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The Pandemic Needs Two More Years: Here’s Why

The past few weeks I have been delivering my new keynote, Reintegrating Post Pandemic: Strategies to Harness a Brighter Future, and it’s been interesting receiving the audience’s feedback.

Like with most sessions, you never know which lesson or part of your story will resonate the most and as you progress, you always try to keep building on your strongest content.

Recently, I introduced a new principle to consider as we navigate this next phase of life with the pandemic and given the amount of incredible feedback I received from it, I wanted to share it with you here.

We just crested the two-year mark, and most people are looking to get back their feeling of “normal”, but although we are starting to reopen at the two-year mark, I am asking you to give it four years.

Here’s what I mean.

When I acquired my spinal cord injury (SCI), I remember sitting down with my therapy team who advised me on what to expect in my recovery process navigating living with an SCI.

In your first 18 – 24 months you will likely experience the biggest challenges, changes, and growth while you navigate your new reality and the unknown.

Then, between year three and four, things start to level out as you gain a better understanding of your body, what works and doesn’t work, and this is when you begin to truly settle in terms of your recovery.

It was ironic that as my team stated, I found the next chapter of my life right around the four-year mark. It took that long for my body to finally “settle into a groove” and learn that “this is where I will be” in terms of my ability to recover and walk again.

(Ps. I have still made several tremendous improvements since then, but looking at the past 15 years, that first four years was the bulk of my recovery.)

When the pandemic first hit, this popped into my head immediately. Like acquiring an SCI, overnight everything changed. As the world shut down completely (like my life did), I knew there was no way we were flipping the switch back on a few weeks or months later.

In my head I kept thinking “give it four years”.

The same theme has occurred multiple times in my life.

When I was 19, I transitioned out of racing dirt bikes to pursue freestyle motocross, and I was 23 that I finally started to find my groove and was performing at my best. That was four years.

The Olympic and Paralympic cycle is a four-year cycle. I made Team Canada in 2010 after the Vancouver Paralympics, and when I competed at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia in 2014, I reached another peak and transition in my career experiencing another four-year cycle.

From the time I started my corporate team building program in 2015, the Sledge Hockey Experience, to the time I was just starting to work out all the kinks and nuances that make the program run smoothly, it was in 2019, after having a successful year promoting the program during the 2018 Paralympics in Beijing, that I started finding my groove. It was another four-year cycle.

Finally, as I have grown delivering keynotes and workshops, I have experienced a similar trend. I have been delivering keynotes since 2010, but in 2016 I went “all in” on speaking. From 2016 to 2020, before the pandemic, I had delivered 54 live presentations. That was four years. Since March of 2020, I have delivered 85 presentations in a two-year window and had the best year of my career, ever. The turning point was at the four-year mark.

(Ps. If you are looking for a keynote speaker for an upcoming event, check out this video on The Hero Mindset)

When I look back on the last 20 years of my life, there has been an incredible pattern show up that it takes roughly four years to find your groove, figure things out, and get yourself to a place where this is your new normal and the next chapter of your life truly begins.

I am well aware that this may not be the case for everyone, however, as we look to reintegrate our lives post pandemic, I believe there are many people who are heading back out into the world and still have expectations that things should be different, they should be somewhere else personally or professionally, and as a result, mental health, productivity, relationships, and business continue to suffer and it’s all because of a mindset in how you view your situation.

My favourite thing to do is help people shift their perspective by focusing on small things that make a big difference to become a hero in your own movie.

Today, I am asking you to consider shifting your perspective in where you see yourself in this journey we are on, and instead of having high expectations today that things should be a certain way, ask you yourself “Can I give it four years”?

How different would that make you feel? How might that relieve pressure from your expectations? How would that change your plans or your strategy in how you view where you are today and what’s ahead?

Though we all want the pandemic to be over, consider making a small shift that you are still in the process of figuring things out, and that that’s ok.

As we continue to navigate this transition and the unknown, I am asking you to give it four years.

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you succeed:

Writing Your Next Chapter

How to be Patient Managing Change

How to Say “No” and Maintain Your Boundaries

Whenever you are ready here are the 3 best ways I can help you:

Get a FREE copy of my autobiographyStill Standing: When You Have Every Reason to Give Up, Keep Going (here)

Looking for a speaker for your next event? Watch Kevin’s keynote reel on The Hero Mindset (here)

Interested in team building? Come play and and learn more about the Sledge Hockey Experience (here)

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