Embracing the reality of the current situation
Is society going to go back to normal or is another lockdown imminent? It’s safe to say that we’ve all been going crazy with that question. COVID-19, one of the most unexpected events to happen in recent history. Globally, as of 20 August 2020, there have been over 22 million reported cases and more than 750,000 deaths.
Those of us in the UK are still on a partial lockdown. Though a lot of the initial restrictions have been eased, life is still far from normal. New rules in place have: limited the type of activities that we can engage in, left us stuck at home and impacted many businesses. “The business environment has changed dramatically with tourism and event organizers being hit hardest. The most interesting thing we saw was the birth of entire new industries as well as an increase of ‘wantrepreneurs’ turning to entrepreneurs setting up businesses in Hong Kong or Singapore.
So what can we do in this moment?
Understanding the two camps
Though this is a generalisation, there’s largely been two types of lockdown experiences. “I can’t stand this any longer, I’m going nuts”. Or, “I’ve been loving the time to myself and my family”. Though the former is totally understandable, there is a benefit in changing one’s perspective.
Realise and accept that your time is limited
Not to sound morbid, but the following is important to capture the overall point. It’s easy to forget our own mortality, especially for those of us on the younger side. Life expectancy at birth in the UK is 79.3 years for males and 82.9 years for females. Depending on your age this might be very far or uncomfortably close. Regardless of how much money accolades, failures or regrets you may have, it all eventually comes to an end. Hence be aware, as Bill Perkins phrases so well, that you don’t retire on your money, you retire on your memories. But what does that actually mean?
Search within yourself and find out what you love doing
Retiring on your memories, is an acknowledgment that what really matters is the experiences you have. When you’re 75 years old, no amount of money will allow you to have the physique of a 30 year old. As you age your body’s ability to cope with the stresses of physical activity reduces and subsequently the number of activities for you to experience reduces too. Not to mention that as you age more people become dependent on you which further decreases your ability of doing specific activities (the risks of skydiving may no longer be worth it when you have a child).
If you currently have a family, acknowledge that as your kids age, you continuously lose opportunities to perform activities with different versions of them (reading bedtime stories forever changes into watching them perform in the school play).
Hence to ensure that we live a full life, we must purposely seek out new experiences whilst being aware of the limitations that arise from time.
Note: experiences do not have to be governed by money (though admittedly money will allow you to engage in certain “unique” activities).
What are you into? What would you like to learn more about? Who’s important to you and when did you last see them?
So how can we do this during lockdown ?
Take advantage of the moment! A simple exercise everyone can do from the comfort of their own bedroom is sit on your bed and take a good look around the room. If you could make this room a little better than it was before, what would you change? And we all know that there has been dust collecting behind the monitor for the last 6 months or that you always thought that that one wall could use a painting. How would you change your own living area to make it a place worth living? If you start doing 100 of these small things within the broader frame of your existence, chances are your life will be positively impacted and change for the better.
Action is the most important step in all of this. “Start building out a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and see if this product is what the market needs right now. You would never believe how fast such a simple product or service can quickly develop into your own company”, says Telewah Lawson, BDO of MohrWolfe. “Don’t get bogged down by the limitations of today, discover what you can do.”
But remember, not everything is about work. In the UK, take advantage of the Eat Out Scheme and go to dinner with your friends, explore a new location you’ve never been too, and if you can, save for a trip with your friends when travel is back to normal!
Get into the habit of deliberately looking at the time available to you and slotting in activities with select people. Make sure you are purposely and continuously injecting experiences that you will look back too fondly. It’s too easy to let life pass by, remember your time is finite!