One Thing

I’ve noticed a lot of folks are uploading their old high school grad photos to Facebook in honour of this year’s graduates. No, I’m not interested in uploading mine — Nineties Hair, hello! — nor am I interested in weighing in on the debate about the efficacy of the practice. I do realize, however, that graduates, engaged couples, birthday boys & girls, impending retirees, and a host of other people with milestones to celebrate have been gypped by the cruelness of our microscopic adversary. The whole grad photo thing is an obvious attempt to “do something” proactive on behalf of those who’ve been gypped. I get it. In the business world, those who scheduled product launches, sales conferences, new hire classes, educational seminars etc. now contend with postponements, virtual substitutions, and cancellations. As one colleague aptly put it, “It’s feels like April Fool’s Day every day; and the jokes’ are all on me.” Indeed.

In our socially-distanced, takeout-eating, work-from-home modus operandi, I keep asking myself, what’s my “one thing” today? As much as the losses hurt and disorient, it seems especially important to name “one thing” I’ve learned about the world today or, alternatively, “one thing” I will take forward from this Orwellian world we occupy in late April, 2020. What about you?
An obvious “one thing” focuses on the innovative ways we are all adapting to remote work. I touched on this last time. Interviews for the rare open positions are conducted via video conference. Meetings between teams and clients are conducted remotely. In my office world, we’ve already gathered for several, digital “happy hours” because we can. One thing that’s continuously reinforced for me every morning as I fire up the laptop and get to work, is how much we can accomplish without ever stepping into our offices (especially when we’re disciplined about the tasks). As much as I want to get back to some normalcy, I’m convinced that the “new normal” will mean much more remote work. Think about how this adaptation will save time and money for the individual and the business. Yes, we will still need to meet in an embodied way weekly to do the kind of head work that thrives when everyone’s around the table, but that’s not forty or fifty hours a week is it?

Another “one thing” I want to carry forward is the importance of “looking for the good” every day. Yes, this is a tall order when big dreams and big plans are shelved or tossed, but it’s essential for personal wellness and the wellness of people in your circle. Your graduate may not walk the stage like all the graduating classes before them, but they have plans for life after the diploma. Celebrate them. The big trip may be off the calendar, but there will be opportunities for future travel. Maybe it’s time to imagine what a different type of trip could look like.

One thing… One thing can make the difference between letting this difficult time gut punch you every morning or leveraging it to craft new plans and priorities for the future. One thing I’m sure of as I write this: the graduating class of 2020 may not have their “moment” like all of us, but they will emerge as some of the most resilient bad asses our world has ever produced. Count on it.
What’s your one thing?