REFLECT, REFRESH, REACT, AND RESET - THE NEXT CHAPTER
December 2, 2021
Notes by Julie Furlong
As we approach 2022, I made a promise to myself to communicate with you more. When I first launched into Notes in 2016, my commitment and intention was to post once a month… but as we all well and truly know, life gets in the way from time to time – and it’s ok to take a break and to go back to your passions later! Lockdown has given me time to pause and reflect, and from that, I have more clarity, and the inspiration to create has returned to my life – taking it up a few notches of course, you will be seeing some fun content changes for the better (I hope you enjoyed the new look and last post (read (Read: 4 ways to manage with love). Mind you, this has arrived all amongst considerable interruptions, disappointment, lockdowns and let downs – but then again, such is life!
What an interesting and challenging time it’s been, to have lived at this moment and experience the unpredictable, unbelievable highly contagious COVID-19, forcing us all into some form of isolation! We all moved from the known into the unknown and of course that caused some discomfort and no one likes that. But not all was lost, there were so many learnings from this experience. For most of us now, it’s almost time to come out and play with the real world again and won’t that be nice? If there is one thing COVID and bunkering down has taught me, it was to get to know myself better. I took the opportunity to reflect, refresh, react and reset, moving onto the next chapter in life. I find it fascinating how we can keep learning more about ourselves from the most bizarre experiences, resulting in understanding ourselves and our purpose, which ultimately makes us more fulfilled. Our purpose, of course, changes from time to time, as we get older. And the key is about keeping in tune with this, as success without purpose and fulfilment is the ultimate failure.
Everyone I have spoken to about lockdown, tells me about how much they have learnt and all the new projects and ideas they are excited to embark upon. For me, it was about perfecting a solid routine, especially a morning ritual and the importance of the spaces and smells around me. It made me more grateful for the human connections I have and excited about making more in the future. But the greatest lockdown reward of all was time. Time for calm and time for reflection to understand oneself was invaluable. When you get a better understanding of yourself, you actually get things done to reset and thrive.
When we are forced into a situation like the COVID lockdowns (one that we were not that happy about), the lesson is to turn it around and have it work to your full advantage. It’s like the old saying, are you a ‘glass half full’ person or a ‘glass half empty?’ In most cases, COVID taught us the bigger picture of this meaning, ‘glass half full’ and how to make the most of it. Let me ask you this – during lockdown did you learn a new skill? Did you improve the space around you? Did you appreciate your good health more than ever before? Did you think most days, “I’m better off than most people in this world”, or did you come up with some new fresh ideas that you are excited about launching in the future? If you answered yes, to at least 1 or more of these – then you have learnt something and lockdown hasn’t been a complete waste of time.
Whilst I was in lockdown, I prepared for the new era in my workplace. I worked hard dreaming big about new ideas and a better future and then took the necessary small steps in the moment to bring that dream into fruition. People like me, running a business, need to consider, plan and understand that the way we now work will change and a new generation of employees will continue to rightfully demand a different kind of work experience; one defined by balance, inspiration, flexibility and significance. This will require a different authentic approach and a mindset about fulfilment and what it means to lead and be a good manager.
Yes, lockdown was difficult and lonely at times. I so missed the interaction with others, the kindness, connection and warmth from friends, colleagues and family (Read: 12 Signs to know you've found your best friend). But getting things done, and learning was the bonus, which replaced such things. Now it’s time to launch into all those great new ideas you had during lockdown and give it a go (Read: 13 Essential tips to remember when starting a business)
Take the lessons and dreams you had during lockdown and think about how you can apply them. Remember you may fail a few times before a new idea works for you. Every time you fail, think of it as being one step closer to achievement. Lots of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them.
SO LET’S PRESS THIS RESET BUTTON TOGETHER AND MOVE ONTO THE NEXT CHAPTER.
THOUGHTS TO PONDER
I’m often asked by younger people for my opinion on where they should work, or my advice on a role they may be considering, and I always answer with the same thing; Lookout for the culture, make sure it is nurturing and kind.
I am old enough now to truly reflect on the past and realise how lucky I am to have them in my life. My take is that you are much better off having a handful of best friends that you can rely on and that love you, rather than trying to be mates with everyone. Here are a few things, a bestfriend truly do...
I’ve come to learn and know that being bold, brave and courageous, will only build more confidence for you in all areas to grow as a person. Take those initial steps and reflect on what you've done.