Fear of missing out, disconnection, unemployment, loneliness, boredom. How is Character completely invulnerable to the Covid side effects?
"The world has stopped," they said. "We can't connect to others." The worse side effect of a pandemic is a paralysing fear. The general belief that a virus has turned life upside down – for the worse. Death and confusion were a given. Now the economy, confinement, job market, wellness, mental health. All those effects we weren't quite prepared for.
Many people became ill, depressed, unemployed – conditioned by and obsessed with the complications of it all. And worse than the feeling of having life being suspended was the idea that only the good things had been interrupted. We often failed to look at new opportunities, the rise of remote working, CO2 emissions going down, wildlife thriving and the natural world coming into balance. And most of all, many still fail to focus on what this all means from now on.
Avoiding risk VS seeking purpose
Those who develop Character intentionally, find ways to reframe reality in a way that is productive for them – and only then respond to it. They have an attitude of (re)creation, rather than reaction. They are the ones who created new ways of staying connected, found new hobbies and learnt new things during the pandemic. Who looked at the world with a macro lens and observed how the bigger picture behaves. They are now aware of a new reality, with a new appreciation for moments, circumstances, activities, people and places.
They have learned how to create paths through and around obstacles, to create a new version of reality. A version of reality that became, at some point, more enjoyable than before. They became a better version of themselves, both as cause and consequence. Character became stronger. And the stronger it becomes, the more evidentthe outcomes.
What does Character have to do with it?
Staying safe during a pandemic required being calm, discerning and caring. While being resilient, focused and disciplined helped keep track of tasks and priorities in a new, blended reality. These same character qualities would help a doctor at work, a mother at home, a student in class. Regardless of generation, role and context, people with Character have shown up and stood out during the pandemic. New businesses, new networks, new courses, new connections. Every time there was a glimpse of 'normality' in the outside world, it was seized, appreciated, lived smartly. And then in again, until the next air bubble came up. These are the ones who will keep showing up and standing out no matter what, because they work on themselves before their circumstances. They know they create their circumstances according to how they think, behave and relate in each moment.
Now, there isthe resistance to 'going back to normal.' Because 'normal' is no longer the norm. We are somehow enjoying this mix of realities. Living life and mildly moaning at first world problems so they won't look like just the great excuse they are for about anything. But the day is coming to turn things downside up again (for good), and many are already focusing on newfound fears.
Those who develop Character intentionally – who deliberately shape their journeys – know that nothing will be the same as before. It is time for us all to use the tools we learnt duringlockdown. To try them in the world and be more of who we found out to be.
One of the many pandemic life lessons was that attitude did make a difference in thriving through the challenge. Qualities such as flexibility, open-mindedness, enthusiasm and collaboration kept society bubbling underneath a mask of crisis and fear, and so many incredible habits and things took shape.
The pandemic was dramatic for a few and challenging for all. But some took the challenge as an opportunity to grow and learnt how to sail through it sooner than others.