This is an unprecedented time in life. It feels like the usual world has paused. I was working in Florida last week when the seriousness of Covid19 hit me. Texts, email, media posts from everywhere came flooding in. Somebody told me that the US were stopping all flights to Europe. I froze when I heard this. My family were 5,000 miles away. Flights to Ireland didn’t stop, but I worried every second about the possibility not seeing my two little boys until I landed back in Dublin. They didn’t seem to be so concerned about me; they were aggressively interested in how long they would have to wait to get their presents. My wife was happy enough to see me until she got her gift. “Is this all you got me, a book? They sell these in Ireland, you know”. I was thrilled to be back home.
Even after I came home I spent days worrying, trying to figure out what was happening with the Coronavirus. Had I bumped into an infected person? Was the restaurant table at the airport laboratory clean as I would expect? Was I already infected? Would the kids be ok? What about my parents? Would we have enough food if the shops closed? I felt totally overwhelmed.
I had a sharp realisation. The situation with Covid19 is happening and I can’t change it. I can try to help those around me, but I’m powerless to change the global situation.
I can choose how to react. I am choosing to find the opportunity in it.
Soon the virus will be under control, and the world will be back to normal. A slightly new normal perhaps, but normal all the same.
I won’t spend the time over the next few months gossiping, trying to predict what happens. I won’t spend it scrolling through endless social media posts. I won’t spend it passive aggressively arguing about pseudo science with my wife (“ok so you’re an epidemiologist now Mark“). Instead, I’m determined to put in place a routine where I can learn so I become better at something every day.
For the next 2 months I will spend 60 minutes every day on something which improves my life for the better.
I will research and write an academic paper on decision making in Technology Architecture. As I am working from home for the next few weeks, I will use the time I’d have spent commuting. This new knowledge will help me improve the work-lives of every customer we have at Workhuman. It will also make me a better technologist for the rest of my career.
Please find one thing for you to do.
Pick one thing that would alter your life. Is it a new skill, a skill that will help others, a passion that you’ve not had time for?
You can learn to program, begin an exploration of Jazz or Classical Music. You can write a blog, an article, a book. You can read a self-improvement book, take a course in Coursera, or indulge a passion almost forgotten for years. Maybe you’d like to learn how to ride a unicycle.
Find something to do and tweet at me. I will tweet every morning. Lets give each other support in this time to improve the world. @markgreville #ChooseOpportunity
Lets take care of each other and stay positive where possible. Together we are stronger.