2020 needs a rest. Reset your life in 2021.

By Boris Joaquin

The corona virus pandemic disrupted our lives, our work or businesses, and global economies in unprecedented ways, true. But COVID-19 also forced us and organizations to consider a different type of future. With a redefined 2021 and beyond, it became clear that we and our business need a re-vision and a reset, not only due to the pandemic, but also because sociological and technological disruptions demand it.

To paraphrase the bumper sticker, “stuff happen”. We cannot avoid the stuff of life, but we can change the way we respond to it. We all know people and friends who have become burned out or are rusting. On the other hand, we also know visionary leaders who remain on purpose, self-reliant, resourceful. Thriving, not just surviving.

2020 needs a rest. Reset life in 2021. But how can we cultivate attitudes and practices to stay focused and yet be flexible?

My life and work cover two decades worth of reflection and teaching others, especially leaders, how to overcome the odds at any stage of their lives by pursuing the growth they need to effect change in the world.

Here are five powerful ways to re-vision and reset your 2021.

Recalibrate the way you do work.

All these global and technological disruptions demanded that we adapt socially and behaviorally. COVID-19 transformed our attitudes toward the physical versus the virtual and changed the discussion about what people can do without physically being present or putting their safety at risk.

Brainstorming and collaboration meetings will never be the same again. So as learning or training sessions. We will be meeting and teaching people more and more virtually than physically. And even if a vaccine becomes available, why would people go back to their old ways of doing things when the virtual alternative is more cost efficient and safe? Just like how the streaming TV will be preferred than watching a movie in the mall. People will start having the “Pwede pala!” mindset and prefer the alternative.

Understanding all of these changes will enable you to repurpose your offering, whether it’s selling your goods or delivering your services.

But while being flexible is important to adapt to the changes around you, what will sustain growth in you is being grounded and focused.

Recall your purpose.

Recall your calling and purpose. Focus every day on your "why". Purpose is a choice, an aim and a practice. Focus on harnessing your gifts, passion, and most importantly your values. Heed your calling.

Problem or possibility? Perhaps before the pandemic, you were mindlessly going about your day, doing what you have gotten used to in order to survive. It has perhaps become especially difficult to find meaning since the pandemic has gotten us stuck in the rut we find ourselves in. However, instead of seeing this as a problem, look at the possibilities. As our lives are continually redefined by the challenges of today’s disruptions, look at the potential we have to create something for ourselves. I encourage you: now is the time to challenge yourself to go beyond the bounds and grasp for meaning in your life.

Read the full article here https://www.rappler.com/hustle/work/finding-purpose-coronavirus-pandemic

This time of crisis need not stop us from growth. It can be an opportunity to engage your world more purposefully and effectively to create that impact for which you were designed.

Rethink your thinking.

Growth begins with your thinking. Have you ever given a thought about your thinking - what influences your actions, your decision-making, your problem-solving?

Richard Paul said, “Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better.” Do you make the best decisions that would solve my problems effectively? When I say effectively, it means that your decisions meet the following criteria:

● They bring positive long-term outcomes;

● They are "data-driven" - a result of carefully analyzing facts; and

● They solve underlying problems that gave rise to other problems.

Developing your critical thinking skills is a lifetime endeavor that requires you to always ask questions and continuously test the validity and reliability of your ideas or other people’s. As you seek for truth, always remember to take charge of our own thinking and always think about our thinking.

Repack your relationships.

Thinking about your thinking should lead you to think about your relationships. As you look at your current challenges, how much of these come from your relationships? What kind of growth do you need to better them?

Give yourself some room to "repack" your relationships -- evaluate what relationships are good and bad for your growth. What relationships take up a lot of time, but are not the kinds of relationships you desire? Which relationships are toxic and counterproductive?

Not all your relationships should be deep and meaningful. You need some dysfunctional or wacky friends as well. They can be some of your favorite people, although they might not be the ones you call during a crisis. The ones that you need to unpack from your life are some people who are pursuing activities in life that are not consistent with your values and may even be destructive.

On the other hand, maybe what you need is to restore some of your relationships. As you take stock of your relationships, consider your thinking behind your dynamics. If there is conflict, examine your ways and take responsibility for your share in it. Blame no one. Own up to your faults. When you do, you might save and grow some of those relationships that you intend to keep.

Next, examine how well you listen. Our ability to listen brings so much power into restoring relationships. The quality of our thinking is directly affected by our ability to listen. There is a lot of wisdom and benefit in responding to people instead of reacting to them, and how we listen can either empower or limit our ability to respond to them. Carefully consider how your assumptions and preconceived notions that might be giving rise to bias or prejudices that keep you from hearing and really "seeing" people. Learn to ask questions and listen so you can respond to their needs.

In the end, we always have to constantly ask ourselves, "Do I really want to maintain and strengthen this relationship?"

Refocus yourself.

Growth comes from the inside out. Our lives are limited, and our worlds are small. To expand it, we must go beyond ourselves. This means paying more attention to other people, entering their worlds, and really getting invested in them. Focus on being “interested” vs being “interesting”.

In this digital age, being self-absorbed can consume us; but seeking attention is self-serving and never satisfies. When you learn to live outside of your own little world, you will feel more energized.

It also means involving yourself in ideas greater than yourself – from the arts to sciences to even philosophy. Keep the curiosity and discover new things. When we’re interested in many things, there’s a better chance we will be more equipped to take an interest in what others have to say. And, in turn, we’ll also have something interesting to add to the conversation to keep it going, expanding, and deepening.

When you take an interest in others and in the bigger world outside yourself, you will get to see the world in a whole new different lens.

All these must start from a heart that genuinely wants to invest. It may be difficult at first, especially if you are the kind of person who tends to focus on yourself, but it is not impossible.

Read the full article here: https://www.rappler.com/hustle/adulting/be-interested-empathy-self-help-tips

Re-visioning 2021 begins with you rising above the challenges yet staying true to your calling. But if you want to grow further, you will need to challenge the way you think, the way you do relationships, and the way you view and value the world around you.


About the Writer:

Boris is the president and CEO of Breakthrough Leadership Management Consultancy, Inc., founder of the Project Purpose Team, Inc., a corporate educator under the Duke CE Global Educators Network (UK), and a registered Investors in People (UK) specialist.

A management and marketing professional, Boris was involved in various industries both local and international for more than two decades. He is one of the recipients of the 2020 Gawad Sulo Award, for his significant contribution in the field of corporate education. Boris is married to Michelle Joaquin and has two daughters, Ysobel and Julia.

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