Other online sources are sharing different medical professionals’ theories, research and recommendations about prevention. There are so many arguments and so much information in favour and against such theories. How would one know whom to believe?
Then there are the ones who will uphold the conspiracy theories. Humans today are both blessed and cursed with access to technology. One can simply search the internet and easily find any answer to any question. My concern is: how reliable are these sources? Do we know enough about the field of medicine to be able to discern whom to believe?
We can all agree that very often the more we read, the more we may end up trying to follow various opinions, and needing to engage in further investigation. This will often only result in more and more confusion and uncertainty.
Sleepless nights, anxious days. What will become of us? What will our future look like?
I would like to invite you on a journey to a different 21st century. Forget your way of life for a moment, and forget your way of thinking. A question that would definitely come to mind is, what can one do on a personal level in order to change this unpleasant situation.
Allow me to share with you my way of dealing with uncertainty, which I also happily share and teach to my clients in my work with them.
Let us first start by observing uncertainty. Is it the first time that something like this has happened to us humans? Definitely not! We all know there have been countless dark ages, and difficult times when one had to focus on survival. Malta is a very special Island, full of innovative individuals, which is in fact the result of previous challenging times in its local history.
In the last decades, the majority of us were more or less blessed in Europe. Our life was balanced. We did not need to worry about paying our bills or putting food on our tables. We were quite certain that our workplaces were secured. It made us feel comfortable, we took things for granted, and we felt we deserved it. Our life had become somewhat materialistic, and we found ourselves wanting more and more. It was enjoyable to some degree. We were running from one workplace to another so that we would be able to buy our second car, or to travel to a fantasy destination, take those photos and post them on social media for all others to see. Was all of this a real representation of our true selves or was it more about who we wanted to show others that we are?
COVID-19 shocked our life, and our reality. Our yearly vacations were no longer possible, our plans to buy expensive clothes were postponed. Gone were the days of showing off and keeping up with others’ materialistic conquests.
Arriving to a new reality feels scary. It feels like we have lost control over our lives. Every one of us has different goals, so with this in mind, let’s have a look at what one can do to gain back a sense of control over the things that make us happy.
Nature is the biggest and strongest survivor in history and can therefore be the best teacher to us. Take the apple tree as an example. The tree will not produce apples all the year round. It goes through different cycles which include time for resting, time for building, nourishing time and also testing times, such as when it is attacked by insects or by harsh weather conditions.
As a coach who focuses on the future, I strongly believe that we definitely need to open our minds to other ways of living, and developing a particular mind-set. We need to start gaining control over our lives, and over our decisions.
1. Get to know yourself
Why is this important and how should we go about it? The journey of self-discovery is an individual challenge. In all honesty, when was the last time that you did something to serve your wellbeing?
Our life is invaded with other people’s thoughts. We are targeted by social media. It has been proven that one buys things, and lives one’s life not in the way they would like to, but ultimately in a way that has been manipulated very cleverly. Putting it simply, we have all bought goods or even travelled to a destination because we have read posts which were shared by others, sometimes even strangers, just because it’s important to keep up with the Joneses. The temptation is huge.
You could however ask the following questions before you act: Will this action make me happier? In which way and for how long?
Clean up your thoughts, and restrict the usage of technology. Talk to your friends instead of messaging them. Look for a real connection. This is still possible.
Find time to sit in quietness, and learn to listen to yourself. Observe yourself. Recognise your values. You can be your own best coach.
Each individual has his own way of achieving this. You can go for a walk in natural surroundings, be alone, or meditate. EFT is also a great technique which could assist with this.
2. Develop your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence unfortunately is not taught in any of our schools. However it is a crucial skill which we need in order to face the uncertain future. It starts with the ability to recognise one’s own feelings and learn how to deal with them. As we master this, we will become more able to deal with, not only with our own emotions, but also with those of other people more successfully.
When I am anxious, for example, and I recognise it, I will be able to ask for help in time or find relaxation techniques that will help me.
Emotionally Intelligent people are the more resilient.
3. Reinvent yourself
We all have our parents’ life as a model to guide us. Most of our parents used to work at one or two workplaces until they eventually retired. Technology has rapidly developed since then, which has resulted in big changes to our lives. We can’t live the way our parents used to anymore. We are now living in a world which is constantly changing, moving, and developing. Flexibility is necessary.
After we develop our emotional intelligence and get to know ourselves, our values, our strong and our weak points, we will be in a better position to focus on the future.
The following is my point of view which I would like to share with you. In my work I teach my clients that they are what they are doing now, and not what they used to do. They are also not what happened to them, especially if this was a negative experience, but rather what they wish to be. They can start planning according to what they wish for their future and also act in the relevant ways. It is a great positive power. By knowing yourself and being able to deal with your emotions you will be able to make better decisions.
Professor Yuval Noah Harari, who is one of the greatest thinkers, historians and philosophers of our time, and whom I have learnt a lot from, has discussed this dilemma. There are two skills which are important, Emotional Intelligence with mental balance is one important skill to have, whilst also the skill of reinventing ourselves throughout our lives. If in the past, education was like building a stone house with a deep foundation, today education is like setting up a tent that you can fold up and move elsewhere quickly and easily.
4. Your spirit, your body, and your mind are your temple
Last but not least, our body is a complex and beautiful structure. Learn to take care, respect and worship all parts of it. The body needs time for rest, and nourishment. This time and attention that we give to our body can be active or passive. We can take care of our bodies through engaging in diverse types of sport activities or else treatments such as massage, reflexology, or aromatherapy. The spirit needs food as well, and for some this could mean listening to music, for others it could be swimming, or even meditation. A good way to take care of our mind is through games, reading and last, but definitely not least, neurofeedback.
Take some time to search and choose the approach that works best for you.
Rest assured you are not a bad parent, or a bad employee or husband or wife if you dedicate some time to take care of yourself