In basketball it means to keep one foot in place while holding the ball and moving the other foot one step in any direction. The purpose of a pivot is to gain a positional advantage.
Right now, as of March 16, 2020, the United States is pivoting. Everywhere you look online, we see teams big and small pivoting. Some are panicking like Ross on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. screaming "Pivot! Pivot!" while getting metaphorically stuck on a staircase with a couch wedged against the wall because they are giving in to fear and panic. Others are handling it much better.
First, we realize that right now we need to pivot. We might not be able to physically go into the spaces we normally do, but we can still show up and be present right where we are.
Realize that pivoting is an offensive position. That's what we as a country are doing right now. We are aggressively attacking this worldwide virus by removing ourselves from its line of fire. It - this insidious beast of a virus that overwhelms our medical system and threatens to kill the most vulnerable - it thinks we will be living life as normal, ignoring it and unknowingly spreading it. Instead, we pivot.
We keep one foot in place and turn around to move in a different direction. One it didn't think we would go in: self-isolation.
Not so that our freedoms will be diminished, and our hope will be lost. But so that the people we love will get to live and our medical facilities will be intact to do what they are created to do: save people's lives.
Pivoting is powerful. When done with intention and teamwork, it means we still have control. We still have options. Pivoting well means we are still in the game.
And that is important to remember right now. The game is not over yet. It is only just beginning. We still have a chance to come out the winner on the other side. But only if we handle this pivot well.
1. Be intentional with your focus. You don't have to let your thoughts blindly follow the panic and fear. Choose to focus on joy, wisdom, responsibility, and courage.
2. Show up and do your best while leaning into all of the resources available to us. Being connected online for work through Zoom or Skype has never been easier! And if you've been practicing this all along, then you're ahead of the curve.
3. Band together as a strong team and choose to trust and follow the protocols of social distancing.
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5. Take a break from social media and television and lean into what really matters in life. Just because we can't be face to face doesn't mean we can't still connect. Call someone. Facetime them. Have meaningful conversations with your family instead of checking out and mindlessly binging Netflix.
6. Use this extra time wisely. Begin finally writing that book, try new things, launch that program, go on outside adventures with our loved ones, etc.
7. Choose to be a voice of reason and hope instead of doom and gloom. Stop doubting and start listening to the wise advice of the experts that are putting protocols in place.
8. Step up to be the solution instead of the problem. This is not the time to slough off and live in your jammies. That is the fastest way to loose all hope! Being the solution means you show up well even in your own home during isolation. The solution might be to start an online business to create residual income so your family is set should a pivot like this happen again in the future, or it could be as simple as starting a family daily gratitude journal to keep everyone's mental health intact.
9. Give love and compassion. Look out for others and help them as best you can. People are scared and acting out of fear. They need your love and compassion now more than ever.
10. Remember that in a few months this too shall pass. It is already improving in China. Hope is on the horizon.
Helping you live and lead well,
~Mandy B. Anderson