Updated: May 26
We all come in different shapes, formed by the experiences of our lives: the choices we made, the good moments and the bad, the successes and the failures, the mistakes and the happy moments. That shape was also influenced by external factors: from the influence of friends and family, to the state of the world we grew up in, to politics, climate, and more. And up until a few months ago, that shape was pretty well-defined.
Now imagine that shape coming into full explosive impact with the force of the current crises: the brutality of the crisis puts everything back into question. The shape you once were, is now split up into a myriad of smaller elements, all up in the air. And what you do now - during this moment of floating weightlessness, will very much determine your new shape once life picks back up.
You can get frustrated about everything being “up-in-the-air”, or you can look up at all of the particles that make you “you” and observe each piece individually. You now have the unique opportunity to see all of the elements from a completely different vantage point, allowing you to decide how to reconnect the pieces, maybe giving some pieces more importance than they previously had.
When our personal shape explodes into particles, we can stay closed and panicked, waiting for the elements to reform on their own, before we peak back out of our protective shells. Or we can open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds and realize this strange time offers perspective, discernment, and an opportunity to cleanse and better ourselves - an opportunity to seize.
The word crisis comes from the Greek "to separate, to sift" which means to pass judgment and to select only what is worthwhile.
But how do you know what to select and focus on? No one else can tell you. No one is an expert in “you,” just like no one is an expert in navigating a Covid-19 crisis, or many other unexpected crises for that matter. But talking it through with trustworthy partners that are also open to the opportunity of questioning will get you well on your way. Those future success-stories that will have navigated successfully across this monumental crisis will have acknowledged they did not have the answers but will have surrounded themselves with people they trusted. They will have listened and communicated in transparency. This is a moment where it is ok to let your guard down, and open up to your trusted partners. You might be surprised by how much benefit can come out of that. Even the effort of transparent communication starts to set a new shape.
Remember that a crisis is a moment of opportunity in which creativity is a key leader. Since everything is up in the air, this is the time to rethink, rewrite, redesign, with less judgment or roadblocks. At no point will anyone say “but this is how it’s always been done.” Remember that when everything is up in the air, there are no right or wrong answers. There are only options.