How Is The Pandemic Serving Us?

Image Credits: Wired.com

In the one before the last blog post (two Wednesdays ago) in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I started attempting to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had regarding the first two questions related to goals, in last Wednesdays blog post. Let me attempt to respond to the third questions;

What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?

I had already answered this question on my blog post of 30th March 2020. That was at the beginning of the pandemic and it is interesting to see how the answer to this question has evolved.

Six months ago we were wondering how the pandemic was going to affect our lives. Many of the conversations were about the materialistic impact such as health, economy, jobs, livelihood, etc. This has been visible all over the globe to various extents. However these challenges have made people think about their lives, livelihood, vocation, goals etc. Some have started their own business that they were procrastinating. Some have changed jobs to a one with a lower salary, but more in line with their passion and talents. Some have taken a bigger job. Some mothers stopped working to ensure they give time to their children who are studying online while the father earns the money or visa versa. Therefore for some people the purpose of the pandemic was to make them more purposeful in living.

While we felt that the bigger purpose, of the pandemic was to remind us that this planet belongs to all forms of life, not just to human beings, to remind us that our purpose is not to just enrich ourselves but learn to co-exist with each other and other living beings. We are one eco-system, one life process and there needs to be balance. However in many countries life is coming back to what it was with the traffic building up, factories emitting fumes, government not improving their policies on climate change etc. While aircrafts are not flying as usual, many airlines have started commercial flights and I feel that air travel will be back to normal soon. So six months later , I am not sure if we humans responded to the pandemics aim to make us value and protect our ecology.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw beautiful videos of how families are closer, having lovely conversations, playing board games, and watching movies together. We saw people helping each other, the rich helping those that are having financial difficulties, the poorer using their talents to harvest the crops and deliver to others who need it, healthcare workers caring for the sick, security forces and law enforcement officers maintaining quarantine centres and providing security, banks and utility companies postponing payment due dates and rescheduling loans. However all these things are going back to what I was with work re-starting in many organisations. While the pandemic liberated human values and reignited the consciousness of the need to coexist, my hope is that it at least stays at a deep level and guide the conscience of people.

At a higher level lets hope the eco-system that started regaining its balance will provide us better living conditions while we do our part to support that effort.

I wish you purposeful living.

Goals! What Goals?

Image Credits: Saba.com

In the last blog post in the ‘Purpose Quest’ series, I attempted to list down questions that came up during my various interactions with various audience over the last 6 months of the pandemic. I will attempt to write about how I responded to those question and the insights I had, in the next few blog posts. So let’s begin with the first two questions. Both of them are related to goals;

My goals have become irrelevant due to the pandemic? What do I do now?

Why do I need to have goals when they can become irrelevant due to uncontrollable situation?

I always felt goals were irrelevant without a bigger purpose. A goal becomes meaningful when it is connected with a higher, noble purpose. Therefore if someone feels the goal they had was irrelevant due to the pandemic, perhaps it was not attached to a purpose. If a goal without a purpose is difficult to achieve, we may use unethical, illegal, unhealthy methods to achieve them and we will get stress if we don’t achieve them. Goals attached to a purpose are easy to adjust and we do not get stressed if such goal.

For example I was in the process of starting to write my thesis to complete my Phd when the pandemic hit. Due to the pandemic, I had to focus on other priorities as I have written widely in this blog. This requires me to delay the completion of the Phd or even even not to pursue it anymore. I was comfortable with both these option as the purpose of doing the Phd was to inquire about the notion of ‘purposefulness’ and present to the world new knowledge that can help people become purposeful and thereby find success, happiness and peace of mind, while contributing to a better world. I was able to make this contribution to the world over the past six months through webinars, webshops, blogs, social media and other interactions. I also realise I already have a book to write on the topic, which will also help people live a purposeful life. I may or may not complete the Phd and that goals seems irrelevant when I think about the bigger purpose behind it.

The answer to the second question is that we could still have purposeful goals that we are willing to change, adjust or let go when the universe sends us a strong message, as in the case of the pandemic, calling us to be of service to this world in a different way.

