Listening to the radio this morning I was interested to hear of athletes who are already fearing post Rio blues, leading to a sense of aimlessness and lack of purpose.
Not being an Olympic athlete myself, I can’t imagine the vacuum that rushes up on people after years of dedication to a moment that passes in a few minutes or seconds. And yet I also hear of athletes that have a deep sense of purpose that takes them beyond their event into a season of fulfilment and dedication.
Also, what about the millions of people that are suffering a feeling of loss in their peak hour TV viewing experiences!
Let me offer 3 suggestions for dealing with post-Rio blues:
1. Move the focus from your achievement (or TV viewing) onto others.
This might sound obvious, but people who have a purpose in their lives that is focused on others, are often more contented and purposeful over a longer period of time. Understandably, most people do have goals that they need to focus on for themselves. However, a balance of goals that benefit others as well as yourself is a good thing. Leading yourself to weave a life tapestry that focuses on others as well as activity that maximizes your personal potential is a great balance. Those who are only focused on the achievement of a personal goal at the expense of anyone else’s interests can be described as driven, ambitious, dedicated …. or at their worst, selfish. It takes intentional personal leadership to build a balanced life.
2. Take the opportunity to plan a new project.
When a momentous period of life has come to an end, investing in planning the next one, or the next few, can be an excellent way to channel energy and emotion. People often say that about vacations! It can apply equally to major projects, or events that have been in planning for months. A short period of celebration and recovery is always good, but then filling your mind with positive thoughts about scaling the next summit is a healthy transition. Deliberately laying out another project or use of time is a good way to avoid slipping into aimless use of time or at the worst, depression.
3. Ask a friend.
“In the multitude of counsellors there is safety” Proverbs 11:14. Some call it coaching, some call it counselling … and others call it having great friends who know how to help. Asking someone to help you through transition is a sure way to be supported and understood. Even better, schedule time to confide in your colleague as soon as you can. There’s nothing better than to off-load onto someone about personal challenges, and for them to bring objectivity and advice into a world that has been fairly myopic until that point.
Leading yourself is an area of leadership that is often under-invested in during leadership development programs. Yet, it can make the difference to yourself, everyone around you and those yet to benefit from the impact you can have on their lives.