The reality that we are in an unprecedented place which none of us has ever been before is daunting, both emotionally and functionally. Coronavirus is forcing each of us to imagine possibilities usually relegated to apocalyptic movies. There is no way around the obvious: the disruption of life as we know it is here socially, personally and professionally. So what now? While we really don’t know the answer, my friends, family, peers, and clients all agree on one common theme; how can I get control of something in my life when everything seems out of my control? That is more than a fair question and while I am not in any way proposing that I have a perfect answer, it is my hope that I can provide some meaningful thoughts for you in your own navigation of this wildly turbulent road ahead. Here are three paths of light for creating value amidst the Coronavirus chaos.
Path 1: Appreciate What’s Being Taken Away And Make A List
The old saying, “you never miss it til’ it’s gone” has never been more relevant than now. We take so many things for granted in our daily lives and now many of those things are staring us right in the face. As we grapple with supply shortages, event cancellations, closings, and limited or blocked access, each of us is forced to address the value of these things in our lives. We are asking what really matters now. Connectivity is being cut-off through social distancing as we are challenged to limit touch and physical closeness. Activities and events are being cancelled, abruptly ending legacies, dreams and in some cases, a lifetime of hard work. Everything from meeting for an after work drink and trip to the store to spring break vacations and family gatherings have been brought into question. These are things which we just “planned and did,” yet now are pausing to completely reconsider, eliminate or change. Coronavirus is providing us an opportunity to take stock of that which we take for granted. Why not make a list as you come across these things and ask yourself why you value them now and what impact they are having, positive and negative? This crisis will eventually be over or at least greatly limited in scope. What then will happen to our individual and collective appreciation for life, living and connecting?
Path 2: Connect And Share More Meaningfully
The school closures, event cancellations, travel restrictions and bans are the new norm with more potentially forthcoming. Spring break and the early part of summer with the free time that comes with it is hanging in the balance. Work and school disruptions will offer massive blocks of fluid time as we re-adjust spring break plans and to children at home taking online classes. What will you do with this time when you’re physically closer to your family, perhaps more than ever before? With social distancing also comes personal closeness with oneself as well as those we live with and near. Coronavirus is providing an opportunity to reconnect in ways which might just offer greater meaning, unity and sharing. This crisis is on our doorstep with the same ferocity as our neighbors across the globe. There is a common pain, fear and frustration we are sharing. Why not turn this into an opportunity to safely meet, dialogue and chat in our own homes and small groups as well as through the technology so easily available to us. What if we could tell more stories, ask more questions of one another and allow vulnerability to peer its head out as we grapple with this unified sense of what’s next? Do it and document it. Make meaningful dialogue happen and ensure you remember what it felt and looked like, because when normalcy returns, you may not want to miss what value you just gained from the chaos.
Path 3: Assess Your Health – Physically, Mentally and Financially
Coronavirus has introduced a new standard for what it means to be sick. As global financial markets plunge, healthcare systems become overwhelmed and we are plastered with daily news; the health of our minds, bodies and bank accounts are at risk. How we prepare, manage and move forward will dictate what the next 12-36 months look like for us individually and collectively. Coronavirus has presented an opportunity for us to take inventory and plan ahead for our future. To assess where we are today, strategize for a healthier tomorrow and define what’s realistic. The truth is, none of us are alone in this. Coronovirus will affect all economic and social corridors, albeit it in many different ways. This is a chance to reflect and address what we often choose to ignore because it’s just not fun sometimes. But imagine what we could learn on our own and from one another.
About Al Emerick
Al is a human connector, self-proclaimed positivity junkie and the founder of ValueMapping®. Helping people, business and society clarify and powerfully articulate purpose, vision and strategy is his driving life-force. Through workshops, seminars, speaking, and training, ValueMapping’s patent-pending system and approach reaches across all sectors serving Fortune 500 companies, non-profit, small business, communities, and individuals. Al’s life mission is to give people the opportunity to pause and breathe, so they can achieve greater happiness, fulfillment and appreciation for their own value and the value of the people, places and things around them.