Lessons Learned after Surviving 2 Years of COVID-19 Pandemic
We have all been thrown out of our comfort zone in one way or another. How we reacted and behaved when challenged is key to understanding and then growing from the experience.
We are starting to exit from the pandemic, or at least many of us hope, so now is a good time to reflect back on the previous two years to see what are the lessons learned.
I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed and found the following post from my buddy Thom Singer:
Thom has been on the podcast several times over the last couple of years as I have been inspired by his resilience. I suggest you listen to the podcast episode, Learning how to Adapt and Get Scrappy with Your Career with Thom Singer. He took us through how he has learned to get scrappy.
Just about all of you have been challenged personally, professionally, or both.
Let me discuss several different lessons learned for me in the last couple of years.
Relationships and Community
For me, relationships have become more important than ever. This includes both personal and professional relationships.
On the personal side, I feel quite blessed to have lived in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico for the entire pandemic. Since this locale has one of the best climates anywhere in the world, my wife and I live outdoors. This has afforded us the luxury of being able to eat outside almost every day and have friends over in a COVID safe place.
I have written about the communities I have belonged to that have helped me stay sane in the post Community – What Is The Value Of Belonging To One?
My exercise communities include hiking, biking, and yoga. I am now in better health than before the pandemic because of these communities.
My professional communities include my own Career Pivot membership community and other professional groups that I belong to.
I can say that many of the relationships I have developed during the pandemic are deeper and richer than relationships I developed pre-pandemic.
One of the many lessons learned was that I need to work on my relationships. Being an expat in a foreign country like Mexico, I have put extra emphasis on developing deeper relationships with Mexicans around me.
Life is too Short
As I write this post, I am 65 years old. My days of working “for the man” are over. I knew that even before the pandemic but I have come to realize that I only want to work at things that are meaningful to me.
Over the last four years, my wife and I have scaled back our lives. Life is much simpler and I can focus on what I want, but the problem is “what do I want to focus on”?
Like many in our society, I am questioning what I have been doing. Am I having the impact that I want to have? How hard do I want to work and how many hours do I want to put in each week to do this work?
We have a number of members of the Career Pivot membership community members. Listen to Vicki Soll Finds a Happy Place in Her Career by Teaching Older Adults podcast episode. Vicki had worked in high tech for decades as technical support, curriculum designer, and trainer. She thought she wanted to leave all of that behind.
She discovered that she still loved the learning and development world but it was who she was doing it for was the key. Helping older adults is her happy place.
One of her lessons learned was life is too short to be helping people who do not matter to you instead of helping the people that do.
What are You Waiting for?
I periodically get on Facebook, … yes I know better … and read a post from one of my Leadership Austin classmates. His father has recently passed away and his father’s last words were “What are you waiting for?”.
His father always lived his life to the fullest and instilled in his family the ethic to live life to the fullest. My classmate closed the Facebook post with the following:
What are Your Lessons Learned?
I really believe that now is a good time to reflect on what we have lived through.
Some of you have lost loved ones. Others have had their careers upended. Whatever has happened in your life, there are lessons to be learned and acted on.
What have you learned? What are you waiting for?
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