What kind of life do I want to lead, given the new reality?

Letter blocks spelling career with random arrows
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May 5, 2020
Fulfillment and impact in a time of disruption
September 4, 2020

What kind of life do I want to lead, given the new reality is a question worth sitting with right now. As you walk through this tumultuous time, with the world shifting under your feet, pondering your path forward can bring a sense of clarity and a bit of comfort. This is an unprecedented moment to consider your path forward and make some tweaks or larger adjustments. 

As this Fall is shaping up to continue to be a time of change, upheaval, and uncertainty, the one thing that is certain is that rather than “go back to normal,” we are headed for a new normal. From how we:

  • educate our children
  • earn our living 
  • address the pervasive injustice of racism 
  • take care of those who are most vulnerable
  • connect with one another

things are irrevocably changing. For sure, we are in a unique moment in history, one that we will look back on in the future. However, we are also in a moment in this tumultuous year, in the middle of summer, on the eve of back to school (whatever that looks like for you), when you can take a collective breath. Try to turn off the news, pull your head up to look at the horizon and decide what you want to adjust, embrace, surrender to and create in your life to navigate this time as best you can.

To that end, here are some reflective questions to ponder to help you create as full and robust a life as possible now. Consider taking a few at a time to write down answers to, and see what doing so helps shift in your life: 

  • Social & friendships – What social structures do I want around me for support, with family and friends? What baby step can I take to start to put this in place?
  • Fun – How do I want to build in fun, both for myself and my household? What practices and new traditions do I want to put in place to find ways to celebrate and enjoy ourselves?
  • Activities – What activities do I want to take part in to build skills and enhance life, for myself and my family members? From art, music, to sports and academic support, how can I redefine how we do these things to embrace the new reality while continuing to enjoy them? 
  • Location – Where do I want to be living? What type of environment do I want to find myself in physically? What opportunities does the work from home shift provide in terms of my lifestyle and location, and what do I want to do about it?
  • Health & wellness – What health and wellness practices do I want to bake in and make easy to access? How do I need to modify my physical space to support this? What equipment and accountability structures do I need to be successful?
  • Home organization – What physical setup will make me feel as comfortable as possible during work and school, organized so that everyone in the household can conduct their respective activities?
  • Education & learning – What time and effort do I want and need to devote towards supporting my children with their learning experience this coming year? What does this imply for how I show up to my other commitments in my life? How will I collaborate with others in my family and community to make this happen and build this into my schedule? What learning opportunities do I want to bake into my life this year for myself, so I can keep growing?
  • Business – If I run a business, how do I need to optimize the business structure to reduce costs, consolidate resources and invest wisely and pragmatically in the areas that count? How do I modify the business model, offerings and delivery to ensure continued viability?
  • Work – If I hold a job, how do I need to protect my energy and time, creating boundaries so that the job does not take over my life? How do I want to stay connected to my colleagues to draw inspiration and support for my work and contribution? 
  • Job Search – If I don’t hold a job but need one, how can I gain the support and structure I need to define what I want for my next role and take the steps required to get it?
  • Helping others – How do I want to give back to the larger community during this time? What acts of service do I want to start or continue participating in to help the collective?
  • Beauty – What do I wish to do to beautify or shore up my living space to make it work more effectively and satisfactorily for my life now? What else do I want to embrace to invite more beauty into my life?
  • Energy usage – What aspects of energy and resource conservation and reduction do I want to embrace now, to contribute in a positive way to the larger issues that face humanity? What is my part to do, and what am I willing to put in place in this area?
  • Well-being – What do I need to start and stop doing to promote my emotional and spiritual well-being?
  • Expression – How do I want to build a sense of “making” into my life, to allow myself to express myself and my unique creativity during this time, to both help me make sense of my world but also to impact others positively?

The one thing that is for certain is that the world will continue to change. If we heed the wisdom of futurists, the pace of change and disruption will only speed up. Given this new reality, how do you want to promote life and career agility for yourself? Optimize your situation by adding the support and infrastructure needed to feel grounded while doing your part to help as we move forward into this new age. These questions are a great place to start.