Too busy to sort ourselves out?

Too busy to sort ourselves out?

Face some facts. The pandemic, in one form or another, is likely to go on for a long time. Primary schoolers today will probably be wearing masks, at least from time to time, when they are at university. A disease like Covid is versatile; it will change its infectionality, its morbidity and its composition with alacrity. It is already doing so. It will not defeat us but we will fight for a long time to defeat it. How do I know? I don’t, of course. But I suspect and with reason.

Good governance dictates that we prepare for the long haul. Humans are an adaptable species that have demonstrated their ability to challenge, to change and to triumph even when problems recur. We are learning to live in cities. We will learn to live in pandemics. But we must get ourselves organised to make the most of life, to flourish and enjoy, even when threatened by forces we cannot immediately control. We will defeat them in the end, for sure.

Look on the bright side. This is a wonderfully interesting time to be alive. The planet, the race have never been through such trauma before. Even the most educated scientists are scratching their heads for solutions. Even the highest technology is having to look back and say what are the fundamentals of life to be served and what will make our different future one to relish and enjoy?

It’s the fundamentals that we are skipping. Our minds are cluttered with incessant demands about work, family, Covid, and so on. Too busy to prioritise them, we press on with urgent job after urgent job, ignoring our purpose, our abilities, our skills, our dreams, our ambitions, our qualifications – and therefore our credible future.

In the last three years we have come across people at all levels of life and from many differing backgrounds and education who have seriously underestimated their potential. They have the resources to lead a much more fruitful and happy life than they are having now, but they are simply not lifting their eyes above the parapet and seeing the golden opportunities ahead. I’m happy to say that they were all helped to look beyond the horizon. And they have all made spectacular, unexpected leaps forward.

There was a step that they had to take to do this – a step nobody else could take for them, a step of discipline and courage, sometimes beyond what they thought they could do. That step was to re-examine the fundamentals of their life and decide what they wanted. Why do so many people resist taking that step? Are they lazy? Or frightened? Or ignorant?

Not at all. They are too busy. Too busy because they know phase one of that step is to establish who they are. That is a formidable undertaking, perhaps a trifle scary. Oh, they know they must – and they’ll do it next week, next month. But next week never comes until it is over.

It is not only a wonderful time to be alive, it is a wonderful time to replan your life and live as you want to, achieve what you would like to achieve, be who you really wish to be. But isn’t this a time of insecurity, when staying put, keeping your head down and clinging to what you have is key to survival? Absolutely not. When the world is churning it is a marvellous time to re-appraise what you want. All options are open. A new smorgasbord of work is available. Those who choose first and with informed purpose will be the winners.

To make the most of the choices ahead of you, do three things.

[1] Establish who you are. You are more than your CV says, more than your introductory summary reprises. You are opportunity. That is what you must grasp.

[2] Establish what you want and what you need. That is more than a job. It is a totally satisfying way of life, plus reward that acknowledges your courage and your ambition. If you don’t know precisely what those are, find out.

[3] Equip yourself to make ‘who you are’ produce ‘what you want and what you need’. It requires learning but it is learning on the job. Once you have your objectives it fits with them.

Do this before you desperately need a job. It is never too late to start but the closer you get to needing the next job, the smaller the list of options gets. Give yourself time and the world is your oyster. Don’t let your pressing work and business today cloud the opportunities for tomorrow.

We mustn’t be too busy to sort ourselves out.