I have been trying to find time to post something for months. A lot has happened since I last wrote and there is so much that I want to talk about. However, as I sit today (finally) trying to clear the cobwebs in my head and struggling to focus my thoughts, the only thing I can think about is the pandemic that has ‘literally’ taken the world hostage and locked people in their own homes.
First, I want to pay homage to all the people who have lost their fight against this virus and send my prayers and wishes to all those who are fighting it as I write. Strange, isn’t it? How a problem can unite people? Come to think of it, when was the last time we selflessly prayed for someone we didn’t know? Probably during natural calamities and crises only. We are so engrossed in our own battles that we have forgotten the importance of basic things like freedom, health, and peace of mind. We stretch our mind, body, and maybe even souls to achieve success in our careers and it takes a near-invisible virus to teach us the significance of the truly important things in life.
Like all of you, I have been at home since the lockdown. While I have managed to stay in touch with my friends and loved ones, I have also witnessed how fear has managed to manifest itself in their thoughts and actions. Some are fearing for their survival while others are facing the psychological impacts of losing their freedom to do what they want. It makes me wonder, what if we started valuing all that we have and use it to create a life that we love and cherish as opposed to the mindless pursuit of undefined success.
Today, I will share some lessons that I learned from this pandemic that I will apply to my career. Today, I will not offer any career coaching or suggestions but will resolve to become a better version of myself.
Technology doesn’t connect me – I connect myself with people..
One of the biggest things I realized during this crisis was the importance of human connection. Being cut-off from the world and despite having the technological tools to connect, most of us felt lonely. The reason is simple. Technology, that was supposed to be one of the tools for communication, evolved into being the only tool we used. The result? Diminishing human connections.
I am using this time to get back in touch with everyone I know and re-connecting with them. I am using technology but only as a tool to connect with people again.
I will take proactive decisions in my life as opposed to reacting to situations..
If India is seeing comparatively lower confirmed cases of the virus, it is because of the proactive decision taken by our Prime Minister. It was a difficult decision to make but he relied on the data coming from around the world and made a decision rather than ‘waiting and watching’ – something that many of us are guilty of.
So, I resolved to upgrade my knowledge and learn a new skill during this lockdown. I will not allow myself to get stuck in the never-ending ‘What-If’ loop. I will think about the bridge when I get there and have already picked up a new hobby and joined an online course to learn something new that will add value to me as well as my profession.
This situation also taught me that sometimes it can be too late to make yourself stronger when a crisis looms over your head. Hence, using this period to become better will not just prepare me for the life post-crisis but also keep my mind occupied during this period keeping unwanted thoughts at bay.
Regular Self-Reflection is Crucial..
When I was younger, I used to wonder if putting criminals in jails actually changed them as individuals. While it did keep them out of society, did it change them too? As I grew up, I discovered that many criminals took the time of prison statement optimistically to self-reflect and make changes within themselves. Hence, when they got out, these changes manifested in their behavior, making them changed people (for the good). On the other hand, there were criminals who spent that time pessimistically – plotting and scheming their next crime.
I am not comparing the jail term to a lockdown, but we all have some time on hand now. Using it optimistically to self-reflect has taught me so many things about myself that I had forgotten due to my busy life. I re-discovered new strengths and weaknesses and have already started working on fortifying the latter.
I also realized that going forward, I will make this a habit. I will lock myself down for a day (at least) now and then, dedicated to myself, taking care of myself, thinking about my progress as an individual and list the areas of improvement while acknowledging my achievements.
Before I go…
I know many people who have started exercising regularly, meditating, during the lockdown and eating healthy food to keep their immunity levels high. These are good habits and if you continue them even after this crisis tides over, then you would have gained something even during one of the worst times. That is the power you hold. While you cannot control external situations, you can control how you respond to it. You stay strong, persevere, and use this time to patch the chinks in your armor. I will be writing to you again soon and this time it will be more about specific things that you can do for your career. Until then, stay safe and stay positive.