It’s the last day of 2020 today. I took the time to sit down and enjoy some quite time with a nice book and a cup of nice coffee at home. I have been on holiday for two weeks and have spent some time reflecting on what happened around me in this year.
It was supposed to be a great year for the aviation industry in 2020. I was expecting a few industry-sponsored innovation projects to kick off early this year from airlines and airports. Then, the COVID-19 came along and the aviation industry came to an unprecedented halt. Many airlines struggled to exist. All projects were gone and we all kinda went into a ‘hibernation’ mode at home in March 2020.
It was not all bad, after all.
I had started working from home on a full-time basis since late March 2020. I was not new to working from home. Even before the COVID, I typically worked from home two days a week. So, when we were all asked by the University to work from home, I quickly adapted to the ‘work-from-home’ mode. However, this mode was different from my past experience because kids were studying from home, too!
That drove me crazy. Ahhhh…….. X_X
Since primary schools in Australia were not prepared for on-line learning, the government, parents, schools, and students all scrambled to make it happen. I became the ‘work-from-home professor’ and at the same time, ‘home-schooling parent teacher’. It was not fun.
If you’ve ever home-schooled your own kids (especially primary school kids), then you will know it’s a nightmare. Kids will argue with you about what to do and when to do (while I still needed to mind my own work!). My wife and I decided to ‘take it easy’ during the hard ‘lock-down’ period in April and May 2020. We only asked my son (Year 4) to do two learning tasks: one in the morning and the other in the arvo, so I still have time to work and can keep my sanity!
A few months later when I caught up with another parent, then I realised that she was totally OK during that period of time because she was quite relaxed about home-schooling: “Don’t bother. It’s just Year 4.” Oh man….. X_X I should have done the same! Losing a month or two is not going to change my son’s life at all; what was I thinking? Gosh….
My coaching (side) business went well in 2020 (surprisingly!). The biggest contributor, I reckon, was that people lost orientation in their lives due to the disruption from the COVID. A lot of uncertainties floated in the air for most people: stock market plummeting, COVID infection number rocketing, job cutting, and huge disruption to daily life patterns for many people. It was harsh for many people in different ways; too much to handle in too short a time!
I remember sending an email to all my coaching clients back in April 2020. My advise to them was to stay COVID safe and watch less news about COVID! When a person feels uncertain, the more negative news a person receives, the worse the person will feel. Staying COVID safe was paramount, but watching BBC or CNN on COVID numbers too frequently was not helping.
After all these, a few months later in late 2020, most people then get “used to” this COVID situation; we adapt as human beings. Although things were not improving in most countries, most people were not as anxious as they were in early 2020 (and the pandemic was actually a lot worse in some countries in late 2020 compared with early 2020!). We all improved in one way or another. How amazing we are as human!
So, what have I learned from 2020?
- First, timely and scientifically correct information was essential to stop anxiety. Do the right things and stay COVID safe. Sometimes we “choose” to believe in “facts” no matter how correct they are. Read this article about the science behind our motivated reasoning. I shall come back and write more about this soon. Human brains can be easily fooled; we are not as smart as you think. ^_<
- Second, a Plan B was soooooo important for everyone! A good Plan B could make you feel anchored amid the plummeting of the stock market and the height of the pandemic storm because you know you have a backup plan.
- Third, make sure to enjoy life and enjoy the moment, no matter what. You never know when you will leave the human world. Money cannot buy everything (although without money, you can buy nothing!). So, enjoy your family life and career, although you may not enjoy your work 100%. Well, if you don’t, then contact me and I can coach you to change your life! ^_<
Venturing into 2021, I’ve got a few ideas for you and for myself.
I’m going to do a few things that I always want to do but I have kept postponing them (because I thought life was long but just realised that life is short!). I’m going to enjoy my university work and coaching work more as I become older (can’t change this fact! >_<) And, I’m going to enjoy my time with family more.
If money can improve my life quality, then I will spend it (if I can afford). Happier me, happier my family and better for my career and life quality. This creates a strong positive cycle for my life and career. This positive cycle is not because of spending more money; it is because I’ve changed my mindset.
Do you see a half-empty glass or a half-full glass? ^_+ Your mindset determines your life. Change yourself and you can change the world.
See you more in 2021 and be COVID safe.
Dr. C. Richard Wu @ REEAConsulting.com
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