What’s in Store for 2023? Where do we find the answers?

This is a photos taken today on our newly renovated balcony, of a treasured gift received from daughter Natasha, Son-in-law Pulasthi and grand-daughter Sathyana for Christmas 3-years ago. It signifies growth, overcoming challenges, letting go of the old branches and renewing in a purposeful manner.
A picture taken today on our new renovated balcony of a gift of a plant given by my daughter Natasha, son-in-law Pulasthi and grand-daughter Sathyana for Christmas 2019. This signifies growth, letting go of non-value adding activities (cut branches) and renewal purposefully.

This is a question we need to ask ourselves?

We Live in a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous that no one can tell us what’s in store for 2023. We have been asking this question every year and we could not find the answers out there. It was even more profound in the past three years of the pandemic and the global economic crisis.

The response to this dilemma from my experience is to reflect using some guiding questions. I found this approach so useful that I could say that I had one of the best years of my life in 2022.

Without boring you with what I achieved I would like to say that I attempted to live a purposeful life. A life of service to my world. When making crucial decisions, I asked myself what would be the course of action that is best aligned with my purpose. What action would I be most proud taking. Please search with the key word ‘purpose’ in this blog to explore ideas about living purposefully.

The following questions are useful in taking the energy and learnings from 2022. Reflect on these questions with your family or on your own regarding your personal life and with your team or on your own with regard to your team at work.

  • What are the two or three biggest gain we had during the year?
  • What did we learn from the gains?
  • What are the two or three biggest losses we had during the year?
  • What did we learn from the losses?
  • How did we change the way we live and work?
  • What will stop, what will we continue?
  • What are the new investments we made?
  • What will we retain, what will we dispose?

Thereafter it will be great to reflect on the following questions for 2023. 

  • What are the two or three biggest outcomes for 2023 that you/family/team would be proud of?
  • What baby steps would you take to start the journey towards these outcomes?
  • What obstacles are you likely to face in the journey? 
  • What steps would you take, who should be informed, who can you gain support from to deal with the likely obstacles?

These questions will lead to interesting conversation that will culminate with interesting decisions and action. Continue to reflect on the outcome of the action and take new actions so that you can find practical solutions for the opportunities and threats presented to you.

I will be happy to know how your reflections and conversations went. Please do let me know and reach out if I can be of any assistance.

Wishing you a Purposeful, Passionate, Prosperous 2023

A New Year or a New Day?

A photo captured by me on the 18th of December at Yala National Park – Sri Lanka

My new year’s message last year was ‘I wish you serenity this new year’. I hope you find the serenity to accept the new reality as you went through the second year of the pandemic, with all the confusion surroundings vaccines, booters, masks, lockdowns and travel restrictions. Perhaps the best approach would have been to find serenity and love it all as a way of releasing the tension and finding meaning.

I enjoyed taking one day at a time as it was pointless trying to predict or control the future. Whiles short-term plans were made with a long-term aspiration, I was willing to change them based on the reality of every new day. This helped me to be in the present (now) and enjoy the present (gift) of ‘peace of mind’ I received in the process. Interestingly when I released the want for the control of outcomes and made peace with not having them, almost all such aspirations manifested. 

One such situation was visiting the Yala national park in Southern Sri Lanka earlier this month with my brother and sister and their families who were visiting for Christmas Holidays from the UK and Canada. Sighting a Leopard at Yala is the aspiration of all visitors, but it is said that only a very small percentage of visitors are treated to this beautiful sight. Our trekker was trying his best to get us to see the Leopard, communicating with his fellow trekkers, speeding to various locations when information of Leopard sightings was reported. After about one hour we realised that in the pursuit of Leopard Sighting, we were missing the elephants, dear, peacocks, birds, crocodiles and the beautiful scenery. We released the want to sight the Leopard and was enjoying the rest of the wildlife. Suddenly we realised that our trekker was speeding in a direction. He had got information of a Leopard sighting. We saw the Leopard on a tree about half a mile away. The picture taken by me of the leopard, shared in this post is something I will cherish.

My reflection on the above and many experiences has helped me find serenity, taking one day at a time, letting go of wants and experience life. This is my wish for the new year.

With this aspiration I wish you an amazing New Day – Every Day of the New Year.

Saying ‘Yes’ to Beingness

An original poem by Ranjan De Silva

Image credits: goodmorninggratitude.com

Beingness invites us to ‘be’

But we attempt to ‘become’

Are we human beings or human becoming’s?

What would it mean to just be?

Beingness begins when we understand beingness

When we listen to the signals of beingness

Try to understand the grand plan of beingness

And say ‘yes’ to beingness

Being is participating in the process of life

It begins with the understanding of the process of life

It requires us to understand our role in the process of life 

And contributing to the process of life

When beingness provided us a pandemic,

With a grand plan to wake us from a bigger pandemic

To save us from the materialistic pandemic 

To save us from the power pandemic

The pandemic of destroying nature

The pandemic of destroying humanity

The pandemic of destroying economies

The pandemic of destroying livelihoods

Some are trying to stop the virus

Some are trying to nurture the virus 

Some are trying to prevent the virus

Some are trying to cure the virus

Driven by their own knowledge

Driven by their own aspirations

Driven by their own agendas

Driven by their own purpose

Can we please stop?

Can we listen to beingness?

Can we talk with each other?

Can we agree how best to say ‘yes’ to beingness? 

Herd Immunity of a Different Kind

Image Credits: Elegentthemes.com

While trying to avoid any infections of the vulnerable is our responsibility, it is important that we do it in the most holistic and helpful manner.

Taking precautions to prevent being a conduit in spreading the virus based on social distancing and hygiene guidelines is important. This can be augmented by strengthening our immune system. Good quality and timely sleep, exercises, fresh air, nutrition and being stress free is important to keep a strong immune system.

Stress happens when we are blessed with responsibility and when we look at such responsibility in a negative way. This negative approach to our responsibilities causes anxiety and anxiety is a result of not knowing. When we don’t know we tend to speculate, we tend to listen to gossip, we tend to believe unverified information coming our way. We make matters worse when we spread such information without knowing its accuracy and authenticity. The receiver believes such information if they trust us, and they spread it on. 

Therefore, it is important to know the real facts. For starters compare the mortality rate of Covid with other diseases such as Ebola, SARS, Dengue etc. Compare it with the deaths by road accidents and other accidents created by man-made conditions such a poisoning of water, cutting of trees, modern day slavery etc. Compare the 99% rate of cure of Covid against the other causes of death. Consider the suicides, domestic violence and abuse caused by economic conditions resulting from loss in business due to mass scale lock downs. Studying all this information will help us realise that our anxiety and stress is blown out of proportion. Augment with this some meditation, mindful activity, time with nature, positive thinking and physical Wellness activities and find immunity.

Those who took this approach has had financial success, peace of mind, happiness and has been in a position to help those who were infected and families who lost loved ones. In the worst cases situation if such people reach mortality, they could transcend happily and peacefully given the state of mind at that point. If more people develop this mindset and approach to life, I believe we can develop herd immunity of a different kind to defeat the virus.

Wish you strong, successful, happy and purposeful living.