6 Unexpected Lessons I Learned in Lockdown

I’ve been thinking about one of the biggest dangers of personal growth these last couple of weeks.

The danger is this: we learn a crucially important, life-changing lesson, and then forget all about it and move on with our lives.

So what can we do? Well, the first step is consciously taking stock of what those lessons are, and codifying them so we don’t forget them.

In this week’s video I reveal 6 of the unexpected lessons I’ve learned in the last 3 months…

Come see if any of mine are the same as yours. And, in the process, write down what yours are. I can’t say this enough: do not move on from this moment in time without bottling the lessons and taking them with you, or all of this pain and struggle will have been for nothing.

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Some places have opened up. Other places are beginning to open up. And I think this is an important juncture because I’ve had, like you probably, many realizations during this time.

What I’m really afraid of is that those realizations will count for nothing if we just mindlessly go into the next chapter of our lives without finding a way to cement them. So I thought I’d talk about some of my realizations and, as I do, it might evoke some of your realizations in a conscious way that you can record so that you don’t let them go. Winston Churchill once said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and carry on as if nothing happened.” Let’s not be those people.

Number one, chores are more than bores. I have, I suppose, since an early age, even when I was coming up from nothing, had this entrepreneurial philosophy in my head that the moment you can delegate things so that you can continue to focus on the areas where you’re most effective and most capable of growing what you’re doing, you should. Whilst that’s true and some people have the tendency to under-delegate – they at certain points in their life, hold on to too many activities and then they never grow – I think I have fallen into the trap of over-delegating to the point where there are things in my life that I wasn’t doing anymore that meant I lost connection to my own life. I delegated cooking to Postmates and Uber Eats for example, and doing more cooking during this time has made me feel more connected to food, to life, it’s added more variety to my life. It’s just been a good thing. Not everything should be delegated all the time.

Video games, I realized I like playing video games. I got addicted to Zelda: Breath of the Wild during lockdown. I haven’t played video games since I was a teenager. I gave it up for like 15 years because I was just like, there’s no utility to this. What’s the purpose? What is it serving? But playing them again, I’m just like, why does everything need to serve a purpose? This is silly. Not everything has to have a… Sometimes you can just do something because it’s fun. I don’t want to be one of those people that everything I do has to be contributing towards some goal in my life.

I was still doing too many things because of FOMO, fear of missing out. I think that it is interesting that many of us, including myself, have felt far more comfortable slowing down during this time because we know everyone else is too. If we were being forced to slow down, but no one else was, likely we’d feel very insecure about it. I think I would. That suggests to me that there are still too many things that I’m doing. Not because I want to, but simply because other people are doing them and I feel like, oh God, I should. I want to start making a far greater distinction between things that genuinely add value to my life and things that I’m only doing because other people are going at that pace.

I put too much enjoyment off. There are things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I wanted to go and travel India for a long time. Didn’t do it because I was always, work, the next opportunity, the next thing. And now I can’t do it this year. That really should be a metaphor for life. I don’t want to go back to putting off things that I really want to do for enjoyment because there’s another opportunity or there’s another work project.

I wrote down, “Miracle days are overrated.” And what I meant by that is during quarantine, I got done a project that I’d been putting off, that was a writing project that I decided to write 500 words a day. And in a month and a half, I got it done. This was something I’d been putting off for a long time. It got done because of consistency. Not because of a miracle day. A miracle day would be me saying, “I’m going to write 10,000 words in a day and get this thing done.” It’s not realistic. I rarely ever have miracle days, but I can reliably achieve things in my life in a relaxed way if I just focus on consistency.

Lastly, I wrote down, “I’m still too hard on myself.” For all I coach people on confidence and kindness and self-compassion, I still spend too much time beating myself up for not living up to an ideal, a standard that I’ve set for myself, and the people around me have to spend way too many calories telling me constantly to not be so hard on myself. So I still have a lot to learn there. And I realized that I cannot take for granted that I am being kind and compassionate towards myself. It’s something that I have to practice daily in everything that I do.

So those are some things that I learned. What did you learn during this time? We have to hold onto those things. It’s very, very important, or whatever realizations and epiphanies we’ve had, I promise you we will lose them. They will become not even a memory – a lesson we learned that we simply forgot.