I hope this is food for thought. I will be delighted to hear from you the answers that you came up with and engage in dialog, purposefully..

I wish you purposeful living.

A Common View Made Rare by the Pandemic

This was such a common view, having been on a flight at least twice a month, over the past 15 year until the pandemic arrived. I was on a flight only once in the last 6 months and that too a special flight that repatriated standard Sri Lankan’s home. I feel relived that I don’t have to pack my bags every fortnight and this is likely to continue for many more months. Stumbling upon this picture that I had taken on one of my flights, evoked mixed feelings. I am not sure if I am actually relieved or if I am going to miss my travel. Well I suppose this is food for thought dished out by the pandemic.

Questions about Purpose

Image Credits: thamarathorpe.com

The last six month opened up amazing opportunities for me to reflect on the notion of purpose. These opportunities arose during conversations with family, team and clients in trying to make sense of the pandemic. These opportunities arose during webinars conducted to help people with their concerns, anxieties, stress and other psychological challenges. These opportunities arose from the 150 plus participants from 15 countries taking part in the four ‘Mastery of Self’ through NLP, online certificate courses over the past few months.

In this blog post I will attempt to list down the questions that came up. Some of these questions were already asked earlier, some of these are modifications to the old questions and some of these are new questions.

My goals have become irrelevant due to the pandemic? What do I do now?

Why do I need to have goals when they can become irrelevant due to uncontrollable situation?

What is the purpose of the pandemic? How is it serving us?

Is our purpose changed due to changing realities?

I am struggling more due to the pandemic. Is it helping me to find purpose?

Am I struggling more during the pandemic because I try to live purposefully?

Do our values change with situations? Arn’t they supposed to be fixed?

Isn’t values an important component of our purpose?

My purpose is clashing with the purpose of some of my family. It is prominent now because I spend a lot of time with them. How do it deal with them?

Are religious people more purposeful than non-religious people?

Does spirituality become more important than religion for purposeful people?

Does the notion of Purposeful living taken a new meaning with the pandemic?

Are world leaders being purposeful in the way they are handling the pandemic?

I will reframe from answering these questions to provide you the opportunity to reflect and answer these questions. I am not sure what that process will do. I will be delighted to hear from you the answers that came up and how these questions and answers served you.

I wish you purposeful living.

The Pandemic and Temporal Aspect of Purposefulness

Image Credit: Nationalpost.com

In the last 8 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted eight important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial, environmental and societal. Let’s explore the ninth pillar, the ‘temporal’ aspect in this blog post. As in the past eight blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

The word ‘Temporal’ has two broad applications; relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs (secular) and relating to time. I use the word in relation to the use of time. The temporal aspect of purposeful relates to the use of limited time. The purposeful person attempts to utilise most of the time for purposeful activity, which requires letting go of non-purposeful activity.

The last eight weekly blog posts in the ‘purposeful quest’ series illustrated how my time was allocated to purposeful activity in spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial, ecological and temporal areas. These activities took most of my waking time and there was rarely any time remaining for non-purposeful activity during the approximately 16 hours of waking time.

The sense I make from this reflection is that the pandemic gave me so much opportunities to be purposeful, that it left me with almost no time for non-purposeful activities. This way of life has kept me occupied in meaningful and energising activity, giving me inner success, happiness and peace. My purpose is to inspire others to live a purposeful life and I hope this series of blog posts will inspire you too to live a purposeful life and find Success happiness and peace.

The Pandemic and Societal Aspect of Purposefulness

Image Credits: shethe people.tv

In the last 7 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted six important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial and environmental. Let’s explore the eight pillar, the societal aspect in this blog post. As in the past seven blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

With lockdowns being imposed, offices closed, and people starting to work from home, my clients either took the assigned transformational work online or postponed them. This gave me the illusion that there will be a lot of free time. Since I was in Dhaka, while engaging with the foreign ministry and the high commission to arrange repatriation flights, I joined my friend I was staying with to distribute dry rations to people who were financially affected due to lockdowns. In addition I arranged some help for some relatives and friends who were looking for financial assistance and guidance.

