“Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less” – Madam Curie
2020 was going to be my year – The year where I planned to start afresh in my career, the year where I was finally going to make the dream travel vacation come true and the year I was all set to take up newer adventures and challenges in life. I am certain that most of us had similar plans for the new year. It could be taking vacations or starting a new venture, moving to a new city or meeting their target goals. It has been more than 5 months that the global pandemic hit us and our entire lives have turned upside down.
Festivals, occasions, parties, events, even small family gatherings had to be cancelled. For the longest time, I was disheartened and blamed my fate for it. Only on a closer look at the events happening around us – Be it the plight of migrant workers, surge in unemployment or the fight for basic essentials, was when I realized that being blinded by near term goals and chasing the rat race diverted our minds from the most important things in life – Satisfaction and true happiness. This realization hit me only when I was able to reflect on my past journey and analyse the world around us.
Do you remember the last time you took a break and reflected on your life? Or the last time you took a stroll in the park, had a lazy Monday or a quiet Friday? When was it you took a moment to enjoy the birds chirping, appreciate the beauty of nature or cook a comfort meal for yourself?
We were all trapped in the confines of a calendar trying to figure out the next big assignment, the next career change or the next planned vacation that we never realized we were only getting lost in the labyrinth of life. This global pandemic has given mankind one of the greatest gifts – The gift of the present which has brought us an inch closer to reality and neutralized our negativity by pushing us into our homes. What seemed impossible has been achieved by a virus as never were all of humanity’s concerns so aligned. For once, we all are sharing a common enemy, battling through similar struggles and striving for the silver lining.
I believe we all can take a few hints from this global outbreak. Here are some of my key takeaways from the Corona pandemic.
- The cliché “Tomorrow is not a given” never sounded more believable – Learn to appreciate the tiny glimpses which life has to offer; these are the things that keep us grounded. The early morning walks, playing with pets, watering your plants, chirping of the birds, chatting with your loved ones, nothing is trivial. So, live in the present and do not take any experiences for granted.
- Use your time constructively: Get rid of the mindless social media activity – You can start with something as simple as limiting your time on Facebook or Instagram. Pick up a new interest, a hobby, a language, a skill or anything that has remotely excited you during your life. New interests help us to grow spiritually, improve creativity and often reduce stress.
- Focus on things that actually matter: Good health and warmth from your loved ones are factors which actually matter. We should utilize this time to connect with our families and long-lost friends even if it has to be done virtually. Deep meaningful conversations with loved ones strengthen one’s ability to form long lasting relationships.
- Reassign your priorities: When one reminds oneself that we have limited time, and the events of our world bring that fact closer to our awareness, we start to reassess – what is it that I want from life, how can I really be of use to others, how do I want to rearrange my time and my priorities. You will tend to realize that there is much you can do to get in alignment with what’s in your heart and with what brings you true satisfaction and fulfillment. It is definitely not an easy path resulting into so many people resorting to a default unplanned and mindless way of living. It takes time to reflect on our life and it takes courage to let go. What can be helpful is to find those who inspire you – Get to know about their journeys, learn and implement their teachings enabling yourself to lead a more meaningful life.
So, take life as it comes, self reflect and take charge of your actions because the real power lies within you.
And don’t forget to spread some happiness and joy along your way!