By the way, for those of you who want to continue your learning with me, and especially for those of you who are looking at this year and saying, “I need to reevaluate what’s important to me right now, what my values are, and where I’m going, and I want to process for that, I have my At-Home Retreat that many people are trying right now. And they’re going through the entire Retreat experience that I normally do live but from home and getting tremendous results with it. I think this is an incredible year for growth and for those of you that want to invest in your growth, this is an amazing way to do it. It’s the most immersive, deep process I have for doing that. So I’ll leave a link here, check it out. And as always, I will see you in next week’s video.

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21 Replies to “6 Unexpected Lessons I Learned in Lockdown”

  • Matthew, that IS the purpose of games, is to have FUN. I don’t think ANYthing is without purpose and we should pursue things also just for JOY and FUN . Always enjoy your content

  • You’re right l most admit that this qaranutine has thought us a valuable lesson that we have learned like how make use of time, how to save, how plan, to keep in touch with family and friends and mostly to adapt, well in conclusion I give God thanks in all things, because he alone has the final say✨

  • I can relate to all six. I have a +1: I should have adopted a cat earlier. Just adopted my old-old 15 year-old cat on 1 May (in the middle of quarantine) and I’ve just realized how much her presence will help me to keep my FOMO scale down, and to insert breaks in my daily routine (yeah, she would just come to me and demanding attention – and honestly, who could resist a cat wanting to sit on their lap? Obviously nobody.)
    I’m absolutely grateful for lockdown, it had taught me and brought me a lots of lots of great things.

  • I have learned that I take care of everyone else but I neglect
    myself. I have been in self-reflection mode for a few weeks and I am taking my life at a more relaxed pace. My 2 teens don’t have any activities at the moment to be driven back and forth to. No one has to wake up at 5:30am for school in my home. We can spend a relaxed morning in our pjs playing with our puppy and singing or dancing to fun songs while making breakfast. My teens love taking our daily walks and going to the park and swinging on the swings again. I am focusing on eating healthier and have been losing some much needed weight during this quarantine. All in all, I am just enjoying this more relaxed pace. I am stopping to smell the roses and feeling the sunshine on my face. Hugs to all ❤️

  • Thank you for sharing.I appreciate your messages It has help me to grow in so many ways for example my confidence and creating friendships,and most of all I admire your self discipline. One of my goals is to develop new positive habits.My takeaway from this is to be consistent in order to achieve these goals.

  • This resonates with me so much!
    I’ve realised it’s great to nourish the friendships I have that really matter and focus on a smaller number of them and don’t have to keep spreading myself thin.
    I can enjoy lots of time amusing myself doing a range of crafts, cooking, cleaning etc and feel fulfilled. It isn’t all about being out and about.
    Also that taking it slow when dating, because we had to, builds connection and creates a foundation of friendship with added anticipation!
    Taking life more slowly is so lovely!

  • Ay, Matt.
    I’ve been following you for years now, but… Your new realizations, coupled with your new hairstyle, reeeeaally changed the image that I had of you.
    Are you single, hottie? ;)

  • I’ve been gaming too, Skyrim is the best! Play that. I’ve also learnt that I take so much for granted, spent an evening with friends just having a simple bbq and fire pit. Best evening of the year! :)

  • Hi Matthew. So true consistency is key. I have also achieved so much from consistency. A BIG one for me is not going back to putting things off!

  • These are brilliant lessons; thanks for sharing. The lockdown has taught me the importance of having savings and living in a country where the government cares about its citizens. I’ve always longed to travel and I look forward to that even more now. From all you shared, the fear of missing out touched me most deeply. I uninstalled my social media apps two weeks ago and I’ve felt so much better focusing on myself and not on all the people whose updates are constantly in my face. I intend to keep at it for six more weeks, especially now that I know I need not have FOMO about it. Those who care deeply will find a way to reach me.

    Thanks for triggering my thoughts, Matthew.

