Covid19 quarantine #1
There are different ways to cope with what happened to us in the last 6 weeks. I see people desperately trying to keep on going, despite the lock-down, the social distancing and the nasty virus outside. I hear them dreaming about gin tonics on a sunny terrace, summer festivals they miss and sports events that are cancelled. It reminds me sometimes of contestants of ‘Expedition Robinson’ who, on the 26 th day, are fantasizing about burgers and fried chicken. People who are amusing us with smart, crazy and sometimes very fun challenges, celebrities who keep on broadcasting their real (& fake) self and others who want to understand as quickly as possible how we are going to live after the pandemic. Webinars about the post-Corona future, articles and podcasts with dramatic & utopian (and everything in between) future scenarios are launched at the speed of light, and I think this makes sense.
But there are on the other side of the spectrum people who embrace effortless, without any difficulty, this slow life and really enjoy it.
I am one of them.
People who know me may find it strange and even hard to believe, but I seamless slipped into this other way of life and I’m loving it.
Not because I’m tired, or I got nothing to do. On the contrary: Work is good, some of my clients are more than ever into innovation and are convinced this will help them through the tough times to come. I share their belief.
Since I decided to use the time that I won by not running from one hip restaurant tot another trending exhibition, planning trips for inspiration, researching for clients, keeping up with the endless mails, administration, organising & attending meetings, traffic jams and so much more, I find peace in the world that has stopped without any warning.
Off course, I am a lucky bastard who is not sick, keeps on working for clients, has a garden, a loving family that lives close to me under one roof and who does not work in health care or another lifesaving sector. I know, a privileged lucky bastard.
I can’t tell how many times I talked during trend sessions about the power of ‘no noise’ and the healing power of silence. I visited the legendary & trendsetting ‘No noise room’ at Selfridges some years ago and kept on telling how ground breaking and visionary that experience was. I envied friends who were meditation queens, time management experts or just ‘in balance’ with a plan on the long haul.
I still do but since a few weeks I know I ‘m claiming some much needed reflection time for myself too.I just plan it in. On a Wednesday or a Thursday, it’s flexible.
Between countless video calls with teams from Brazil, Kentucky, Singapore, Brussels and Ghent, some intense coaching of my students who are doing internships from their study rooms at home or some future project planning, I gave myself ‘think-time’.
To read magazines and books, to go through old and recent reflection notes, watch documentary’s or some Black Mirror episodes, discuss with friends, journalists and experts, open-minded morning talks with my family who know me well and do not always look at things the same way I do. It’s refreshing, and it opens up rooms in my head that were closed for a long time. I take more time to look at artists & designers again. They always been an important part of me understanding the zeitgeist.I feel more energy, not because of a typical adrenaline rush but out of pure clarity in my head.
To be honest, I’m not ready to start writing or communicating about what’s next how are we going to cope with all this and where are we heading in the long haul.
It’s too early, it’s too complex & multifaceted and I enjoy the process of thinking, reflecting and exploring too much.
I enjoy nature taking over the planet for a while, I observe and I (try) to listen more. It’s a start.
I keep you posted how it goes and where I will land.
I think this is a time, if you feel you can use it too, to stop for a while. Not with your work or other things you are responsible for but to use the extra time you are given to free yourself from some clutter and things that hold you back. To reflect on dreams & perspectives, personally and professionally. I will be ready, when we turn the world back on, to help you & your team reflect on what you and your business can do, create or change in order to be relevant* for the different generations of humans.
*Not in the way we thought 6 weeks ago, but relevant in a world that can be different, if we let it happen.
As Banksy said in 2011: “Sorry. The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock”.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe another lifestyle could be even better. Let’s prepare ourselves. We will need it.
And you know, some anti-social time can do wonders.