Because the sage confronts difficulties, he never experiences them.
– Lao Tzu
As we navigate life during this global pandemic, we can all use some clarity and perspective to make the best of our time in quarantine. How can we use this time in ways that can yield lasting benefits for ourselves and those around us?
As a student, one way to gain such clarity and perspective is to ask yourself, “What opportunity does this provide?” This question is a useful thought exercise, and it becomes exponentially more powerful when you act on the answers you find.
So what answers may you find in these challenging times? What kind of opportunities can a global pandemic provide? Here are five examples to get you started:
1. Slow down
Between your studies, work, internship and maybe even your responsibilities as a student-athlete, perhaps you haven’t had much time to yourself. Use this time to slow down and recharge your batteries. This could be your chance to do more of the things you love. Slowing down could also offer an opportunity for introspection and self-inquiry. This may be a great time to reconnect with yourself, or connect with yourself for the first time.
2. Develop new habits and skills
Most of us are caught in the rhythm of our daily routines, and it doesn’t leave much room to develop new habits and skills. This is the time to add meditation or exercise to your morning routine, or to finally try cooking your own meals. You could develop new skills, such as learning how to code, paint or play an instrument. Whatever the case may be, use this opportunity to try something new.
3. Think about your future and plan ahead
Use this time to set yourself up for success. Update your resume, create an online portfolio, build or edit your LinkedIn profile, apply for jobs or internships, and network with Wingate alumni who work in your field of interest (check out university.linkedin.com). If you are thinking about graduate school, use this time to do your research and increase your chances of getting into the program of your dreams.
4. (Re)focus on important relationships
We are often so lost in the whirlwind of our daily activities and responsibilities that we neglect some important relationships. This could be the time to mend broken relationships, to deepen longtime ones and strengthen those you just started. Thanks to technology, we can remain close to our loved ones even while practicing social distancing.
5. Launch a side project
Do you have a project you’ve always wished you could start? Maybe it’s launching a business, starting a research project, finally writing that novel, reupholstering an old piece of furniture or reorganizing your closet. If you use your time wisely and intentionally, you could emerge with something of lasting value, something you are really proud of.
Time is our most valuable asset, yet we waste it mindlessly. As marketing guru Seth Godin notes, “If we used our money the way we use our time, we would all essentially be bankrupt.” May you make the best of your time in quarantine, and may it lead to life-changing discovery and transformation.
April 22, 2020