Funny, how life changes. One minute it was January and we were worried about the fires far away in Australia and the next, it’s April and we’re worried about whether to wear a mask and go line up for toilet paper at the local grocery store.
Our lives – once broad, sprawling and mobile – are now smaller, focused and entirely contained. Stuck at home with only our screens to connect to the outside world, we have no choice but to adjust to a rapidly changing set of circumstances and an unknown world ahead.
Long before today’s global pandemic, Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute? advised: “It is a great victory if you learn how to survive in today’s hard times; it’s an even greater victory if you help someone else survive and find meaningful work.” And perhaps that is the challenge for each of us right now.
Fashion designers are making masks, automakers are making ventilators and distilleries are making hand sanitizer. Anecdotally, we know a chef who has learned PowerPoint; a financial planner who has learned to cook; a lawyer who is learning to code. Grocery stores are sold out of yeast, because it seems everyone on Instagram is learning to bake their own bread.
These may be temporary measures or even diversions, but once we innovate, there is no going back. The skills we learn now will inform the decisions we make in the future. If we can set aside our immediate struggles for yeast, toilet paper and hair colouring services, we can use this time of global retreat to visualize the parachutes that will carry us to a softer landing.
What will victory and survival mean to you? A clean bill of health, of course, but how might your relationships change once we’re all released from isolation? If you could not do the job with which you began 2020, what job would you wish to do? How can you shift this scenario to position you for a better future than the one were previously headed toward?
Think about victory in terms of how you will contribute to the survival and welfare of others. Hint: stay home and respect the public health instructions!
This time of retreat is ideal for reaching out to a professional for advice on how to set up a business once everything is back up and running again, or how to prepare your finances for a career pivot.
Vexxit can virtually connect you to an accountant or financial planner (who is working from home!) and who understands what Mr. Bolles meant when he said, ”The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horses to ride.”