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The coronavirus pandemic disrupted our lives, our work or businesses, and global economies in unprecedented ways. Yes, this is true. However, COVID-19 also forced organizations and us to consider a different type of future.
With a redefined 2021 and beyond, it became clear that we and our businesses need to rethink our vision, a reset, not only due to the pandemic but also because sociological and technological disruptions demand it.
To paraphrase the bumper sticker, “Stuff happens.” We cannot avoid the stuff of life, but we can change how we respond to it. We all know people and friends who have become burned out or are rusting. On the other hand, we also know visionary leaders who remain on purpose, self-reliant, resourceful. Thriving, not just surviving.
2020 needs a rest. Reset life in 2021. But how can we cultivate attitudes and practices to stay focused and yet be flexible?
My life and work cover two decades worth of reflection and teaching others, especially leaders, how to overcome the odds at any stage of their lives by pursuing the growth they need to effect change in the world.
Here are 5 powerful ways to re-envision and reset your 2021.
Recalibrate the way you do work
All these global and technological disruptions demanded that we adapt socially and behaviorally. COVID-19 transformed our attitudes toward the physical versus the virtual and changed the discussion about what people can do without physically being present or putting their safety at risk.
Brainstorming and collaboration meetings will never be the same again, as do learning or training sessions. We will be meeting and teaching people more and more virtually than physically.
And even if a vaccine becomes available, why would people go back to their old ways of doing things when the virtual alternative is more cost-efficient and safe? Just like how streaming will be preferred over watching a movie in the mall. People will start having the “Puwede pala!” mindset and choose the alternative.
Understanding all of these changes will enable you to repurpose your offering, whether it’s selling your goods or delivering your services.
But while being flexible is essential to adapt to the changes around you, what will sustain growth in you is being grounded and focused.
Recall your purpose
Recall your calling and purpose. Focus every day on your “why.”
Purpose is a choice, an aim, and a practice. Focus on harnessing your gifts, passion, and most importantly, your values. Heed your calling.
Problem or possibility? Perhaps before the pandemic, you were mindlessly going about your day, doing what you have gotten used to in order to survive. Maybe it has become challenging to find meaning since the pandemic has gotten us stuck in a rut. However, instead of seeing this as a problem, look at the possibilities.
As our lives are continually redefined by the challenges of today’s disruptions, look at the potential we have to create something for ourselves. I encourage you: now is the time to challenge yourself to go beyond the bounds and grasp for meaning in your life. (READ: Finding purpose, amidst the pandemic)
This time of crisis need not stop us from growing. It can be an opportunity to engage your world more purposefully and effectively to create that impact for which you were designed.
Rethink your thinking
Growth begins with your thinking. Have you ever given a thought about your thinking: what influences your actions, your decision-making, your problem-solving?
Richard Paul said, “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”
Do you make the best decisions that would solve my problems effectively? When I say effectively, it means that your choices meet the following criteria:
- They bring positive long-term outcomes;
- They are “data-driven” – a result of carefully analyzing facts; and
- They solve underlying problems that gave rise to other issues.
Developing your critical thinking skills is a lifetime endeavor that requires you to always ask questions and continuously test the validity and reliability of your ideas or other people’s.
As you seek the truth, always remember to take charge of your own thinking and think about your thinking.
Repack your relationships
Thinking about your thinking should lead you to think about your relationships. As you look at your current challenges, how much of these come from your relationships? What kind of growth do you need to better them?
Give yourself some room to “repack” your relationships – evaluate what relationships are good and bad for your growth. What relationships take up a lot of time but are not the kinds of relationships you desire? Which relationships are toxic and counterproductive?
Not all of your relationships should be deep and meaningful. You need some dysfunctional or wacky friends as well. They can be some of your favorite people, although they might not be the ones you call during a crisis. The ones you need to unpack from your life are those pursuing activities that are not consistent with your values and may even be destructive.
On the other hand, maybe what you need is to restore some of your relationships. As you take stock of your relationships, consider your thinking behind your dynamics. If there is conflict, examine your ways and take responsibility for your share in it.
Blame no one. Own up to your faults. When you do, you might save and grow some of those relationships that you intend to keep.
Next, examine how well you listen. Our ability to listen brings so much power into restoring relationships. The quality of our thinking is directly affected by our ability to listen. There is a lot of wisdom and benefit in responding to people instead of reacting to them, and how we listen can either empower or limit our ability to respond to them.
Carefully consider how your assumptions and preconceived notions might be giving rise to biases or prejudices that keep you from hearing and really “seeing” people. Learn to ask questions and listen so you can respond to their needs.
In the end, we have to continuously ask ourselves, “Do I really want to maintain and strengthen this relationship?”
Growth comes from the inside out. Our lives are limited, and our worlds are small. To expand it, we must go beyond ourselves. This means paying more attention to other people, entering their worlds, and really getting invested in them.
Focus on being “interested” vs being “interesting.”
Being self-absorbed in this digital age can consume us, but seeking attention is self-serving and never satisfies. When you learn to live outside of your own little world, you will feel more energized.
It also means involving yourself in ideas greater than yourself – from the arts to sciences to even philosophy. Keep the curiosity and discover new things. When we’re interested in many things, there’s a better chance we will be more equipped to take an interest in what others have to say. In turn, we’ll also have something interesting to add to the conversation to keep it going, expanding, and deepening.
When you take an interest in others and in the bigger world outside yourself, you will get to see the world through a whole new different lens.
All these must start from a heart that genuinely wants to invest. It may be difficult at first, especially if you are the kind of person who tends to focus on yourself, but it is not impossible. (READ: Be interested, not interesting)
Re-visioning 2021 begins with you rising above the challenges yet staying faithful to your calling. But if you want to grow further, you will need to challenge the way you think, the way you do relationships, and how you view and value the world around you. – Rappler.com
Boris is the president and CEO of Breakthrough Leadership Management Consultancy, Inc., founder of the Project Purpose Team, Inc., a corporate educator under the Duke CE Global Educators Network (UK), and a registered Investors in People (UK) specialist.
A management and marketing professional, Boris was involved in various local and international industries for more than two decades. He is one of the recipients of the 2020 Gawad Sulo Award, for his significant contribution in the field of corporate education. Boris is married to Michelle Joaquin and has two daughters, Ysobel and Julia.