“Who hasn’t asked himself, am I a monster or is this what it means to be human?” – Clarice Lispector
I think one of the most interesting aspects of going through a global pandemic is that it exposes the different facets of your life, business, or even country and society. It pulls the covers away so to speak.
In our society, I think it uncovered how delicate our health care system is and how shared responsibility (i.e. we are all in this together) is the ultimate kryptonite for even the most devastating viruses. Or maybe how delicate our economy is and that what we thought was a robust powerhouse was really built on a house of cards of “gig economy” jobs that can be gone in the blink of an eye.
Within District H, it laid bare how quickly the 4 walls that facilitated health and wellness, community, and bettering ourselves can become vacant with no hesitation. It also revealed to me how important communication is to our members and within our staff. We had gotten into the habit of interacting with most of our members in any given day or week and when that is taken away from you, it forces you to become even more proactive to make sure you are keeping people engaged with their own health.
One of the benefits of having time slow down in our lives is that it creates opportunities for some honest self-reflection.
Self-reflection is a delicate balance of providing positive and constructive criticism on yourself, accepting your past, and taking actionable items to move forward with your newfound mindset. It can be easily taken to an unhealthy level where, in your own eyes or mind, you are not worthy of praise or you cannot acknowledge the many positive things in your life.
At the same time, no self-reflection forces us into stagnation, a rigid mindset of beliefs, or just a dishonest assessment of our own reality. Maybe we could be doing better in our relationships with loved ones, or maybe we could work a little bit harder in our jobs, or maybe we could be prioritizing our health & wellness that much more.
The purpose of self-reflection is to take inventory of where we are and what adjustments we need to make in order to perform better in the priorities that mean the most to us. It is often assumed that you need to do this on your own, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Daily habits of journaling, meditation, or gratitude are incredibly helpful when it comes to doing an honest assessment of oneself, but it also takes a tribe or community of our most trusted champions to provide perspective and keep things as constructive as possible.
We all make mistakes. We all hurt the ones we love. We all fail at times. It doesn’t necessarily matter that it happened since it is almost guaranteed to happen in life. What matters is how we decide to reflect, adapt, and act on these instances where we are probably the most vulnerable as a human being. That is a very heavy burden to carry by yourself.
Shared responsibility is not only the key to helping us get through a pandemic, but it is also the cure to helping us all succeed in life. Continuing to make progress in anything has to incorporate a component of self-reflection, but it also has to be balanced by not letting yourself get in your own way. While this pandemic has exposed a lot of weaknesses in our society, it has also highlighted the very best parts of humanity like community, compassion, and sacrifice.
As we continue to get through this together, let’s take some time to exercise some honest self-reflection, surround ourselves with our most trusted advisors to hold us accountable and provide constructive criticism to help us move forward, and remember that this too shall pass. Whatever burden we were carrying coming into this, let’s utilize the time we have to address it and come out of this event as better human beings.