If we had asked ourselves in 2015 where we might be in 5 years’ time, we would never have said at home for 2-3 months, hardly going out and in the midst of a global pandemic.
Whilst the word unprecedented may have been overused in recent weeks, these are, indeed, unprecedented times we find ourselves in. It is in this context that I find myself reflecting on the number of times I have thought (and said) that I wanted the hamster wheel to stop for a few moments, for life to slow down, to have time to take stock, to now find myself in a world that has given me time to pause for thought.
Aside from my own experiences of these strange times, I have wondered how these times are experienced by others – undoubtedly covering a very broad range of events perceptions and feelings. There will be those people who are dealing with the premature loss of loved ones to Covid-19, our NHS staff have reconfigured their services at a remarkable pace and worked tirelessly to save lives. We have changed the way we live our lives and how we relate to others via the wonders of modern technology.
How we live with and/or move on from difficult times can vary depending on our approach. I am reminded of the inspiring story of Alex Zanardi, a former formula 1 racing driver, who lost both of his legs in a 200 mile per hour crash in 2001. This was a life changing and career ending accident, one from which some would struggle to recover their confidence and purpose in life. For Zanardi, in an interview with the Independent (September 2016), he says, “Even my accident that happened to me, became the biggest opportunity of my life… All of the things I am doing today are related to my new condition”, this was 15 years after his accident, at the time he had won a gold medal at the Rio Paralympics, to join the 2 he had won at London 2012. Zanardi concluded this interview stating, “I feel very lucky, I feel my life is a never-ending privilege”.
With this story in mind, I have been contemplating what I learn from this experience of lock down, which may help me as I continue to journey through life. Here are some of the questions I have been reflecting on:
- What have I learned about what is most important to me in life?
- What do I value more, that I have previously taken for granted?
- What has pleasantly surprised me about my relationships with others?
- What have I learned about how best to look after myself?
- What have I learned about myself which may help me in the future?
- What are the changes I want to make (or maintain) based on this experience?
For me, this is the essence of working appreciatively, taking the best from the experience to shape a desired future! However challenging I have found these times, I try to take a ‘glass half full approach’, to take the best away from this experience, projecting to a desired future where life will be richer, better and more rewarding.
Interested in having your own Appreciative Inquiry? Click here
Amanda Clark – Consultant, The Wellbeing Collective.