Time to adjust our sails

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Time to adjust our sails

This is an incredibly challenging time for people all around the world. It is demanding on individuals, on families, on institutions, on businesses, and on governments alike. The impacts are unprecedented and frighteningly far reaching. There is obviously an immense economic impact but increasingly there are much broader impacts not just to our physical health but also our mental health, to our systems and, at the risk of sounding dramatic, to the culture and fabric of our society.

In the work we do with individuals and companies we are acutely aware of the pressures and anxieties facing individuals and leaders around the world. It’s frightening but at the same time it is incredible to see our human resilience and the best of humanity. To see people around the world digging deep and finding ways to do what they can. I want to call out and celebrate this resilience.

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”

Elizabeth Edwards

It is time for us to adjust our sails. How we have once done things is not possible, at least in the short term. Whether this is simply adjusting our perspective on our situation, or adjusting our approach to our work, or adjusting our method of delivery… many of us are in full pivot. And it will feel like this for some time to come.

As we adjust our sails, here’s a few things we can do to ease into the process:

  • Be compassionate to ourselves and others. Part of being resilient is also practicing self-compassion and understanding when things do not go to plan. It is inevitable that we are going to be tested, to feel challenged to our core. These are unprecedented times and so we need to learn to be kind to ourselves as we build coping strategies. We may not nail it first time so we should expect some teething pains but we will get there.

  • Know our privileges and practice gratitude. It is a privilege to be able to work from home, it is a privilege if your home is a place you feel safe, it is a privilege to have your family and loved ones well, it is a privilege to have your mental and physical health, it is a privilege to be employed. These are privileges. For many around the world, this time is going to be more than just creative resilience, it is going to test them to their very core. Build a daily practice of gratitude by asking yourself a simple question of what are you grateful for today? What is something you are privileged to have?

  • Celebrate small milestones as we go along the journey. We need to celebrate the many leaders agonizingly looking at innovative and creative ways to pivot their businesses so they can keep their employees employed, the governments looking at creative ways to stimulate the economy, the parents looking at creative ways to home-school their children, etc… Start to celebrate small wins – just like any change, it’s painful, but finding things to celebrate will be an essential step in this long journey ahead.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

Helen Keller

Let’s start to hear some of the stories of how we are overcoming some of the challenges. I’d love to hear from you. What is something you or your company is doing to adjust your sails and stay resilient during this phase?

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