We never question the normality of our day to day lives. We never give it a second thought? We thought it would go on forever. After all most of the time, we run around on autopilot. We get into the habit. Get up go to work, come home, we spend money on things we don’t need with money we haven’t got. Wash, spin, dry and repeat.
Then one day, the cycle halts, our world as we know it stops revolving.
I listen to various pundits, experts and journalists and – especially – government ministers telling us on the radio and tv what’s going to happen with this awful virus. The truth is nobody knows how this (virus) will end.
As human beings, part of our human needs is we crave certainty; we take as given that night will follow day, the ceiling won’t fall down and that our “Uber” will turn up.
We also like to have uncertainty; we love surprises and spontaneity. We don’t want to know what we will be doing or having for dinner in three months unless you are in prison, I suppose!
One of the questions – the main one – experts and politicians are asked; “When will things get back to normal when will we have certainty back?”
I guess nobody knows the answer and who knows what “Normal” will be? I, for one, will be very aware of my surroundings and social interactions, will handshakes come back? What about hugging and kissing? – As humans, we feed off each other; we are social beings who need to connect and interact – will now be uncertain long after this pandemic is over. Will, there be a guide book on social interaction and etiquette a Utube video perhaps?
As human beings, we are hard-wired to our daily habits. Where would you be without your tall skinny mocha latte from Starbucks on your way to work? All habits accomplish something of value; otherwise, they would not become habits in the first place. That’s why it’s so hard to change them; they give us normality and certainty even a caffeine rush if required!
Our habits are maintained and formed in numerous new ways, usually by taking tiny steps. We arrange our surroundings to support them. Other people expect us to behave in a predictable way and so treat us in a predictable way, reinforcing our new habit. Once habits are changed, they take us in a new direction.
But, times change, and our habits may no longer serve our purpose. Will the new norm, the new direction be working from home? Research from the US suggests that workers that do are far more productive. The appeal of commuting packed like a sardine in a train speeding towards the city centre working in an office on the 17th floor may have lost its charm. If it ever had any in the first place.
My job as a coach is to engage with my clients and examine the habits that hold them back. Sometimes only small changes are needed—tiny steps each one building on the one before that add up to create a new direction. Coaching has the power to change the course of a client’s life forever.
What habits are you harboring that no longer serve you? what needs casting aside?
Bring back normality I hear you shout! Never before have the words “Wash, spin, dry, and repeat” sounded so comforting.
Keep safe and do what your government tells you to do.
A great source of reference you should check-out B J Fogg book ‘Tiny Habits’
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