Social distancing is a challenge.
It has disrupted more than the daily rhythm of life. It has put life goals and plans on hold.
But there’s opportunity in this struggle for a new direction. Disruption also creates an opportunity to rethink what we want, make new goals, or rededicate ourselves to the ones we already have.
What do you really want? And, how well do your daily activities serve that purpose?
For me, this time of upheaval is an opportunity to spend very meaningful quality time with my kids, who will all be out of the house before you know it. I’ve had more time for long conversations with my wife, and for reconnecting with old friends.
It’s also provided me the quiet windows during the day to really think closely about my business, and what to pursue next
I care deeply about developing my leadership skills, and this is a time that will really test business leaders. I have a fantastic team of people working at Alliance, all of whom have their own families and personal concerns on their minds. It’s vital that I provide the right combination of flexibility, empathy, and reassurance so that they can be at their best.
To make it all work we also need to refine our skills at compartmentalization, so our anxieties about work, or the virus, or whatever else, don’t spill over. The ability to separate different parts of our life and keep those thoughts and feelings compartmentalized is a powerful skill in business and in life.
I’m reminded of the children’s’ fable about the grasshopper and the ant. In that story, the grasshopper wastes his whole summer playing, while ant toils away, preparing for winter. This is no summer of play, but wallowing in anxiety (or wasting our efforts on goals we don’t really care about) doesn’t help you grow. We all need to find productive outlets and invest our energies in the future we want to build.
If we gain nothing else from this crisis, I hope we all learn to stay focused on the things we can control, and set aside the things we cannot. Fear doesn’t help us achieve anything – it just clouds our judgement.
This storm will pass. I’m optimistic that when it does, we can come out stronger and more aligned with our deepest goals, than when we went in.