Your Perspective on Life?
In a previous post called Adapting Your Career to the Post CoronaVirus World, I discussed the idea that industries, companies, and careers will have to adapt to a new normal. Will you adapt who you are to that new normal?
This pandemic is what I call a “major moment of clarity” event.
Moments of clarity happen when something happens, either good and bad, that shakes you to the core. You wake up and see what is really important to you.
In my case, I had a moment of clarity event when I endured a near-fatal bicycle accident on July 11th of 2002. I survived a head-on collision with a Toyota Corolla where our combined speeds exceeded 50 miles per hour. You can read more about the experience in the post A Near-Fatal Bicycle Accident Was Actually a Mammoth Gift.
I want to take you through some of the ways that this has changed peoples’ perspective on life.
Social distancing is a new concept for me and I suspect it is new to most of you. Keeping 6 feet or 2 meters away from people when I am not in my house is not natural. When I walk on the street near my house in Ajijic Mexico, many of the locals are not practicing good social distancing, so I have been spacially aware and make sure I maintain my distance.
When I see one of my Mexican friends it is very common to kiss them on each cheek or hug them. I can no longer do that. When I was in a restaurant right before the city closed all of the restaurants, one of the wait staff walked up to me and hugged me. I thought, “Yikes, that was close.”
I have heard from many of you that you miss getting hugs. In fact, on one of our recent zoom community calls, one of the participants said that when this was over she was going start a hugging service.
How has social distancing affected you? Do you crave close contact with people? Do you miss getting hugs?
What about shaking hands? Are you going to feel comfortable shaking hands in the future?
In a year from now, will you be comfortable walking into a crowd at a conference or a sports event?
Social Isolation – Loneliness
We are all spending a lot of time in our houses. If you live with your spouse and children, then it may be crowded. However, if you live alone this can lead to a lot of loneliness. Vivek Murthy, the former Surgeon General of the U.S., wrote the Harvard Business Review article Work and the Loneliness Epidemic in 2017; this led to the book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Loneliness has already been a big problem in our society before this pandemic. I suspect it will be a bigger issue in the post CoronaVirus world.
I am regularly picking up the phone and calling people to check in on them. Every time I make one of these “check-in” calls the call always ends with a thank-you. Each person is appreciative that someone called to just say hello.
I believe that this social isolation will change the way we look at relationships. It will alter our perspective on life with regard to how we relate to others.
It also may create a significant amount of mental health issues, including increased substance abuse.
Do you live alone? How are you dealing with social isolation? Has it changed your perspective on life and relationships?
Social Isolation – Too Much Togetherness
I was talking with a family member who is used to having their spouse work from home. She was telling me a story about a friend who asked how she was handling her husband always being home. This friend’s husband was now working from home and driving her nuts.
Being socially isolated with your family can create a lot of stress. I suspect we will come out of this with an uptick of divorce and possibly an increase in domestic violence.
Another story I was told was about college-age/adult children that had returned home. Those adult children were staying up late, and mom had to restrain her motherly instincts to tell them it was time to go to bed. It is easy to see how traditional family boundaries will be crossed and cause family stress. This is nothing new as we also saw children return home in the last recession; however, this happened very fast.
If you are living in close quarters with your spouse and children, how is that going? Are you cherishing the closeness or is it suffocating?
How is your Perspective on Life after Working from Home?
So many of you are working from home now. I have heard from some introverts that they are loving it. On the other hand, others have told me that they deeply miss going into the office.
Some introverts just need people around them with no need to interact. Several introverts have told me they miss their coffee shop where they do not interact with anyone outside of work. However, they enjoy the hustle and bustle around them and the little interactions with shop staff and with others that frequent the coffee shop.
Similarly, working from home requires discipline so that you are not distracted by family members and feeling the need to do chores around the house. It is easy to start doing laundry, washing the dishes, or rake leaves and not realize that you just spent an hour or two not accomplishing your real goals at work.
At the same time, it is easy to work from the time you get up until it is time to go to bed. Learn to set boundaries for when you are going to work. This is a problem that I have had to work on over the years.
How are you coping with working from home? Are you able to set boundaries? Is working from home a good or bad thing?
How has Your Perspective on Life Changed?
So many of us have been pushed into situations that we never thought we would experience. In a year from now how will you feel about:
- Your family and close friends
- Your acquaintances at the places you frequent
- Working in an office or at home
Will you want to hug people or will you maintain social distance? Everything I am reading indicates that we will want to maintain social distance from people for a significant amount of time.
Take some time to think about how you will react when we enter the post CoronaVirus world. Do you want to return to the way it was before this pandemic or has this changed your perspective on life?
Do you view the world differently now?Marc Miller
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