To help with the psychological challenges faced by many, my team in Dhaka helped me to produce some videos with mental tips to deal with challenges and anxiety releasing meditation. While using social media to get these to people who needed it we started conducting free webinars to help people deal with the present and gear up for the future. After returning to Sri Lanka I had the opportunity to join my team to conduct psychological first aid for the medical staff of the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH), the command center fighting the pandemic in Sri Lanka.

I believe most of the above opportunities were provided to me to help be purposeful during the pandemic. My purpose to inspire others to live a purposeful life and these opportunities helped me share the idea of ‘purposefulness’ and show how it can help to make sense of the pandemic, deal with anxiety & stress and adjust their way of life to respond positively. While all these were related to giving, my time without any financial benefit, I enjoyed the happiness of giving, learning & building relationships in the process. I feel purposeful.

What’s your dream?

I Have a Dream” is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history. 

(please note – Under the applicable copyright laws, the speech will remain under copyright in the United States until 70 years after King’s death, through 2038.)

As you listen to one of the greatest speeches ever delivered reflect on your dream for a better world and a baby step you can take to start the journey of making that dream come true.

Interfaith harmony – Childlike Joy

The Cardinal of the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka and a Senior Buddhist monk during a moment that capture interfaith harmony and childlike joy. The picture speaks for itself. Let’s hope and pray that this type of authentic harmony and joy spreads far and wide to heal this world.

It’s a Possibility, with Your Heart the Hunter, to find Peace and Happiness

It’s a possibility – John Denver

As you listen to this beautiful song reflect on how you can use your heart, the hunter to fight off hatred and help find peace and happiness in your little world, thereby creating ripples to make this world a better place.

Lyrics

For all of the times that you’ve wondered why
The world turned out this way
And all of the times that you’ve asked yourself
About the games that people play.

About the politics of hunger
And the politics of need,
How the politics of power
Seem to be the politics of greed.

For all of the times that you’ve struggled in an effort
To work your way back up stream,
And all of the times you’ve held on to it,
When most of us had lost the dream.

And for all of the ones who have walked with you,
By your side or way back home,
Maybe much more than any of us
You know that no one is really alone.

Because the heart is still a hunter,
It’s like a beacon in the night.
Though the heart is just a lover,
It’s never afraid to fight.

We are fighting for more than survival,
We are…

The Pandemic and the Environment

Image Credit: business west.co.uk

In the last 6 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted six important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, health and money. Let’s explore the seventh pillar, the ecological aspect in this blog post. As in the past six blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

With lockdowns being imposed, offices closed, and people starting to work from home vehicles movement reduced drastically. With airports restricting flights there were less flights in the sky. With demand for non-essential products reducing factories were operating at lower capacity reducing environmental damage. All this made the air cleaner, water cleaner, skies bluer and grass greener.

Unlike in the earlier six aspects, there was not much for me to do, the earth was healing itself. I had to only participate by using the freshness for my well being and helping others to use this Knowladge to make sensei of the positive aspects of the pandemic. Therefore I used the webinars I was conducting and conversations I was having with people to show these benefits and to use this opportunity to adjust lifestyles, so that even after the pandemic, we live in a manner that is beneficial to the environment.

With life coming back to normal in Sri Lanka, I am concerned to see that the amount vehicles on the road have gone back to pre-pandemic levels. Our airways are still clean as the flights are still restricted, but with the envisaged opening up of the skies end of this month, the air pollution levels are likely to start increasing again. Work from home is getting lesser, and in person activities are increasing. I am attempting to keep at least half of my learning experience delivered online even when things are back to normal. I need the other half to interact with people as we cant be totally devoid of human interactions to help them in their learning, growth and transformation.

So lets continue to communicate and role model to help people at least adjust to a mid-way level between total lockdowns and total free movement with their free will so that we can bring this planet to liveable conditions. If not nature will hit back with a bigger pandemic and will keep doing it more regularly to save the planet.