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How to deal with chaos and uncertainty

An alternative response to the Covid-19 pandemic

We are in the midst of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the world is in meltdown. Newspaper reports show people fighting in stores for packs of toilet paper, airlines weeks from going under, businesses & the financial markets flailing, international travel suspended and most importantly of all, lives being lost. 

If anything, this pandemic demonstrates how interconnected we are in the world and how as human beings, we may think we are alone, but we are actually impacting the lives of the people who are around us consciously or unconsciously. 

I have long been an advocate for flexible working and multi-passionate careers. I have loved the financial stability that a corporate job gave me but hated the rules, and politics that went along with it. For many people, this will be the first time that they truly get to work from home for an extended period of time and a few things will soon become apparent;

Many of our jobs, particularly if you are in the services industry do not require us to be in an office. I think this is exciting because the outcome I hope is that this realisation frees people up geographically to live where we want, whilst maintaining their jobs. 

Although personal contact is important for building relationships and rapport within teams, video conferencing helps to plug this gap. Maybe not 100% of the way, but I would say 70-80% of the way. Video conferencing does not entirely remove the need for in person interaction, but in a work context, it can plug the gap and reduce the frequency of face to face meetings needed.

I also believe that Covid-19 will have implications on how we hire people. I often hear hiring managers say that they cannot make a  hiring decision to bring someone on board without meeting them first, but with the current pandemic, many are forced to do so.

This pandemic has provided a great opportunity for many online businesses. However those of us who have or are building businesses online should not be smug, all it takes is for a bug on the internet or broadband services to be affected and virtual businesses are caught up in the same position as brick and mortar businesses are at the moment.

Whenever we are going through unexpected trials and tribulations, there is a tendency to panic and gorge on the news, which exacerbates feelings of fear. We have a choice to react in a different way, an alternative way that helps us to pull through this period more constructively. In the midst of this Covid-19 storm, now is a good time to;

Deepen your spiritual practice. Pray, meditate, journal and read things that help you get centered and transcend what you see and feel. This helps you regain perspective and a knowing that it is all part of the journey and that this time will pass.

Reflect on the lessons you can learn from this season. There are many, and because we each operate from different perspectives, each of us can see things that the other doesn’t. One of my biggest lessons, is to appreciate the life that I had up until this point. Being able to go to the gym, travel anywhere in the world, these were things I took for granted but in the age of Covid-19, these are not only luxuries but could impact whether someone lives or dies if they contract the virus.

Spread love. I have found myself feeling a stronger urge to reach out to people to check in and let them know  that I love them. I even learnt that you can do a whatsapp group call recently and I have been taking advantage of this. This is a great opportunity to deepen relationships beyond texting, a return to the good old days of calls.

Slow down. I really enjoyed not being in a rush to go anywhere. We all get caught up in that. And in slowing down we can not only see the beauty in our lives but we can reassess where we are placing our priorities. 

Learn something. Like many of you, I am a lifelong learner and so I am relishing this period as an opportunity to really get to grips with at least one of the many things on my list. This period will be the genesis of new industries, millionaires and world changers. There is an opportunity within every case of chaos and disarray.

Complete something. This is another exciting one, If you have many unfinished projects , this is a good time to complete them given that you are likely not rushing to go anywhere.

Start something. I coach many people who dream of starting their own businesses, well this is a great opportunity to do so. It could be a course, a skill, anything. This is a great opportunity to start.

As we look at ways to gain perspective, take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and maximize the opportunity in this season, my heart goes out to those affected by this virus, particularly those who have lost loved ones, and those on the front line, doctors, nurses and others who do not have the option to “work from home”.

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