The term ‘2020 Vision’ usually references hindsight, the ability to look back, with the luxury of time, knowledge and experience, to see what could have been. As a result of the Covid 19 crisis, we have a new interpretation of the phrase; the opportunity to pause, reflect and to envision something new both individually and collectively. Let’s remember that the Renaissance followed the Black Death, the ‘Roaring Twenties’ came after Spanish Flu. How do we want our lives to be different in the post-Covid 19 world?
When I look back with 2020 vision, on the most challenging times in my life, they were periods of accelerated personal growth, preparing me for the new chapter that followed. Whilst I believe the current global crisis is a growing pain in the evolution of humanity, I want to use this time to renew and evolve, so in years to come, I will be able to look back and acknowledge that I did my part.
In my blog ‘8 Questions to navigate the Covid 19 crisis’ I share questions we can ask ourselves daily, questions that have been my handrails in dealing with uncertainty. The questions that follow cannot be answered quickly, they are slow burns. They are the questions I’m contemplating inside my cocoon.
What am I learning about myself?
When life challenges me, when I don’t feel in control, my reaction will range from frustration to panic. When I breathe through it, allow some self-compassion, I will observe my pattern and try to reach for a learning lens. Here’s what I’ve been discovering about myself in the last few weeks.
How can I ‘do’ less and ‘be’ more?
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve utter the idiom ‘ we are human beings, not human doings,’ during talks and workshops. And of course, we teach what we need to learn! For several years ‘do less, be more,’ has been a mantra I’ve tried to live by but never seemed to fully espouse. Like so many people, I was a spinning dervish crossing items off a ‘to do’ list and calling it living fully.
I once thought that ‘being’ was all about just going with the flow or being passive. I’ve come to realise that it is actually the opposite. It’s about instilling presence into my life, being mindful, being open to receiving, being inspired. (It’s not doing mindful, doing receiving, doing inspiration!) In the western world, we are conditioned to believe that our worthiness is dependent on our doing and our achieving. Well, maybe we are worthy by simply being.
How can I be the person I’ve been practicing to become?
I first remember using this powerful question with a coaching client who was embarking on his career in professional sports and it was a gamechanger for him, as he had a very clear vision of his career trajectory. When this crisis is over, maybe I won’t moan when stuck in traffic, sigh because of a queue at a checkout, or beat myself up because I’ve not achieved my self-imposed standards of perfection. Maybe this crisis will have moulded me into the person I always wanted to be.
How do I want to emerge on the far side of this pause/ reset?
We don’t know the timescales as to when ‘this too shall pass,’ but travel restrictions will eventually be lifted and we will emerge, hopefully, wiser from this period of retreat. A favourite meditation of mine is a ‘future self’ meditation (check out episode 15 of my podcast.) A powerful exercise I recently undertook was to write a letter to my present-day self from the perspective of my future, post-Covid 19 self. Not only was it consoling, it was also inspiring.
How do I want my life to be different post Covid 19?
We all crave getting back to normal, but in some ways, life will never be the same. We do have an invitation to question what sort of normal we want to create for ourselves in the AC (After Covid) world. These weeks have reminded me of what is truly important.
I want my post-Covid 19 schedule to more accurately reflect this renewed clarity. I have lived more simply, I’ve forged deeper connections with people I care for, I’ve planned meals and have eaten more healthily. I want to retain all this. I’ve spent less time online and watching TV. I don’t sweat the small stuff as much and long may that continue.
The original meaning of 2020 Vision refers to eyesight and visual acuity from a chart developed by Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen in 1862. If you have visited an optician you will know it. The 8th row is the 20/20, the row that a person will normal visual acuity can read from a distance of 20 feet.
Let’s remember that clarity is not certainty, clarity is how we are seeing, the lens through which we view the world. As a result of this crisis what am I seeing more clearly? Perhaps that’s the real question to ponder with true 2020 vision.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I as mentioned above do check out this article ‘8 questions to help navigate the Covid 19 Crisis’.
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