We’re halfway through the year… and what a year it’s been!
I’m sure if someone had described this six months ago, you’d never believe them -- that we’d be living at a distance from our loved ones, taking guidance from the government about where we go and whom we see, our kids off school, home-working as the norm and that we would be queuing to get into shops. This list of unforeseeable circumstances goes on as long as the queue at the shops!
Despite (or because we are) coping with a world-wide health crisis, we’re also seeing societal issues breaking through in new surprising ways. Conversations around racial equality and equity in business and at work are happening in a way I’ve never experienced. Whilst this may bring discomfort for some, it is in this discomfort that we can start to see some real, meaningful change. Conversations around the environment and climate change are re-emerging at a new level too, as we’re finally able to witness first-hand the air quality benefits of reduced air and car travel.
So, as we are slowly but surely moving into a new phase, now is as a good a time as any to imagine how your second half of 2020 might look. What have you learnt about yourself in 2020 so far, and how do you want to shape the rest of your year as a result?
“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” Dave Hollis
There’s been a lot of talk about the ‘new normal’ and what that might look like. Whatever you think of that phrase, it’s clear that life as we know it has changed and cannot go back to the way it was. Neither do many of us want it to.
My clients have cited many things that they’ve noticed in lockdown: new ways of doing things and new ways of being, from more quality time with family to the opportunity to appreciate and experience nature more readily. From working at a more manageable rate, to travelling less, being more present, and finding themselves more inventive. There have also been changes that aren’t so positive, those many things we won’t want to keep in our next, new normal.
The key in all this is a common clarity amongst my clients around things that haven’t been serving them for a long time, all that they’ve been tolerating for fear of not knowing how to do things differently, fear of change and fear of how their businesses may be affected.
On a more macro level, the concerns and issues they have been fighting have come to the fore: weighty and important climate issues and social issues around diversity and equity. We’re seeing a new momentum, a movement, and hearing a collective voice to address these world issues. New voices are being heard. And, whilst my clients may not be ‘activists’ they are recognising that they do and can have a part to play. They are seeing how they can use generate action and intention within their sphere of influence, no matter how small or how large, and how they can contribute to the collective to make a difference.
There is gift that we can all take from all of this. We are in the prime position to design and execute in a more meaningful way how we will now show up in the world and how we will shape the world in which we want to exist.
So, as we enter the 2nd half of the year, take a look at how you want to be.
Look at your personal life: what have you noticed and learnt that you love and want to continue? And in the same way, what new habits or ways of being have you developed that you will decide to let go? How do you want to be with your loved ones and similarly with those you encounter in your work?
Now look at your work: what are the changes / adaptations you have had to make to cope that you find serve you well, and you want to continue? What are some strategies you have employed that you want to take forward? And, what are the working habits and actions that don’t serve you and the world you want to inhabit? What can you do to let those go?
As you look wider, what have you faced in the world that made you stop and think? Where is there still space for you to listen and learn, and what action do you want to take, and habits do you want to develop, that will help us all move towards a better and more equitable world?
2020 has provided us with an unavoidable re-set. We have been forced to make drastic changes – there are ones we liked and ones we loathed. Regardless of your old normal, your NOW normal and what will turn into your new normal -- take this chance to be really intentional about how you want to be and what you want to see for yourself, your life, your work and, the world.