The Power of Leadership

Executive Vitality™: Carpe Diem

Executive Vitality™: Carpe DiemI was waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to be over … waiting and waiting before I opened my beautiful new Sarto bike, which I purchased in 2019, when I was in Belgium. Sarto is a bike manufacturer based in the Veneto region of Italy. Their custom bikes are executed to a high degree of precision – they are works of art as much as they are engineering marvels. It was great fortune to have the opportunity to buy one.

The news of Covid-19 greeted me upon my return from Belgium, at the end of January 2020. I decided to wait until I could ride with my club before unveiling the new bike. So, I waited … and waited … and waited a year to open and build the bike. A whole year of hoping that the time of Covid would just end. Intellectually, I knew it was unlikely and, of course, I lived in that reality.

Somehow, my desire to give the bike a proper introduction by waiting until I could ride it with my cycling club—the anticipation of that old freedom and teamwork of riding in a group ride, hauling ass, anticipating turns, avoiding potholes, driving, sweating, and letting all my competitive, ambitious juices out on the road—clouded my ability to truly grasp the fact that waiting was not rational since it was going to be a long, long, long wait.

Yesterday finally—after a year—I took out my “new” bike (new, a year ago anyway). O M G! Why did I wait. Why?

What I learned through this experience:

  • Deferring something that is soul-nourishing is not necessarily the best choice. Sometimes we need to do now what we think we should wait to do tomorrow, especially in these strange times. Do it now!
  • COVID-19 isn’t going to just go away. I knew that; however, I was acting as if some of my old loves would be available to me without any modification. Nope. I have to adapt.
  • If I had retreated from my fantasy about life returning to normal quickly and had taken my bike out earlier, a level of joy would have been added to my life at a time when it would have been most welcome.
  • COVID-19 has cast some light on what matters and what is important for me.
  • Carpe diem.

The ride was amazing. The bike is amazing. While my values remain the same, I am seeing how fragile some aspects of life are—how easy it is to take life as we know it for granted—how the smallest tweaks or actions can bring the most joy.

I am glad I woke up and used what I have available to me now to enjoy life. I am glad I stopped waiting for something to happen to start enjoying what I have today.

How has Covid-19 changed your outlook? How have you applied your values to stay strong and to adapt?

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