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What are you happy to leave behind?

As I was preparing for a ‘resetting’ workshop with one of my clients today, I was struck by one of the questions recommended for a team undergoing change…dare I mention the word ‘restructuring? That key question was,

“What are we happy to leave behind?” (Thanks to Ruth Tearle of Change Designs)

And it rammed me in the gut as to what am I happy to leave behind in a post-Covid world?I can tell you that I was happy to leave behind;

  • Sitting in traffic en route to early morning meetings, which in spite of being in command of my own schedule, I still didn’t manage to totally avoid
  • I was happy to leave behind the ‘chase’ of trying to collect kids from school, racing back from far-flung areas of the greater CT region where my last client meeting may have been for the day
  • I was happy to leave behind the flurry of evening activities to push my teen boys through supper and homework with the desperate hope that they might get to bed at a reasonable hour
  • Trying to slice and dice my diary to accommodate the appointments I need to slot in but allow ample time to travel and just breathe between coaching sessions or meetings
  • And on a more serious level, I did not miss the petty in-party politicking that has returned in SA, when we are not all unified in protecting our people from a global pandemic

And as we transition into Level 3 of lockdown in the South African economy, I find myself frantically wanting to run down the road chasing the departing cars yelling, “But you promised! You can’t just go back out there as you always did; this isn’t what this is supposed to be about!”

Back in the early days of the virus, I quoted John Sanei’s eBook frequently, “Stuck in our homes, unable to work and socialise, we are being forced to contemplate our place in the universe. To slow down. To stop using the frantic pace of life as an excuse to hide from some hard truths. This is our chance to escape the overheated industrial revolution that brought us to this point; to stop chasing the fictitious goals we were never going to reach; to lift our heads up to the new day and replace self-interest with the ability to lift those around us in turn.”

Huffington echoed him at the time, “Because there is no going back. The pandemic has made it all too clear that we cannot continue to live and work the way we have — breathlessly and always on. The casualties of this way of living have been proliferating for years: the skyrocketing increase in chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension; the increase in mental health problems like depression and anxiety, the increase in stress and burnout.”

So the time has arrived to make our choices. What do we choose as a new week dawns and another week of always-on zoom/teams meetings populate our calendar?

Will we choose to think that technology will save us and that we can just keep firing up repeated digital interactions? I’m not sure what the alternative yet looks like, but I do know it requires a consciousness and an intentional choice. What do you choose?





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