What is a wake-up call? When you consider it, there are many different types. According to Merriam-Webster, a wake-up call is something that serves to alert a person to a problem, danger, or need.  

The wake-up calls you get when…

  • your alarm awakens you in the morning 
  • you get up from a good night sleep to find that your favorite sports team lost the night before (thanks, Ohio State)
  • a news story breaks from your local community or country 
  • a longtime friend that you haven’t heard from in years passes away suddenly 
  • you are awoken in the middle of the night with chest pains 
  • the CEO informs your company that you lost a strategic deal 

As I’ve reflected on starting 2021, all of these types of wake-up calls have happened to me. How about you? What is the most significant wake-up call you have received over the past couple of months?

The last few weeks have already shown us that the calendar may flip for the year, but the world never stops. You don’t need me to reiterate the news headlines that have swarmed us already in 2021. There have already been numerous wake-up calls to individuals, communities, and our society. If we can’t avoid these events, then how do we deal with them as they occur? 

Last week, we had the opportunity to launch our first podcast of 2021 entitled Driving Change – The Longevity Plan with Dr. John Day and Jane Day. I was fortunate to sit in the Day’s home in beautiful Park City, Utah this past fall to interview them. In the podcast, we learned from Dr. Day and his wife about seven life-transforming lessons they learned from studying and spending time with a select group of Centenarians in rural China.

As I’ve since reflected on their book, interview, and time with the Days, I wanted to share how one of the seven lessons they speak of can help you manage the wake-up calls that are guaranteed to happen in your life. These events can and do have a life-changing impact on our short and long-term health outcomes. The lesson that I’ve often reflected on is principle #3 – Build Your Place in a Positive Community.       

Notice some of the keywords – build, place, positive, community. Community means different things to different people, but it is described at a basic level as “the people with whom you surround yourself.” Do you surround yourself with positive people that help you build a positive place? Unfortunately, current events don’t allow us to be in person with community and fellowship as often as we would like. Nonetheless, we can be intentional about who is around us, even if our current situation is more virtual than face to face. 

Don’t allow yourself to be surrounded by persistently negative people. Life is too short to be trapped by this type of negative energy. The self-reflection piece is to ask yourself, are you a negative person? If you are, then think about this quote from the Longevity Plan. 

“When we decide to engage in the world with positivity, it seems that positive people appear all around us.”

Here is the take-home point for our personal and professional lives. If we surround ourselves in a community of positive people, there is no doubt that they help us absorb the impact of the wake-up calls that are destined to happen to all of us in 2021. If you want to live longer and healthier, then be in a community with those that share your beliefs and values. 

I don’t know about you, but I certainly perform better in a positive community. Let’s have this movement start with us in our own personal and professional lives.