Early in the year 2020 when the great Corona Virus tempest rampaged throughout the world it shook The Tree of Life mightily. Many branches fell from the Tree of Life and many leaves were scattered. People cowered in their houses fearful of the power of the storm that engulfed them.
The great danger that challenged many people was a pervasive fear. It seeped through the doors and windows of houses like a malignant gas. Like the Covid virus itself it was secretive and difficult to identify. It manifested itself in many forms. Some feared that their job might become a dead branch on the Tree of Life. Others feared that they could not see a clear way ahead. Yet more feared that they would loose their independence. But few could put their finger on exactly what they feared. They just found a description and convinced themselves that they understood their fear.
Was the real fear that they had lost their vision of their future? Their vision may have been unclear but in each person’s mind they had a kind of inner knowing that told them where they were going. Now their destination is no longer clear.
With too much time and insufficient mental and physical stimulation the people started to think too much.Their imaginations went into negative overdrive and started to create multiple scenarios, some of which increased the fear. Their unknown fear often led to inactivity. And when fear leads to thoughts of flight it can dampen ardour, curtail the will to do. Without physical activity mental activity often spins into overdrive.
And as the cold wind of uncertainty blows many people have started to feel a loss of confidence. “How,” they ask themselves, “will I adapt and thrive in the world that is coming and which I cannot visualise? If I cannot visualise it how can I know that I will be safe? How can I know what I should do?” And, by asking themselves such questions and failing to find answers their worries grow.
Yet when they are released from the confines of their homes the people will come again. Their energy renewed by the long home rest they will throw themselves with renewed vigour into the task of rebuilding their world. But what sort of world will it be?
The Seeds of New Life
Not all people are infected by the chilly wind of fears. Still other people are blown into action by fears, they use their ‘fear energy’ to force themselves to look for a new way to live. They see The Tree of Life with new branches. Some branches grow out of the shoots on old branches. Sometimes new branches of different varieties are grafted onto old stock so that new opportunities can emerge that bear new types of fruit.
The New Life thinkers are turning their innovative minds to how the world will be. What will the victims of lockdown demand? After sacrifice human beings tend to want something better. So, what form of new world will we all be looking for? It may well be that people will want a safer, less polluted world. Real concern for the environment could manifest itself. There may also be a greater appreciation of natural beauty. Many old industries and services may seem less important. And old habits and ways of living may be cast aside.
Of some things we can be certain as the effects of the virus diminish and the people emerge blinking from their lockdown nests into the bright light of their new world. People will feel that they have given up much, that they have made a great sacrifice for the common good. And after we have made a sacrifice we want things to be better, they will want a better quality of life. After a diet we want to be slimmer and after exercise we want to feel fitter.
Following this line of thinking it seems logical that after being confined people will want to feel free. But how will they express their desire to feel free?
The priority for some will be to find a way to express their bodies. They will want to exercise, to walk, to run, to cycle, to gym, to Pilate, to yoga, to weight lift, to ski, to sail, to golf, to tennis or do whatever allows their body to feel alive.
The priority for others will be to find peace. They will want to feel calm, to know silence, to avoid aggression, to avoid crowds, to soul-search. This group may well be the most concerned about lessening the human impact on the environment.
Another group will want to congregate, to collaborate, to reconnect with their communities. They will want to communicate, to be heard – some may even want to listen. In this group some will be searching for a way to be recognised.
There will be many who will react to the uncertainty of the pandemic by searching desperately for a ways that they can feel safe. They may want to congregate with others, or save money, or buy insurance, or move to a safer location, or avoid crowds at any cost.
Yet others will be bursting with a need to achieve something. Their pent-up energy will be desperate to get its teeth into something that they can make work.
All will want to feel respected for the sacrifice that they have made. In 1946 The Labour party in England managed to oust the very successful and very popular war leader Winston Churchill from office only a few months after his greatest triumph. They won by simply promising people “something better” after their 6 years of blood, toil, tears and sweat.
What Types of Businesses Will Thrive in The Post Pandemic World?
