Our future, I believe, depends largely on what we do, in the now. Covid 19, as my colleagues reflect, has shown us flames! But humanity is no stranger to these kinds of fires. Maybe what we all need is a gentle reminder that for decades, well before the notions of physical distancing and working remotely became buzzwords; humanity tucked down and prevailed to succeed two world wars, several economic depressions, and a flurry of never seen before natural catastrophes. The truth is that there have been many a crisis before this strain of Coronavirus and sadly, there will be others yet to come. But for now, we owe it to ourselves to craft a plan to create and to extract existential value from the remaining five months of 2020, and beyond.
So, what does this mean for those who are juggling the conundrum of shuffling from the bedroom to the new boardroom, the one that has been strategically set up in the dining room? The behavioural scientist in me will tell you that our brains thrive on elasticity and that we can reinvent our neurological pathways to underpin our cognitive capabilities for success, by being deliberate and purposeful in our actions. We can find meaning within this new way of living. This psychologist in me will also tell you that this year is not lost nor is it wasted. We have everything we need, inside of ourselves, to live through the rest of this year successfully.
Blow that half time whistle and start the clock on the second half of 2020. Here are five simple ways to recognise and create everyday value-based opportunities to help you make meaning for 2020 and beyond.
- 1Have fun and licence yourself to enjoy everything that you do. Studies have shown that happy hormones; dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins when released into our bodies set the scene for how we engage with ourselves and each other. Use this chemical cocktail to help you derive joy from your activities, whether you’re drafting a report or feeding your toddler.
- 2Organise your chaos and plan your days with manageable outcomes. You know better than anyone the pockets of time that best feed your soul. So, if that 5km jog at 11am is more meaningful than the begrudged 8km 6am battle; shift your schedule around. Take the kids with you, you will all be better for the sunshine and fresh air. Element
- 3Be present and stay focused on the things that you can control. Internet connectivity will fail you when you need to host that interview, the network will fall over halfway through your EXCO meeting, where the most frequently asked question will be “Can you hear me?”. Load shedding levels will regrettably start to look like lockdown levels and vice versa. Through all of this, the only thing that you have control over is how you choose to respond. Control and own that response.
- 4Accept that physical distancing and social distancing are two different concepts. You must continue to be responsible by staying away but please, remain connected. Facetime your family and friends. Call your colleagues. You will be so glad that you did.
- 55. Lastly, liberate yourself from the perception of another’s perfection. Free yourself up to engineer and appreciate the best version of yourself for yourself, where you do you!
Most importantly remind yourself of your inner strength and resilience, make the time to reconnect with that which is inside of you. I wish you peace in all that you do.