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4 Lessons I Learned From The Pandemic – Which Also Protect You From Feeling A Deep Void

Lou Holtz, life lessons, relationships, hope, love, purpose, human being not human doing, hope,

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 4 lessons from the pandemic – 4 things that protect you from feeling a deep void in your life.

First a quick update:  

The Breakup Test

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What Really Matters To You?

At the end of your life, what will you regret? Will you regret what you did or what you didn’t do? Will you regret not having had or owned something or perhaps regret not being someone else? Watch the video where I predict your one regret.

Now, let’s talk about the 4 lessons from the pandemic – 4 things that protect you from feeling a deep void in your life.

For many years I listened to people proclaiming, like author Kurt Vonnegut, “I am a human being, not a human doing.”

James Bradshaw wrote the same thing in 1988 in “Healing the shame that binds you.” Dr. Wayne Dyer taught the same in the 1990s and in 2009 wrote: “I am a human being, not a human doing. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don’t…you aren’t.”

However, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has completely changed my outlook on this teaching.

When everything came to a standstill; when we were all on lockdown and had nothing at all to do but look internally, we questioned purpose and meaning. I found myself realizing the truth of a teaching by famous football coach, Lou Holtz:

“Everybody needs something to do.”

Kurt Vonnegut, James Bradshaw and Dr. Wayne Dyer all had something to do, they each had a purpose.

Lou Holtz taught that unless you have 4 key ingredients, you will have a tremendous void in your life, and I found this to be true and clearly evident when the Coronavirus pandemic broke out.
  1. Purpose

So, the first is you need something to do; you need purpose. Yes, you need balance in life (rest, work, play), but you need to have a reason to live, something to drive and motivate you. It can be work, career, passion, helping people, raising children, teaching, caring, and so forth. Without purpose, life loses all meaning. People who lost their jobs, career or business during the pandemic felt the pain of losing something to do. Many are still not yet free of that pain.

Have you noticed that as people become very wealthy, they evolve with a new purpose – wanting to help more people?

Have you noticed that when people retire and have no purpose and nothing to do, they die within 2-3 years?

2. Love & Connection

Number two, everybody needs someone to love.

We are hardwired for connection and belonging; we need a group or a tribe – a family that we can call our own. When the pandemic hit, loneliness and isolation became the greatest collective pain. Cut off from friends, forced to lock oneself at home, we felt the pain of being alone and lonely. I teach that our deepest hidden desire is not to be loved, but rather to love. We feel an extraordinary sense of being fully alive when we have someone to love, and when we have purpose. I believe that at the end of your life, your greatest regret will be that you didn’t love enough! Relationships are key to meaningful life.

3. Support

Number three, everybody needs someone to believe in

When clients come to me grieving over the loss of someone they loved, they all have one thing in common. Their deepest pain is that they lost someone who believed in them. I could list hundreds of clients who said the same thing, “My uncle/aunt/grandmother was the one person who really believed in me; she would always tell me that I can do anything.” Conversely, I agree with Lou Holtz here that we also need someone that we believe in, someone who inspires us, is a role model or a mentor, someone who also helps us to find meaning for our life, perhaps by becoming someone we emulate or someone whom we can see the light within and love and encourage, helping them to become the best version of themselves.

4. Hope

The fourth thing you need in your life, is you need something to hope for.

The two most debilitating emotions and pains people described during the pandemic were sadness (grieving and loss, loss of purpose) and hopelessness (loss of purpose, meaning and a vision for the future.)

Hope is more than simply believing or expecting things to get better. Hope is the willpower & determination to persevere to achieve your goals. When you feel hopeless, you feel powerless, and you believe that there is no reason to live, no reason to set goals. Everything looks and feels bleak.

When you have hope, you set goals and begin to take action to realize those goals. But you won’t do that if you believe there is no meaning, no purpose and no reason.

“Hope is positively correlated with life satisfaction and serves as a buffer against the impact of negative and stressful life events [6]. Thus, individuals high in hope tend to show better athletic, academic, occupational, and health outcomes.”

“A greater sense of hope was associated with: better physical health and health behavior outcomes on some indicators (e.g., reduced risk of all cause-mortality, fewer number of chronic conditions, lower risk of cancer, and fewer sleep problems), higher psychological well-being (e.g., increased positive affect, life satisfaction, and purpose in life), lower psychological distress, and better social well-being.”

I now perceive life very differently as a result of Covid-19. I realize more than ever that we are not just human beings – we also need to be doing, to live with purpose, to love and believe in others and above all to shape and sculpt our future from a place of hope and optimism!

If you would like help to heal the past, book a one-on-one session with me.

You can add to the conversation below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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