A dramatic shift in context begs a response. We’ve all experienced so many sudden changes recently and I’m sure had many responses to the new normal we are experiencing.
As challenging as it seems, we may be able to frame this as one big learning cycle. We have the introduction of new information, the new rules (of the game), and new ways of operating. We have our responses to the newness.
We need a feedback loop – that is a way to see what and how our responses are affecting the situation.
For this we can use a combination of outside sources and self-reflection.
For outside sources, I’ve made it a point to be in touch with folks who have experienced hard times in their life (war, depression, etc.). Also, people who began living in physical isolation/quarantine before I did. Since communication is still available (in somewhat miraculous ways) these conversations are a way for me to check my thinking, stay in relationship with people I know, trust, and care about, and compare notes.
Self-reflection may be more challenging, especially in times of stress, but no less valuable. It hinges on carving out time, even 10-15minutes, and consciously asking ourselves a few simple questions. Here are the questions I’ve been asking in recent days:
- What have I taken on? What specific things am I carrying that are new in my life? This helps me recognize how I have (unknowingly) changed.
- What can or has remained the same as everything is changing? This helps me recognize what’s still “normal.”
- What opportunities do I have to do things differently? This helps me recognize what opportunities exist.
- What do I need to do for the sake of today? This helps me focus on immediate needs.
- What do I need to do thinking about one week from now? one month? This helps me think about the longer term.
My hope is that some of these questions help us think through these times in ways that are edifying.
Do have questions you’ve been carrying?