It can be difficult to find focus right now. And that’s completely understandable. These are, after all, unprecedented times. Daily life for millions of people across the globe has been completely upended and sits - for the moment at least - in an uneasy mix of confusion and uncertainty.
Our natural instinct is, of course, to cling to all that we know; to rely on our preset notions of how things are ‘supposed to’ work and try to keep up the behaviours we’re conditioned to display within that system. We wrap ourselves in a comfort blanket of familiarity as we shelter in place, poring over the glut of business as usual emails from corporate service providers and streaming news conferences hoping for a timeline of when everything will be back to normal.
But what if we’re going about this all wrong? What if, instead of trying to shield ourselves with that blanket, we should be casting it aside and switching our focus towards embracing this unequalled opportunity to make genuine, positive changes?
Perhaps we could all benefit from ridding ourselves of any fixed ideas about what normal means. Remembering that it is always a relative term, and that normality is only ever temporary. The environments we exist in, build upon and thrive in are constantly changing. Sometimes our sense of normality is altered by forces outside of our control, other times it’s shaped by our own ingenuity, creativity and innate instinct to survive. In a matter of weeks, we’ve all already experienced a phenomenal amount of change in our lives – and there’s much more to come. Sure, it’s awkward, it’s messy and at times it can be uncomfortable. But for so many people, it’s also confidence-boosting, re-energising and incredibly inclusive – all things which may have been lacking in their lives before.
We have a unique opportunity to see things from another perspective, to realise not only our own potential, but also that of our colleagues, family and friends. We finally have time without the constant interruptions of normal daily life and maybe, just maybe, we can make the best use of that time by planning for a better way forward from this crisis.
So, as we wrestle with the various challenges this pandemic has thrown us, let’s allow them to be more than just something to overcome. Let’s allow ourselves the time to see – perhaps more clearly than ever before – how we present ourselves to the outside world. How we express ourselves, how we communicate, how we behave as individuals and as peers. Let’s allow ourselves the space to understand what life was ‘normally’ like and perhaps begin to truly question whether or not that actually worked for us, as well as for others.