Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I still remember my family’s first Thanksgiving eight months after we arrived in the USA. I was in first grade and came home to tell them that we had to celebrate and needed to buy a turkey. They didn’t know what I was referring to because there are no turkeys in Poland, so I drew a picture of a “big chicken.”
This year, I wanted to thank you for reading our Wisnik Weekly and to share a few tips I hope you may find helpful for celebrating Thanksgiving during a peak moment in our pandemic.
First, I want to share how I have managed my mindset during the Covid crisis very differently than I did during the financial crisis. My mind did quite a job on me during the 2008 financial crisis: It convinced me that I had no control, that my business might fail and I was a victim of the economy, all of which were big lies. What I learned over the past 12 years is that If we don’t manage our mind, especially during uncertain times, it will paralyze us from taking the very actions that make us feel in control of our lives and will keep us from appreciating all that we have.
The key to quieting down your fear-mind is to practice gratitude, because fear and gratitude cannot coexist. And what better time to focus on gratitude than Thanksgiving? It may sound counter-intuitive, but practicing gratitude is more important than ever during challenging times.
In addition to focusing on the good things you already have in your life, focus on the things that you can control! As you can imagine, our business has been impacted by the pandemic, and although Well-Being and Virtual Interviewer training is keeping us busy, placements are down 50% compared to last year. I acknowledge that I cannot control how many new roles law firms will have for us to fill in this economy. But there are always things we do have control over, especially when it comes to helping others.
This year I’ve been painfully aware of how the pandemic has impacted students and new grads. Having kids who were ejected from their college experience and have inherited a really messed up world, I felt compelled to help this new generation. In July when we were all realizing that the virus was going to disrupt our lives into 2021, I decided to write a book and launch a podcast—things I do have control over.
The podcast, called Big Lies Shattered, dismantles the misconceptions about how to land a dream job and lead a successful career. We taped the 30th episode last Friday and will launch early next year. The book, Advice from Your Fairy Job Mentor, will equip this next generation of professionals with the tools they need to navigate uncertain times and succeed no matter what life throws at them. If you have any 20-25 year-olds in your life that could benefit from this kind of career info, please send me their emails so we can let them know when these resources are available for them. I really want to help these young professionals!
My last suggestion is for how you can make this socially-distanced Thanksgiving a connective one. Last week I graduated from my year-long Integrative Nutrition coach training. One of the tools we learned was how to ask high-mileage questions. These are questions where you really get to connect with another person and make them feel heard. I really believe that one of the fallouts from this pandemic is that we are starving for real connection. Think of three people you want to connect with over the long weekend and schedule one-on-one calls with each one. During these calls I encourage you to ask a few of these high mileage questions and to really listen. These questions sound like:
- What’s working well in your life right now?
- Where do you feel stuck?
- What is one thing you could do to energize yourself?
- What is out of balance?
- What are you grateful for in this moment?
Listen and follow up with comments like, “Tell me more…” and “How does that make you feel?” Toward the end of the call you may want to ask “How can I best support you? “
Here’s the biggest thing I learned during the pandemic: The secret to living is giving! Thank you to all of you for everything you give me every year, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.