Pandemic Pursuits: Yay or Nay?

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Pandemic Pursuits: Yay or Nay Pandemic Pursuits: Yay or Nay

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big fan of the Obamas, especially Michelle Obama. Her memoir, ‘Becoming’ is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a book I never lend out to anyone because it’s just that sacred.  

Of the many nuggets of wisdom in that book, one of my utmost favorites is Michelle’s sentiment that she is not a big fan of the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As if we ever stop growing up; as if we ever stop becoming. The idea that we can only be one thing not only stifles ambition and creativity it also sends the false message that limitations in individual evolution are inevitable 

I believe that we all have certain dreams, goals and aspirations that we work towards everyday. Some people set out 5-to-10-year plans on how they are going to achieve those goals. For one, 2020 was surely the year most of us were looking forward to. A new decade and another chance at life in which we could go out and conquer all our dreams…until COVID-19 happened. 

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 (coronavirus) a global pandemic. The whole world went into lockdown and the world changed forever. Until this day, the uncertainty persists and looms around the globe, rendering us unable to make meaningful plans or see through pre-existing plans. This leads us to very vital questions. Are our dreams still valid in a world post the COVID-19 pandemic? Does anybody still care whether we want to be pilots or business moguls? Are our aspirations still legitimate? 

This pandemic has changed the way we interact with each other on multiple levels. People no longer meet up at cafés for meetings but rather have their meetings via Zoom from their comfort of their homes . The pandemic hasn’t only changed that, but also so many business operations. Companies that invested sparingly into Information and Communications Technology were forced to change their ways of business while e-commerce companies such as Amazon found themselves on the right side of the pandemic.  

Even though COVID-19 did really change the ways in which we do most things nowadays, it didn’t change the fundamentals of how to build the foundation of our wildest dreams. The conditions under which we operate may change but that doesn’t have to change the primary goal. This leads me to a statement made by South African speaker and entrepreneur, Vusi Thembekwayo. He stated that businesses do not change but rather business models do.  

For example, a flower shop that had a pop-shop from which they sell flowers didn’t have to stop selling flowers and find something else. Rather, they had to change their business model and start selling flowers online. This is what I think of when it comes to executing the plans, we had pre-pandemic. We just have to align our goals and plans to the realities of today. This is crucial for everyone to understand as aligning our plans to today’s realities is what keeps our aspirations valid. I know it sucks that we have to go back to the drawing board and re-strategize on how to manifest our wildest desires but unfortunately, only the fittest survive.  

In consideration of the uncertainty these trying times have imposed upon us, I will share a vital lesson I learned from the popular Netflix show, “Money Heist”;  no matter how much you plan and strategize, things won’t always work out the way you’ve envisioned. This is evident in the work of the protagonist, the Professor. For years, he meticulously planned every detail for how he would pull off the most epic bank robbery, yet things still didn’t go as planned.  

In the event that things take a sudden turn, like they did in the past few months, what matters is that you never let your eyes off the prize . Circumstances will arise and you will have to take another route, but the destination should always be the same. Think of that in the current times we find ourselves. COVID-19 has truly changed a lot around the world, but I believe it is during these times that we need to remain more adamant and not give up on ourselves. The biggest thing these times demand from us is that we re-calibrate and re-adjust. 

Lastly, in the words of American music producer and business mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, don’t be afraid to step into your greatness. It’s scary but it’s magical .


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