It’s half-time

With most European countries cautiously exiting full lockdown, I consider this a good point at which to gather a few conclusions mid-way.

This crisis has been trying in every way imaginable. Business has been massively shaken. (Forget disruption. This is equivalent to rupture!) Personal connections have been strained past what we thought tenable. Values have been put to the test more than once.

Everyone’s true colors have been exposed: at work (from home), at home (also from home), personally (still at home). It can be very scary when you’re faced with yourself and your loved ones in lockdown, for many many repetitive weeks that will not end.

After an initial collective freak-out over the fact that we were all confronted with each other (and ourselves) on very close quarters (I consider myself infinitely lucky to have been forced to keep my too-big-for-one-person place last year), I have observed a new resilience unfold in us all. It has helped us adapt at great speed (globally speaking) and take this pandemic step by step, carefully finetuning along the way.

Only now do we realize, that most of us have been living simple lifestyles, not only relying on essentials, but finding new pleasure in them, too. Luxury has also been redefined. (In my case it was a specific sort of organic lentils. But hey, who really needs organic in a crisis, right?)

We are in the midst of a global cleanse.

Naturally, our business environments are also completely different now. Digital working sessions and the absence of the commute free us up for breakfast with the family or a coffee with a loved one before work. There is more time for connection. And connection is deeper. (At least I hope so for everyone.)

A few of us might even finally understand what their partner does all day.

I felt very self-conscious during my digital meetings in our first weeks, with my partner in the next room, acutely aware of everything I said and how I said it. Would he think I’m crazy talking about value and impact all the time? Do I repeat myself too much? (On a few occasions I had to brief and rebrief on a daily basis. Hello repetition! It was nerve-racking.)

After two weeks, it finally wore off. That’s when he decided to share with me a few weird (endearing is his word) knacks I have.

We laugh about it (now).

I put them on my personal self-watch list, with a high priority 😉

In our personal lives, friendship became more important and selective. Which friends did you actually make an effort to keep up with? (We had cyber aperitivo every Saturday.) It turns out, we keep the friendships that truly bring us joy. Marie Kondo would be so proud.

Oh, and of course, let’s not forget the uniform cleanse we all went through.

Did anyone actually wear more than 5 pieces of clothing on rotation? (If so, please email me. I’m dying to understand why.) (Just realized – I have a colleague who actually went full-outfit for every meeting. That’s commitment – not judging though.)

Now that we recognize these new routines, will we be able to turn them into habits? Or will we fall back into the old normal of pre-corona? Can we fall back, even?

I believe we have the capacity to form these new habits. We need more consciousness in all aspects of our everyday. Our new normal needs to be focused, attentive to detail and freeing. It needs to be simple and humble, while still enabling healthy ambition.

The cleanse is not over yet. This summer is just the beginning to showing just how much we as a human race can move forward.

It’s often said in business that change is against human nature.

I disagree. I think it is essentially IN our human nature to continuously evolve, adapt, transform, grow and transcend. Our habits are what stop us.

This cleanse (the new positive term for the corona crisis) is both global and individual. We are responsible for our part in both. This cleanse will give new meaning to community. And let’s remember: A community is a collective of individuals.

With that I leave you, dear friend – hopeful.

As always, I close this email with an open invitation:
What are your thoughts on the subject?

Photo by Vitalii Pavlyshynets on Unsplash