Today’s constraints on our physical movements can provide the opportunity to enlarge our mental and emotional capabilities to such an extent that it may lead to a great re-invention.
Emotionally the crucible of change we are in can make us feel differently about our lives, our connections and our work.
Mentally the stress in the foundry of uncertainty will twist our thinking in one or more ways as we seek to make sense of what has happened and plans for when the constraints lift.
In many ways it will make us appreciate what we took for granted
In others as we forgo certain behaviors and have the time to ponder and ruminate on our previous days, we may question why we did certain things
We will question many aspects of our lives and we will make resolutions
And many of these resolutions in some form or the other are likely to stick unlike those we make for New Years because for 6 to 12 weeks we will be forced to do things differently day after day and this is how new habits form.
And unlike previous events like 9/11 or The Great Recession, Covid-19 is a health, financial and social crisis that is happening to every single person in the world at about the same time for at least three months.
Every one of us will adapt, evolve and meld different versions of ourselves and interact with a world of people and institutions that are different.
And while it is likely that for the majority of us the world, we emerge will be more constrained due to lower financial assets, fewer job opportunities (if we are lucky to have jobs) and many other challenges, we have the opportunity to upgrade our mental and operating system.
We may have gone into this crisis as MS-DOS and focused on the narrow corridors of ourselves but if we spend the next few weeks correctly, we could come out as Windows 10 and expanded Horizon.
So, let us use these constraints to ask three questions.
- How can I use the next few weeks to do some of those promises I made to myself I would do if I had more time? Culture to ingest, skills to learn, dreams to forge into reality.
- What is important and if I had half the time and half the choices what would stay and what would go?
- What if the opposite of what I believe is true?
The constraints we are living in cannot be changed and is out of our control.
On the other hand, our tomorrow’s self is more under our control.
Maybe instead of thinking of this as the Constrained Era of Covid-19 we reframe it as the Era of the Great Re-invention.
Of Business, Of Government, Of Society.
And of our ourselves.
Rishad Tobaccowala is the author of Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data which has been published globally by Harper Collins.