Rising to the level of our aspirations

We are two months into a whole new world. I have questions.

First, what are we to call this whole new world? I don’t like “COVID-19”. It certainly doesn’t rise to the level of BC – AD. The Pandemic Era doesn’t work for me either. While the virus has precipitated this whole new world, I would rather focus on the opportunity it presents than the danger. So I’m going to call it the Great Reinvention.

What am I reinventing? Meeting on Zoom calls has to be first on the list. Something I used to do once or twice a month I’m now doing several times daily. I’m certainly not reinventing the idea of staying connected, but Zoom is helping make it happen. Oh, and watching myself on the screen shows me just how often I touch my face!

What else am I reinventing? As I wrote in “Rough Waters Make Good Sailors”, clear thinking has never been more important. The media’s job is to keep our attention and make money; it’s not to provide incisive data and a balanced perspective. I’m finding it more challenging than ever to get to real facts and put them in perspective. Making reasonable inferences could become a new sport to replace the ones we have lost. I’m using tool The Ladder of Inference more than ever to discipline myself to distinguish between facts and conclusions.

What are the opportunities provided by this great reinvention? I’m more attuned than ever to the things that really matter. As some of the conveniences of the modern world get stripped away, the birds are still singing. The air is cleaner and clearer. Love still matters. Sitting on my porch at sunset is still magical. Stripping away some of the distractions provides more choice to focus on what I really want.

How can I rise to the level of my aspirations? Archilochus said “We do not rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” The pressure of the moment has tested me in so many ways. Pressure both reveals my gaps and strengthens my mental tools. It’s the pressure that will help me rise.

What are your aspirations during this great reinvention? How are you keeping your thinking clear? What are you doing to take care of yourself and focus on what matters most? What are you doing with your choices?