Times of Turbulence

I hope this finds you and those you love, well. There’s few of us who aren’t a bit stressed and maybe frustrated, but please bear with me as I share with you why I’m impressed with our society and even excited to see how we apply what we’ve learned about ourselves, our families, our co-workers and complete strangers. No doubt these are some of the most turbulent times any of us have lived through. The operative phrase is “lived through”. I know that even the most severely impacted by this terrible pandemic have the ability to find grace, and prosper from the experience. We always say we learn the most from our mistakes, but I think we learn most when we have cause to rise up after a fall. And boy, do we have cause to rise.

So, the last weeks have been full of turbulence. The kind of “holy sh*t” turbulence. The “am I going to make it through this turbulence?” I know the answer is yes, there is a post Covid and as many of you know, I enjoy sailing so let me share an analogy. One of the things sailors contend with is wind turbulence and sometimes it is extremely dangerous. Life and death type of dangerous. Here’s what all sailors know and great sailors live by – the greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to react based only on yesterday’s knowledge and or logic. Note, I said only. Of course, in turbulence one has to rely on past learnings and experience, but there’s so much more. Information has to be taken in and turned into action quickly. Decisions happen in fractions of seconds.

During this period of turbulence, some have had to use similar strategies as sailors in turbulent high winds, and everyone could apply the same practice in varying degrees. We all have been forced to make more decisions about more things than is typical and the kinds of things we are deciding on have been things we could never have thought we’d be faced with. Key to handling the turbulence we’ve already felt and that which like a storm could appear on the horizon, is trust in ourselves and others. Trust that we recognize that we aren’t in this alone and trust that others are doing their best with the knowledge and tools they have to manage the number and type of decisions that are coming at them. As we navigate our work in new dimensions, it sometimes feels like sailing through gale force winds. As we make it through, and we will, we may feel a little anxious wondering when the next squall is coming. But the reality is with each wind storm we get better, stronger and more confident. I mean just think how quickly we all learned how to manage Zoom meetings! Seriously, how many people do you know that had never even heard of Zoom and within days were handling it like pros? Or who could have imagined that 4 and 5-year olds would be asking when their Zoom meeting is and wonder if they are “muted”. Fast reactions and fast learning!

We have more turbulence ahead. How we head into it is a choice. We can do it using the confidence we’ve built or we can batten down and simply try to ride it out. I hope you’re with me in applying what we’ve learned, together with what we already knew to make the best of the future weather. Battening down and using auto pilot when things are turbulent rarely brings good outcomes for sailors and non-sailors alike. Please join me in making the best we can of whatever situation we find ourselves in and help those around us in the process. We got this!

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