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The other day, I caught myself dreaming “If only…”

If only I could go out to dinner with my friends…

If only I could hug my parents who are self-isolating up the street…

If only I could go out again and speak at sales conferences live…

If only I could help the first responders and tell them how magnificent they are…

If only I could save some of my favorite small businesses here in Park City…

And, of course, if only I could get a haircut! 

(Read: Is the “If Only” Syndrome Robbing You of Your Happiness?)

But then I realized, I still have a choice. I can stop obsessing about what is wrong, about what’s missing, about what I can’t do, and I can choose to start thinking about what is right, what I do have, and what I can do. 

That choice, that small shift, changed everything.

Every time in my life that I’ve chosen to believe that I had enough money, love, resources, and support to realize my dreams, I have attracted even greater abundance. But it’s not just something I’ve seen in myself. In fact, all the people I’ve seen turn their lives around happen to be the ones who change, first and foremost, their attitude. Truly, if you’re happy within, you can be happy without. 

Here are some of the 4 habits I’ve formed to practice joy daily (even while self-isolating):

1. Practice Gratitude – It’s been said that gratitude is the parent of all other optimism tools. In fact, research shows it’s physically impossible to appreciate someone or something and be in fear at the same time. Think of gratitude as the antidote to fear and feelings of lack and devote at least 15 minutes every morning to meditating on all that you are grateful for.

2. Replace Helplessness with Helpfulness – Think for a moment about the genuine joy you receive when you’re of service to others. Remember, your clients and neighbors are struggling to understand, cope, and develop strategies to move forwardSchedule time each day to find a way to contribute to not just friends and family, but to your community. Nothing provides a sense of purpose and mission like helping someone in need.

Speaking of helping others, my friend Gerhardt Gschwandtner, Founder and CEO of Selling Power, is inviting you to a FREE virtual event next week. I will be speaking on How to Lead with Empathy in times of crisis along with rock stars such as Waldo Waldman, Alice Heiman, Mark Hunter, Gil Perez, Anthony Iannarino.

With this virtual event, you will learn how to help others replace helplessness with helpfulness. Sign up here today!

3. Develop a New Routine at Home – It’s easy to get out of the “swing of things” when our daily work routine is interrupted with new stay-at-home measures. It’s easy to find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unproductive, and not-so-joyful—that’s why it’s critical to implement and stick to a new routine. For me, keeping a written schedule and daily plan with specific times for lunch and walks have been enormously helpful. Sometimes it’s just the small break you need to reframe your day and shift focus from all of the small problems to the bigger picture.

4. Enrich your Mind – Whether it’s diving into a novel or jumping on a webinar, taking a moment to enrich your mind with new information is a great way to break a negative cycle. So, with the extra time that we have on our hands, schedule 30 minutes or an hour each day to read that book you’ve been meaning to start or attend a live training for that new skill you’ve been wanting to build and give back to yourself by enriching your mind.

Breaking out of the “if only’s” is as simple as reminding ourselves of what we do have, practicing gratitude, serving others, taking time to enjoy the little things, and giving back to ourselves. Take these few habits and integrate the ones that work for you. Let me know what you add to your day and what new habits you’ve developed to practice joy, even while self-isolating.


  • Ivette Blanco Knowles says:

    Thank you Shari, as always you are a beacon of light with amazing words of encouragement! So inspirational.

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Thank you, Ivette. I am happy you feel that way. Stay safe!

  • Mary Nickerson says:

    Love this Shari. All great reminders to keep a positive and grateful mindset!

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Thank you, Mary. We could all use reminding sometimes!

  • barry myatt says:

    Not that its the same but, a common theme regarding WW 2 POWs (confinement,isolation) was the danger of self pity and a morose outlook being imprisoned. Not only have I met about 10 of them I have read at least 150 memoirs (I used to sell collectable books) The British had more experience and knew discipline was foremost, they fared better by being proactive with activities. More than once I read that some US pow’s literally just laid down and died! Many came out unscathed because they got busy, helping each other, keeping up morale, and being creative. Some places were worse than others, but on the whole it was the officers who maintained order..they were trained to do so. So some came out of the ordeal having learned other languages, astronomy, radio making by books and collaboration. A few I know of created businesses later bc they planned it while incarcerated, others just withered away.

  • Shari Levitin says:

    How interesting! Thank you for making that connection and sharing, Barry. It’s so important to be proactive when it comes to your mental well-being. This is a similar theme to what happened in the Holocaust concentration camps. You may have heard of the book Man’s Search for Meaning. If not, get it. The author, psychiatrist Victor Frankl, was captured by the Nazis in 1942 and labored in death camps until the war ended in 1945. His family was killed in the camps. Frankl’s theory, known as “logootherapy,” from the Greek word logos (meaning), holds that our primary drive in life isn’t pleasure—but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

  • Murray Pratt says:

    I am just in awe of this message Shari. I have found this time to be one of retrenchment, then reflection and now re-birth. Its a powerful message and I will endeavour to practice these principals. BTW..the story of James Stockdale – I first heard in your training comes to mind these days!
    Thanks for this

  • Hi Shari I really apreciate all your selling advices that you’re sending to my email
    Definetelly is very helpful in my selling career thank you very much

  • Piero Hidalgo says:

    Thank you Shari, this is great and very inspiring. I have incorporated practicing gratitude and meditation for about 30 minutes per day and have been doing it for the past 21 days. I have started to see the changes in my attitude, my mood and my self talk. Al in all I feel more positive and optimistic.

    Great pieces of advice, thanks Shari

  • Shari Levitin says:

    That is a great practice, Piero. Keep up the good work!

  • Shari Levitin says:

    You’re so welcome, Alfredo.

  • Shari Levitin says:

    How kind! It’s always nice to hear that my messages are well received, and I am so glad you found my training to be of good value. Stay safe!

  • Char Middlebrooks says:

    Thank you Sheri! You brought a smile to my face and structure to my day! Very motivating, as always…Stay Safe & Blessed.

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Sometimes I have to re-read my own content to stay motivated. We all learn from each other 🙂

  • Shari Levitin says:

    Same to you, Char! I am happy to hear that you’re still smiling 🙂

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