By Ann Drinkwater
Sacrifice and discipline are important qualities to our survival and the survival of those we care about. These traits are even more important during a pandemic, where the risk of not following guidance can result in the loss of human life. While COVID-19 and the events surrounding this horrific plague are beyond tragic, I believe there are some important lessons to be learned, and/or emphasized:
Stay centered on the big picture and what truly matters: Facing a life and death situation can put things in perspective. Recognizing that non-life and death matters are insignificant can help us ensure we are focused on what truly matters. In our project work, there will be many challenges that surface. Understanding how to cut through the minutia that can sometimes cloudy our vision is important in all we do. In addition, our role as project leaders is to also help others stay focused on the big picture.
Focus on the necessities: Food and other shortages have caused most of us to rethink meals and the way we consume various goods. While it may be a ‘nice-to-have’ to enjoy our preferred brand, it is not typically critical to our nutritional intake.
Be open to change: Grocery substitutions can be an opportunity to explore other options that we may not have always enjoyed. This applies to all areas of life. We shouldn’t get too stuck in one way of thinking to be blinded to a possible alternative that may be even more beneficial.
Follow the rules, even if you don’t always agree: While I am a big rule-follower, I realize not everyone is the same. While it can be good to challenge rules, in the end, we need to understand that we may need to concede and follow someone else’s plan. I won’t get into the mask debate, but sometimes we need to do things to help a larger cause or simply because they are the rules. We can certainly try to understand the rationale, but ultimately we may not agree with what we are asked to do. That’s life.
Respect and care for others: What is important to you may not be the same focus of someone else and vice versa. Understand that we are all different, have different situations, challenges and drivers. In the end, we need to respect our differences and look out for our neighbor.
Who would have thought we would start 2020 with the fear and challenges surrounding a (hopefully) once in a lifetime pandemic? This level of change has caused individuals and businesses to implement significant changes in daily functioning. Businesses have had to reinvent themselves to remain operational and individuals have had to follow suit. Following the principles above is a good way to reset our minds to be good co-workers and overall citizens.