August 21, 2017 marks the day that a solar eclipse will be viewed in North American skies since 1979, and the first coast-to-coast eclipse since 1918. I was a kindergartner during the last eclipse and today my 6 year old daughter will have the rare opportunity to view one. As we drove to school this morning she said, "Mom, today the whole earth will be dark!" Her statement is not entirely true, but I understood what she meant. Today is one of those rare lifetime moments where millions will share an experience. In the middle of a Monday afternoon, all will grow quiet and still and for a little while, the lights will go down.
On Your Mat
Remember when we were in kindergarten? You know how it is when you're five years old with boundless energy, and you don't want to stop playing because you don't want to miss anything? Five year olds want to go and go and go and go because they are living in the moment, and most of the time that moment is pure bliss. They're not consumed by stress and fatigue. They are not fretting over past mistakes and afraid of future errors. They are here, in the right now, going 100 MPH. Then comes the dreaded nap time. Right in the middle of the afternoon, we would have to come to a complete stop, grow quiet and still for a little while, and the lights would go down.
Why? Because we needed to be forced to shut down and reset before we crashed and burned. Kindergartners are not the only ones who need to reset. As I type this, it is strangely peaceful. The moon has made the sun look like a crescent and there is no noise outside. No dogs barking, no birds chirping, no horns blowing - just stillness as if all of nature is taking a nap. Even the animals know that it's time to come to a complete stop, grow quiet and still for a little while and turn the lights down.
What does a reset look like in your life and career? Merriam-Webster defines reset as 1: to set again or anew 2: to change the reading of, often to zero.
I believe that today is our collective reminder to reset. In life and business, we shouldn't be afraid to rebrand or redefine who we are and what we do. Sometimes we find that we have too much overhead or our business model is not practical or we're doing things that we're just not passionate about anymore. Maybe we've found ourselves surrounded by negative people or in toxic relationships. Perhaps we've looked in the mirror and couldn't recognize the reflection staring back. Sometimes we get so tied to the way things have always been done, that we don't realize that we've stopped progressing. Our company or relationships are no longer growing. It's stagnant and tired and stale. It's in those times that we need to come to a complete stop, grow quiet and still for a little while, and turn the lights down.
We all come to a point where we need to reflect and reset, and for most of us, it happens not once but several times over the course of our lives and careers. The wonder of being able to reset is that we can leave the past in the past. It's okay to release the burden and guilt of mistakes and missteps. Stop doing the same things over and over and hoping for a different result. Change directions. Lay down and take a nap and then wake up to a new you, a new concept, or a new direction. Walk away from things that are draining your energy and run towards the things that are giving you life. Recharge and surge fearlessly forward.
Kindergartners get tired and cranky and clumsy when they need a nap. They may act out of character or fall down and bump their heads all because their energy is low and they need to reset. They don't want to stop and shut down and they cry and kick and scream because they don't understand why they can't keep doing what they were doing. But, guess what? Once, they finally walk away from what they were doing, come to a complete stop, grow quiet and still while the lights go down - they wake up with renewed energy, confidence, and balance - ready to take on the world once again.
Let today be the day that you get on your mat, reset, and go!