Like many people I have just experienced a year in a Pandemic where I have worked very little, conducted meetings by Zoom etc; had little face to face contact with friends and clients and have felt the pressure of ’lockdown isolation’. I have gone from international work projects with lots of travel to feeling that a walk to the local supermarket just to get the opportunity to engage with other people is a highlight of my day.
This lockdown has been what Bill George in his book 'Discover your True North' describes as one of your Crucibles in life. We all have crucibles in our lives and we can let them break us or shape us. Everyone reading this will have experienced something in your life that shook you - the death of a loved one, financial crisis, illness, disappointment and you have had to make a decision as to how you were going to deal with it. I have experienced all of these and yes, they have shaped me.
In 2018 I published my first book 'Moving Horizons' to try and tell my story so that it may influence others to give back to those who are less well off in life. I decided to do this at a time in my own life when I faced challenges which were really impacting on me and were testing my resilience to the limit. To write down my thoughts and experiences made me self-reflect to a level previously not known by me.
During the past 12 months I have had to reflect again on how circumstances were affecting me and during these moments I have read those words that were written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s orphanage in Calcutta…
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centred.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.
I have found that these words have boosted my resilience again and helped me gain a perspective that was needed.
One main learning point for me over the past year has been that irrespective of work the most important element of my life is my family and close group of genuine friends. I am very lucky to have them beside me and they are invaluable to me. That will never change no matter how many pandemics we experience.