What Really Matters

2.75 crore cases, over 3 lakh deaths, I assume over 10 crore households urban/rural, poor/rich without any religious bias got impacted by Covid.

Last almost 15 months have been a watershed moment for almost everyone across the globe.

It changed how people looked at the world.

It was like one of those fantasy sci-fi coming true.

A nightmare for those directly impacted  and a source of fear for everyone else.

As lakhs struggled for help and lost their loved ones, a sense of gloom descended across the country.

On the flip side the pandemic was also an opportunity for people to assess what’s really important to them.

When times are good most of what really matters is our work (for most this is their only identity);

material well-being (acquiring more and more and making this an attachment of status)

The above 2 are used to create an image for the outside world while it doesn’t matters what’s happening inside.

A lot of literature and self-help books that people often read but seldom imbibe talk about

  • Sense of Purpose,
  • Control on our time,
  • Gift of health, and
  • Strength of our relationships.

Most of these are like religion/God or Spirituality that one us reminded of only during the crisis time.

3 things I believe have been opportunities stemming from the pandemic(The idea is not to generalise but present, it might not be equally applicable to all):

#Is there a deeper meaning in your work?

Over last more than 22 years of working life, one has met scores of people for whom a job is just that, a job. It has no meaning for them accept for it being a transaction exercise.

Covid actually made a lot of people realise how even a cog in the wheel has an important role to play.

Albert Camus’s classic novel The Plague. is about an epidemic, where the main character was a doctor,” he explains. “And he says the way to get through something like this is to be a decent person. Somebody asks him, ‘What makes a decent person?’ He says, ‘I don’t know but, for me, it’s just doing my job the best way I can.’

This is classic, when leaders wonder about lack of engagement in their staff, they don’t realise that most of them don’t have a sense of purpose.

The pandemic has been an opportunity to reassess the career and reflect on its purpose on your larger mental well-being.

Number of PR articles appear in Sunday papers on how organizations are addressing mental well-being.

Easy solution has always been mechanical(PR route), take the difficult road for once.

#Family Bond Re-set

A recent survey by the Telangana Information Technology Association (TITA) found out that Work From Home (WFH) is bringing the families together. The remote working is strengthening the bond between husband and wife. The survey reveals that 89% of techies reported enhanced relationship with families and spouses.

Surveys of-course need to be taken with a pinch of salt as the book “Everybody lies” by Seth Stephen proves.

We know people tend to give the right answer in the survey rather than the correct one.

Here are some trends from Google worth looking at though:

 16-1717-1818-1919-2020-21
Divorce453944.844.1749.6
  -13.33%14.87%-1.41%12.29%
Stress63.2861.9454.4462.3878

The good news is that very few searches for suicide in India, the bad news, in just 1 week between June 14-20, 2020, the search for suicide spikes to 100

Divorce searches spiked in 20-21 so did stress.

So while the survey tells us one things, the reality could be different.

The opportunity of more facetime with family seems to have resulted into different outcomes for families, however it can still be taken as an opportunity to build better bonds and maybe achieve the outcome of the Telangana survey.

#Health is Wealth

So many of us take our health for granted until we have a reason not to.

We neglect exercise and then wonder why our bodies complain when we need to climb a flight of stairs. We neglect our diet and then wonder when all this extra weight crept up on us. We neglect our mental health and then wonder why we’re always stressed.

We can be kinder on ourselves. We can add regular movement to our lives. Walking, the gym, bodyweight exercises, yoga—it all counts and can all be mixed up. Our bodies are made to move, not sit humped over laptops or in front of TVs all day. Embrace the ability to move.

While the pandemic has scared the hell out of a lot of people, it has also brought health at the forefront of these discussions.

The scars of pandemic will not go away easily

However as the things settled down, online fitness classes have zoomed.

Some of the fitness apps growing 10-times in size over last 12 months.

Retail health insurance grew 28% in FY-21;

Searches related to Health on Google spiked 30%.

I hope this remains one trend that people will not give up on easily.

Human being through history have been known for short-term memory and moving on.

While moving on from a crisis is a good things, one hopes some of these trends have had a deeper impact on human psyche and the positives will stay longer and be part of daily life.

Follow my twitter handle on irreverentinvestor@manver1974

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