“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” – Viktor Frankl

So, what does an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor have to do with a global pandemic and not wearing sweatpants? 

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“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” – Viktor Frankl

By now, most of us are in the twilight of our sophomore week of “social distancing”. Each day debts the calendar with a red slash and a trajectory driving us deeper into the sublime. The world continues to turn and the choice of how you invest your time, right or left on a binary path is critical with every revolution. At this point, you’ve either decided to start each day as if it’s like any other – filled with an agenda, goals and plans; or to be lax in your resolve, siting this as an opportunity to rest and reboot. As a result, you have either maintained, at minimum, your regular level of discipline and production or succumbed to the weights of the world and put normal life on pause. I will admit, I wallowed for a few days as I attempted to wrap my head around “things’, but after reality set in it was time to get up, maintain a routine, and ditch the sweatpants.  

So, what does a Holocaust survivor have to do with sweatpants? 

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian Neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust by finding meaning and purpose within every day. In print or by spoken word the epigrams of unprecedented or uncertain times have been echoed voluminously over the past few weeks. In the wash of the swift modification of our path, it’s passable to have experienced a wide-ranging series of emotions. However, now is the time to set the tone for the future and make a difference. How you choose to allocate the beginning of each day not only brings momentum to the singular-cycle of dawn and dusk, but alters the process of moving life’s great fly wheel for your own personal long-term pursuits. Each morning we can choose to be a victim of circumstance or the one to move with steadfast resolve toward something greater. Just the same as Frankl, WE DID NOT elect to be cast into our current state. However, it’s only the pull of our own individual spirits that can make a difference in how we view what we’ve been presented. Although comfortable, the stigma of your sweatpants (pajamas, track pants, gym shorts etc.) is telling your mind that it’s ok to lax your self-command – while determination is more important today, than any other. Get up and get dressed with purpose and as if you’re going to do something significant today. Because you are; and as the saying goes, “today is the first day of the rest of your life”. 

Life starts at dawn.

The optics are this – you need to start your day by instructing your brain to do a series of things. If you’re currently in a work from home scenario and not required to be in the office, perhaps its acceptable to sleep in a little later. However, it’s critical to maintain your standard fitness routine. We are Wilderness Athletes, after all! The same as you would with your normal life, small things like laying out your clothes the night before help to solidify the next day’s plans in your mind’s eye. If you don’t have equipment, that’s no excuse, your human form provides an excellent physical and mental challenge, with all the weight you need to do work every day. It’s your grey-matter who needs to be instructed to make the most of what you have. Maintain your personal hygiene routine as closely to normal as possible. Then get dressed and act as if you’re going somewhere to work, because after all, you are! Your commute may be truncated and your daily distractions different, but shit still needs to get done! Be a contributor. If you have a husband, wife, partner, etc. who’s still leaving the home to go to work, do your best to support them by maintaining your standard morning routine. Get up with them, make coffee or tea, cook them breakfast, pack their lunch, and send them off feeling supported. This will help keep emotions in check and mitigate negative feelings that can erupt as a result of heightened global stress and potential personal resentment because they’re unable to adapt to your newly-adjusted lifestyle. Set a series of goals for each day in all facets of your life. Create daily tasks, metrics, deliverables and action items that help you maintain a high level of productivity and joy both personally and professionally. If you’ve ever wanted to do something, now is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to learn something, now is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to write something, now is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to change something, now is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to be with your family more, now is the time. If you’ve ever wanted to work from home, now is the time. If you’ve needed to find meaning or purpose, now is the time. Believe, lead and be an inspiration, because no matter how small or large your sphere of influence – you can make a difference and will impact someone. 

Today is the new tomorrow. 

Life hurls out of control each and every day, but still we always seem to adapt. In Frankl’s words, “What counts is not what lurks in the depths, but what waits in the future, waits to be actualized by you….” The admonishment is, only you can be the one to change what happens next.  Start the paradigm shift to remove the uncertainty of how you best utilize your time, while granting yourself the resolve to do unprecedented things. You have control of how you look at the world each day and how you plan to engage time. The choice, is yours. Find the temerity to go forth and make a difference because you can count on the fact that the world needs YOU to dispatch more signals of meaning and purpose starting right now! And it starts… by ditching the sweatpants