately adds up to big results. Once someone has experienced true struggle, there is no longer any expectation of deserving anything. A mentality of willingness and hard work develops to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. Focusing on these small wins, over time, leads to big changes and results.
As the great Al Pacino said in his inspirational pre-game speech from Any Given Sunday, “We either find a way to heal or we are going to crumble. Life, like football, is a game of inches. Inch by inch, play by play, until we are finished. The inches we need are all around us.”
As physical and occupational therapists, we are inspired by this detail-focused mentality on a daily basis. We witness incredible individuals that have suffered severe physical pain and injury, fight their way back, inch by inch, on a regular basis. Many start their recoveries in hospital beds, moving on to wheelchairs or crutches, slowly gaining back the ability to move joints and muscles, then standing unassisted, taking one step, taking one more, until they finally get themselves back to doing the activities that they love.
We need to adapt the same mentality as the amazing clients we see at Lone Peak Physical Therapy if we hope to claw our way back from struggle and hardship, whether from this pandemic or some other difficult circumstance. Many have lost jobs, lost money, and/or lost their confidence. If we can just focus on the small things, we need to do each day, it will lead to the big changes we want to make in our lives, as we all battle back from this adversity.
Don’t let the “bigness” of your problem overwhelm you and don’t let dangerous expectations that you deserve something more, hold you back from doing the little things needed to help you LIVE BETTER. As you start the long journey back from COVID-19 this week, simply remember this:
We don’t control what happens in life. We control how we respond.
Our circumstances are not up to us, but our choices of reactions are.