“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they have” - Buddha
The last Thursday of June is National Work From Home Day. This holiday commemorates all the technological advances, cultural ideas and innovations, gadgets and gizmos, people and platforms, and pioneer telecommuters that enable us to work productively from home. At Manifestguides.com, we are especially grateful for our continued ability to communicate, connect and coach our clients to move forward while working from home during the pandemic pivot. Today is the day to appreciate all the “tele” products and people that empower us and create flexibility for us to be better together. So gather your support team on your favorite videoconferencing platform today to raise a glass and say thanks with all those who make virtual reality a reality, June 24, National Work From Home Day.
In March 2020, Americans crossed a threshold as workplaces were forced to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, the dream of a pajama-clad commute from the kitchen to the office, complete with bottomless coffee and tea, became a reality. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting and WebEx became our IT support. Abandoning “business as usual,” we transformed living spaces into labor spaces, redecorated to receive Amazon laptops, webcams, ring lights and gaming headsets delivered to our doorsteps. We renegotiated our familial relationships to avoid occupational hazards and built new relationships with our “Geek Squads” to navigate through cyberspace. Telecommuting, telemedicine and tele-education teleported us direct in to the future. Doc Brown’s prophecy from Back to the Future took on new and urgent relevancy, “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”
In reflecting on my own work as a teacher working from home, I realized never had I ever started a Fall semester with every student meeting me for the very first time virtually. Never had I ever had to plan whether to use Collaborate or Zoom to connect with my students. Never had I ever not been face-to-face with my class and colleagues. Yet, never had I ever witnessed the oak trees outside my home office window change color as the seasons shifted from summer into fall. Never had I ever been able to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with my husband every day during breaks from working. Never had I ever been a pioneer in teaching and learning.
I'm also grateful for slowing down, walking in nature rather than whizzing past it in a plane, train or automobile. I feel gratitude for learning to discern what's really important, how to live with less conspicuous consumption and more human connection. Mostly, I am grateful for how we showed up for one another in ways both big and small, surprising each other with impromptu sing alongs to sustain our spirits or creating transparent, protective barriers so we could still communicate face-to-face, every action reinforcing and reminding us how much better we are together than apart. Had I not taken a moment to stop and reflect, I might have missed expressing gratitude for what I had in the midst of grieving what I’d lost. Thus, National Work from Home Day reminds us to heed the words of another 80’s icon, Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
As Certified Fearless Living Coaches, we practice shifting perspective. One shift is to find gratitude within a complaint. The pandemic pivot to work from home is a great example. The scrambling panic to turn an in person, on-your-feet profession into a seated, virtual connection would be a legitimate reason for all kinds of griping. Instead, I thought of this moment as an opportunity to be thankful. Time, personal connection and home cooking were the hidden gifts inside the wrapping of the pandemic s#@%show. With a Manifest Coach, you too, can learn the antidote to complaining. And when you practice genuine gratitude, the desire to complain loses momentum because you learn to focus on what you gain, not the loss.
So, take a break today, June 24, and look back to our future. Be awestruck by your role as a 21st century pioneer in a forced labor movement. Give a toast to ingenuity, adaptability and resilience and express gratitude for all that made it possible for us to continue moving forward in the face of adversity. And like Ferris, stop and look around . . . pausing to give thanks for what you gained while working from home.
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