I speculate that the businesses that have done well during the cold wind of lockdown will continue to prosper as the wind gets warmer. In particular the Food, Drink and Shelter sectors will do well. So farming, food processing, supermarkets, catering, chemists, drug stores, alternative practices and supplement stores, soft drinks, water, wine, beer, estate agents, builders etc should all prosper.
Opportunities will exist in sectors like: Health, Healthcare, Exercise, Fitness, Mental Health, Training, Teaching, Collaboration, Transport, Vacations, Fun and Enjoyment, Learning, Spaces where People can Contribute and Feel Valued, Information, Gardening and Allotments, Virus Protective Clothing.
Manufacturing opportunities will exist in sectors like: Motors and Motor Spares, Cycling and Cycle Spares, Construction Equipment, Gardening Equipment, Hospital Equipment, Household Appliances and Furniture, Environmental Safety Equipment, Anti-pollution Equipment, Environment Protection Equipment (power generation, travel, cooking, heating, ventilation), Environmentally Friendly Fashion and Clothing, Respect Your Planet Lifestyles and Equipment, Community Building and Caring (has the virus exposed weakness in the care home system?), Friendly Regimentation and Organisation, Non-contact Queueing,
Service opportunities will exist in sectors like: Insurance, Training, Collaborative Events (with social distancing), Teaching, Hobbies, Skills, Plumbing, Electricity, Gardening, Office Space Design, High Speed Broadband, Satellite Broadband, Inspiration.
The demand for communication equipment will grow. Particularly for robust platforms for hosting interpersonal communication. There will be a great need for means whereby people can collaborate, not just socialise, but work together whilst social distancing. The hospitality industry will change radically.
Let us hope also that employers seize the opportunity to demand a new style of leadership from their managers that harnesses the creativity and innovation of their entire workforces. Let’s take this opportunity to get rid of the fearful restrictive practice of leadership by command and control. Let us release the innovative power of all employees for innovation will play a major part in our ability to recover.
What Will The New Tree of Life Be Like?
What form will the demand for protection against future viral epidemics take? Will it affect the health services, the clothes we wear, the way we vacation, our work spaces? And in what ways will the effects play out? Will there be a requirement for new types of office partitions, or desks or water fountains? And, if so what will they look like?
The New Life thinkers do not only ask themselves questions like, “What will fashionable PPE look like?” The also ask themselves, “who will design it? Who will make it? Where will it be made?” They think about manufacturing closer to the point of purchase so as to restrict the length of supply chains and make them more robust. Less reliance on international transportation could minimise the future spread of viruses. Will such thinking lead to possible opportunities in protectionism?
These future thinkers turn their minds to transportation. “How will people travel in the future? Will the impact of Lockdown on climate change affect the way people travel? Will more people work from home in future and thereby lessen the impact on the roads and public transportation systems?” They consider were there could be opportunities there.
Will the multibillionaires of the post Covid-19 generation be, not technologists, but those who can create opportunities for human beings to collaborate and socialise? The world will belong to those who think creatively, those with energy and those who are strong.
How Do We Make Ourselves Strong?
Your strength come from knowing yourself. From knowing your strengths, your most important values and above all your deeply held beliefs. You become strong by making yourself valuable – by finding your voice – by mastering the art of communication – by overcoming your fear of exposing yourself – by build relationships – by seeking out people with whom to collaborate – by join think tanks – and above all, by NOT asking what others can do for you, but asking instead what you can do for others!
The Great Opportunity
This is a moment of great opportunity. All countries are in rebuilding phases. It is a chance to put aside the worst of the old world and replace it with something much better. We need to be more productive and more flexible than we have been in the past. We need to embrace change, to encourage innovation and to work more productively. People want better. Let’s all be part of creating a better world. It is to be hoped that the government will encourage and support innovation. However, the way that world will be is up to you and me. Politicians will not create our new world. They will only provide us some structure, it is up to use to do the space work.
So, what do you want your world to be like? It will be the way that we are and what we allow to happen and what we cause to happen that will create our new world. What role will you play?
In this article I have sought to stimulate your thinking about how you might be in the new world that is emerging.
If you now feel ready to start a new life all you have to do is request a copy of our FREE Start A New Life Toolkit.