  • I agree with you. I have really learnt a lot about who I am and things I want to do. I to have put off a trip I have always wanted to take because my ex husband did not want to go. I want to go to Spain as nd see the running of t he bulls. I have wanted to since I was a little girl. 2020 is my year for growth and change. I am now getting my ducks in a row. It is so hard to find a job. It is so unfair that women who are very educated can’t find a job easily after staying home with thier children. I know I will overcome this obstacle too. I have found that to stop beating myself up about choices have made requires me to realize I am in a learning moment. I have to look at myself everyday in the mirror and say to myself your a good person. Good thing come to goid people. Then I got to my list of things I like to do or need to do and keep pluging away. If you want I can help remind you to do this everyday or you can have someone remind you. I sure wish I could delegate things to others. Your pretty lucky to have that at your fingertips. But anything that is worth it in this world we work for. I wonder who says that in thier videos all the time?

    Thanks again for sharing. You have helped change how I see the world and my worth in this world.

  • For a second I thought I heard you delegated playing video games and realized I clearly wasn’t paying attention to this video.
    While I found myself with less time because I was helping my sister care for my niece and nephew… (as she is nurse and her husband in construction)
    Things I learned:
    1) Fifth grade Math isn’t easy to teach.
    2) Teachers clearly need to be paid more.
    3) I enjoy journaling
    4) I truly can learn anything if I need to.
    5) I still don’t enjoy cooking
    6) The best memories do happen at home with family.

  • Hi Matthew,

    As a single mom the lessons that I have learned

    How hard it was for my son to do online assignments and of course helped him out as much as I could.
    I missed the connection with my friends hanging out, going out for dinner or for drinks.
    I am ready for a relationship again.
    Putting myself first sometimes and the things that I need and want.
    I have more faith now in myself and in God.

    Just wanted to add enjoy watching your videos and was wondering if you could give advice for single moms like me when it comes to the new dating world. I am not into dating sites not my thing.

    Have yourself a great weekend

  • I do fear, as things come out of lock down, and many get to enjoy the lessening of the rules if you will, that I, while young and “healthy”, as someone who is immunocomprimised, will indeed have FOMO because I will be unable to partake in (the patio drinks with friends, as example). One of the biggest hurdles for we who are immunocomprimised is restroom facilities. We won’t be using public facilities any time soon…. Which means we do not stray too far away from home. :(
    I do know I am in control over how I feel / what decisions I make, so I’ll just need to focus on what I CAN do and not on the can’t.
    But is suspect it’ll be challenging though.
    This part (opening up) I think will be the hardest part of all of this for me. We’ll see.
    One day at a time. :)

  • Thank you Matt for sharing those lessons,they are exactly what I learned from this time at lockdown.. I would add one more thing and that’s that I became more aware of me insecurities and confident enough to share them with others and therefore, work on them towards being a better person.
    We all know that everyone has insecurities but we are not quite sure. This period of time revealed them I guess.
    Again Matt you’re awesome as always and I really pray I meet you in person someday xxx

  • You are great Matthew. I like your honesty and open-mindedness. Even though I am not in a relationship you helped me understand men and myself better, the dynamic between men and women. Many thanks for that.
    I didn’t really have a lock-down here in Germany, but traveled to India many times because I knew deep inside that I have to do it when I feel like it. If anything I was reaffirmed in these times that I didn’t make a mistake by following my intuition and heart in my life and develop myself, by investing time in myself, by learning yoga, answering my soul’s yearning, answering big questions for myself about our existence and God and Good and Bad etc.
    Thank you for being you, Mat

  • Thank you, I joined your website late last year, after leaving a 37 year relationship, I’m trying to find the real me, now, after raising a family losing who I was, your website has given me a lot of things about my true self,that I hadn’t even considered, thank you, I am a beautiful lady with a big heart that just wants to be happy, I had a bad child hood of abuse and no support, so yeah I have struggled, I don’t want to struggle any more, I just want my next partner be open, honest and loving. I a very positive person and believe this is capable, Im just not very patient, as I know deep down I deserve it

  • 1) In almost three months of lockdown and no work, I never felt bored, despite I am single and live alone. Never again will I be scared by the loneliness
    2) I am really good at all the male “houseworks” (did literally everything including electrical stuff)
    3) People I considered friends are not friends.. Never asked how I was doing (I live in Lombardy, Italy) People I would never expect to do so, were caring and became real friends
    4) I learned to take risks. I realized my life is fleeing away and I have no time to waste. Being braver has started to make my life better
    5) I learned to deal with stress. Time I had gave me the possibility to focus on my weaknesses and work on developing ways to become stronger.
    6) Always see positive side to the shit that happens. Points above are the best proof

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