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  • Writer's pictureDr. Mark J. Britzman

Continuing to Pursue the Good Life Post Pandemic!

The candle of our lives is burning. Many of us have more yesterdays than tomorrows, and it becomes imperative to set yourself up to have the best day possible. However, our flames have flickered as the pandemic continues to rampage throughout our community, country, and beyond. Losses accrue in the form of collective sorrow. Many grieve loss dreams for healthy living and freedom to spend time with our loved ones, contributing to increased isolation, anxiety, and health challenges.

Adversity seems to cast light on the character of our citizenry, including political leaders. The obvious conclusion that when called upon, many of our leaders were not willing to do the right thing, especially when no one was looking, or it cost them more than they wanted to pay. As a psychologist, I have worked in the trenches and have directly seen the devastating emotional impact of COVID-19.

Thankfully, the everyday heroes in our lives came to the rescue of Americans. They have improved our moral landscape by seizing opportunities to help others in need. They often march into our lives without a drumbeat and point to the blue sky with their loving gestures. We can all indeed keep hope alive, and there are many willing to make our world a better place.

There are numerous life lessons because of the pandemic but pursuing the good life and taking control of our focus, attitude, and choices is something we can do. Loving your neighbor cannot be a soundbite, but rather a way of life!

The process of seizing the day necessitates an inner strength that is fortified by developing a positive mindset, cultivating a healthy support system, and treating your mind, body, and soul with compassion, loving-kindness, and respect. Positivity and optimism is the key to transform your thoughts into an I got this, let’s go” attitude.

My new book, Pursuing the Good Life: From Surviving to Thriving, intend to help you interrupt unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaving and jumpstart a journey on an exciting path of possibilities to stretch the edges of your potential and pursue the best life possible. These practical tips can help you set yourself up to have the best day possible.

· Begin your day by noticing what is going right and focus on blessings that illicit gratefulness.

· Seize opportunities to help others and doing the right thing even when no one else is looking.

· Make choices that strengthen your character by aspiring to be trustworthy, respectful, fair, caring, and generous.

· Healthy and loving relationships have the most potential to facilitate sustained joy.

· Find meaning, purpose, and passion in your work and volunteer endeavors.

· Be reminded that we all have needs related to wanting love and belonging, empowerment, fun, freedom, and good health

and that adversity can strengthen resilience.

The story of your life is unfolding. There are no inconsequential choices, meaningless moments, or disposable days. This article is an invitation to step out of survival mode and move toward a compelling narrative where you are thriving in life. The adventure entails cultivating key character traits that will unleash your gifts and talents in a manner that inspires hope and possibilities, moving you toward increased well-being, meaning, and purpose in your life.

Thankfully, tiny changes can ripple into a significant life transformation. The key to effective change is having a vision and a goal for self-improvement and emphasizing the optimal process that jumpstarts you into action. A small behavior change can lead to a cascade of successes. In contrast, doing more of the same can often lead to missed opportunities and regret. Your daily habits can be your gift or curse. The key to developing healthy habits is often planting a seed that emanates from a bit of choice or shift sustained over time—the benefits of lively change compound into significant consequences in all major life tasks.

Your life is a precious gift. The combination of being grateful for what is going right and having a sense of hope and encouragement to stretch your comfort zone is powerful. As a result of your legacy, the world will be a better place because of your positive energy, loving-kindness, and using your skills and talents in a meaningful fashion.

It has been said, “The pain of regret is far greater than the pain of self-discipline.” I believe that to be true. Your life story is unfolding, and I appreciate being a facilitating force on your journey as you pursue the good life.

Dr. Mark J. Britzman, Ed.D.

Licensed Psychologist

Britzman, M.J. (2021). Pursuing the good life: From surviving to thriving.

Manchester Center, VT: Canoe Tree Press.

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