When you think about our world today, what comes to mind? Are you filled with anxiety, anger, fear, doubt? We are all without a doubt faced with a flood of emotions that characteristically pull us into one direction with higher precedence over another. Whether that is fear or facing our truth, a seer of opportunity or loss depends a great deal on our ability to mitigate our thoughts and actions as we move forward.
When I essentially started this piece, my thoughts rallied largely on our readiness to weather the aftermath of the ubiquitous COVID-19 virus. However, in a coincidental exchange of a somewhat perplex perspective, sparked a light bulb moment. What if, it's not the aftermath we should be preparing but rather the recognition that we may be living it?
It is often through the toughest of times are we allowed to reflect and grasp how we are perceived, add value or can be of higher service to a community, cause or vision. It is through these times; we have the opportunity to see what our actions have brought us and where we still have a chance to improve if not significantly overhaul in mindset and perception.
We are in unfamiliar territory, and while many will continue to cling to the thought of a return to normalcy, the real question surrounds; what we should start doing NOW, rather than WAIT to build our readiness as we continue our lives later.
The great danger of the 'wait' as I see it, is the invisible mask of our own ignorance. The 'wait' that holds us captive of our hopes, learning paths, self-development and opportunity to do better, our opportunity to create better. These are not areas that should remain stagnant by any means. Rather, it is ever so important to maintain a mindful realization of where we are in the moment and regardless of the global climate of events, continue to act in the creation of our own realization, mental awareness, physical, social and economic behavior.
The aftermath of this pandemic, at which time can return us more power over our daily lives will undoubtedly be hard and emotional for many but require us to ask the hard questions NOW. It requires us to look at our new environment, with all of its imperfections in an entirely authentic manner and ask: - Where is the need? What do people feel? How can I be of service? Adopting these simple ideas can allow us to strengthen our presence and build the will to see beyond the clutter of dire events as well as our denial.
The reality is, we're in for a hell of a mental toll and if not proactively approached, will cost economies billions and lives of the many a great deal of anxiety and unsettledness. Is this something we can avoid? Sadly, from published statistics and plain evidence on the mitigation of this pandemic from nation to nation, it is much wiser to make a conscious decision of preparedness towards our wellbeing, as opposed, to waiting for someone else to do this for us.
Remember, each one of us has a responsibility for our actions and towards ourselves. Much of our chaos, is rooted in a complete lack of accountability which in turn diminishes our ability to think proactively and mindfully.
But before I leave you, here are three essential questions I encourage you to challenge your mindset as you seek clarity:
What challenging scenarios have you had to overcome?
What skill and or abilities helped you the most as you overcome obstacles?
How do you continue to open your mind to learning regularly?
How to approach your answers:
Question 1: Here, you will look at generational shifts, gaps, disruptors, and how they influenced your life, the way you lead a team, offer a service, and inspired productivity.
Approach your answers in a quiet frame of mind. Call me old fashioned but grab a pen and paper to hash it all out. Get honest with yourself. Think reflectively and ask: What are the life-changing moments you've had to manage. The moments where your habits, along with everything you were taught was pushed. Perhaps you started a family, got a new relationship, got out of a long one, returned to school, started a new job, left one, changed a field of work, had to learn something completely new. Think, think, think...
Question 2: Here, you'll recognize your core strengths (the parts of our KSA) that always seem natural in making a dire situation better.
At this point, I implore you to make a chart of your life pushers and in each category map to your relative strength, skill and or ability. Don't worry if you find overlapping words. It'll all make more sense as you begin to open your mindset holistically. Start to really see the overlapping strengths that keep coming back to you, the ones or one that is most naturally you. That always has your back in the bad times and helps you shine in high-pressure situations. Take a good long look at it and allow it to resonate with you as being a part of who you are—your character and how you add value. Hone your strengths.
Question 3: Here, you'll reflect on your self-development as a way of living.
In this stage, if you're honest with yourself, you'll know if you're naturally inclined to self-learning and mindset development. If you're not placing as much emphasis on this aspect of your life due to time commitments or other, then this is the time to start. Self-development is a process. It doesn't happen from reading a book a week to satisfy an imaginary quota of living your best life. It's about the mindful participation in your existence and cultivation in the act of stimulating learning to learn.
Author: Nerissa J. Persaud
Special Thanks to a spark of Inspiration: Mar Groot (@storyof.mar), a well-known Instagrammer, in British Columbia, if you're reading this, thank you. It is true; great analogies come in unexpected ways.