April 3, 2020 Praveen

Decoding COVID 19 - Part 2/3
Finding Purpose in Chaos

Once you have accepted and embraced the uncertainty that life throws at you, you are sure to be better prepared for whatever comes next!

With Covid-19 leaving all of humanity puzzled and frustrated, families and businesses struggling to cope with the unexpected chaos at hand, what could possibly come out right?

Well, what if I tell you that this is exactly what an opportunity looks like!

‘Opportunity’ has always had this very peculiar way – it comes in the mask of a misfortune, like a sand storm, and shakes us from our very roots. When you are staring into the eye of the storm, you are naturally focused on the stress and chaos that surrounds it. But some would agree that this is also the time, when you have nothing to lose – but a whole lot to gain, maybe take this as an opportunity for transformation – for finding your purpose in life.

Something, you might have been wanting to take time out for, all your life, but never could?

Most of us have lost a loved one or two in our lives, and we know what kind of thoughts absorb us during these times – What is life? What’s its purpose? Why do we come, why go so soon and where to?

Questions like these make rounds in our minds non-stop! But in time, these settle down and we soon get dragged back into our daily routines and the subtle chaos of our daily life, leaving those questions unanswered. But in fact, those very questions hold the power to truly reshape your life into a fulfilling, purposeful reality, if we are up for it!

With Covid-19 still on the loose and all of us having to pick isolation as the only solution for now, businesses and economics are bound to suffer. This calls for shortages of various kinds – food, finances etc. This will make the upcoming situation more challenging, and needless to say, this could stay this way for some time to come. Such a situation is bound to bring a sense of fear and anxiety among us. We fear for ourselves, our families, our work peers – most importantly, we are faced with the fear of ‘what next’. If it hasn’t come to that point, it will get there soon. But when it does come, are we prepared to answer it? How is it that we are going to cope with it?

Last year, a small group of us friends decided to take up the challenge of going to Everest Base Camp. This was totally unknown territory for all of us, but then we geared up for the challenge and in its pursuit, we learnt a lot of tricks about life which I have covered earlier in a 5 part EBC series. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you spare some time. It will surely give you a better perspective on this subject. We successfully completed the challenge. The world was moving at its pace, & we slowed down. The EBC Trek left us with a deep understanding ourselves and made us a better living being than what we were at the onset!

Starting 2020, I took up the challenge of reading 100 books over the year, and as of now I have just about completed my 15th book. When I took it up, I wasn’t aware of the pitfalls I was to face and I was blankly told that it was a seemingly impossible task for a non-reader like me. The challenge entailed me reading 6 books every month – no mean task for someone who hadn’t stepped willingly into a library before this. I had taken it up without realizing how tough it was going to be.

But today, as I gradually move towards my goal, I find it becoming more doable by the day. What’s more, the unexpected time out from office commute and work could give me some extra time to read up some more. The excitement of reaching this milestone itself is so encouraging. Whether I touch 100 or not, I think I have made a huge difference to my life.

The best part of this whole experience however, is not in the numbers! It’s the learnings that I am getting out of this. The knowledge that I am being exposed to is phenomenal!

My learnings from these challenges have left me with a few clues about why these challenges sneak up unexpectedly, how these challenges work and how is it that we can beat them.

First, we need to slow down and look at the challenge for what it is. Look at it holistically and soon you will find the trail that will lead you to an opportunity.

What if we can look at this pandemic as one of the rarest learning opportunity in our life?

The bigger problem is the disease, but a smaller piece of it is how you are going to face it today, tomorrow and day after. With one eye on this, we can focus on the broader picture.

Next, we got to answer a bigger question only few among us are attempting to answer – How will life be after the pandemic? As we recover from this painful phase, what is it that life will leave us with? How prepared are you for these circumstances? Have we thought about this?

There are bound to be some emotional and financial dis-balances. But it’s not difficult to deal with this, but first you need to bring yourself to a point of awareness.

All of us have a unique lens to look at life; a capability to understand life in our own unique ways. This is one rare phase where you are getting the opportunity slow down and ask yourself – Why are you living?

The journey of our life which started at point A, someday will end at point B – But what do you want the journey between Point A & Point B to be like? Which leads us to the most important question of all:

Are you doing what you want to do in life? What is your purpose?

For me, the constant purpose of my life is to make it a bit more beautiful than it was. To live in an environment that is beautiful, and inspirational like it’s been never before. So, it’s a gradual but consistent change for a better life and I am poised to make these changes in whatever small ways I can make them.

I realized that I used to spend a lot of time between my workplace and home (like it is for most of us). So I asked myself – Can I make these two places more inspirational and beautiful?

So, when you come to my office, Meraqee, you will see that it’s a complete blend of my work and my life inspirations. I don’t see any differentiation between the two aspects of my life when I enter Meraqee. The place is beautiful and truly inspiring for me. I did not create Meraqee with the lone purpose of selling a business. The place was created for living in my business.

So, it’s very important that you understand the purpose of your life. Find it. Act on it. It’s your life – don’t let society, your friend, your family or any other entity design it for you, or even distort your own idea of it. It’s your life, you must design it yourself.

It’s very important that you choose and make your own way forward. COVID has given you a beautiful chance to slow down, like a speed breaker. During the process of slowing down, start getting connected with your deepest self, with your mind. You might never get this kind of situation ever again. Although I truly wish this would NEVER happen again, but then, this is also a wonderful opportunity to connect with yourself, to be responsible for yourself, THIS IS YOUR LIFE, ISNT IT!

Today the entire nation is on a lockdown and my business, among all others is shut. I am at home and my entire office team is at their homes. We are not functioning and we don’t know for how long this will affect our sales. But despite all this, there is a sense of calmness in me. Fine, it a big change. Firstly, all of us are in the same situation. And most of all, you have a chance to redefine the meaning of your lifestyle & so, your life.

What if you can see beyond the storm and focus on the only chance you have at hand – To become the best version of yourself – TO BECOME WHO YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BECOME!