Tomorrow I was supposed to celebrate my first Nyepi in Bali. It’s part of the 6-day celebration of the Hindi New Year.
Nyepi means “to keep silent”.
Life on the entire island of Bali will come to a standstill. All businesses will be closed, no one is allowed on the roads, there are no lights for 24 hours, many people fast from dawn to dusk, the airport is closed and even the Internet is shut off!
The purpose of this occasion is to trick bad spirits into believing no one is left on the island, so they go away.
People use this gift of tranquility to reflect on their previous year and to gain clarity on setting intentions for the year ahead.
I was so excited to experience a day of living slowly, quietly and peacefully!
Instead, I returned to the U.S. two weeks early because of COVID-19 to experience an untended version of Nyepi here. Funny how life works, eh?
We’ve been asked to stop our lives to save the lives of others.
Once we’ve absorbed our new reality, we’re all going to have a lot of time to think and reflect in a way we haven’t done in a very, very long time.
It’s the beginning of The Great Reflection.
I believe, one day we’ll recall this unusual moment when an invisible threat sent us into isolation not just to protect our lives, but to think deeply about how we’ve been living our lives.
My simply wish? I hope we continue to live from this time forward as if “we’re still in this together” without the threat of a deadly virus hanging over our heads.
The Great Reflection
I have interviewed over 500 entrepreneurs between this podcast and my previous podcast UnStuckable.
What I have learned about what it takes for most people to make a radical change in how they work, like starting their own business, is most often a crisis.
For some it’s an economic crisis like it was for me. I was laid off on Election 2000. The lack of jobs in the media industry forced me to explore working for myself. Something I had previously never considered.
A crisis is sudden and dramatic. It stops you in your tracks. It shakes you to your core. The path forward no longer exists.
From my own personal observations, people will remain “stuck” for at least two to three months or longer to absorb the crisis they have experienced.
What causes people to deviate from their previous path is not experiencing a crisis alone, it’s the time and space the crisis provides them to evaluate and challenge their thoughts, beliefs and values.
I had 3 months between losing my job and landing my first freelance gig to self-reflect. I had more time to think about my life than ever before because the distraction of my normal routine was eliminated.
I could hear my inner voice and had the clarity to get honest with myself about how I really want to live my life. I was released from the thoughtless flow of how I was living it.
Currently, we’re all experiencing a collective existential crisis. We’ve all been hit with a double whammy of both a health crisis and an economic one.
On top of that, we’ve all been asked to sit in our homes for the next few weeks or months.
Do you really believe we’re going back to the way things were?
Surely there must be at least one thing you want to change!
Millions of us have nothing but time on our hands to be alone with our thoughts.
The prospect of losing our lives or knowing someone who might be a victim of COVIS-19 will make us reflect on how we’ve been living our lives whether we want to or not.
I’m hopeful that long overdue and positive changes will emerge from The Great Reflection.
There’s No Going Back
Social distancing is forcing us to engage in a variety of social experiments that have existed in theory or on the fringe from remote work to homeschooling to telemedicine.
The way of life before COVID-19 was already dying in my humble opinion, but it took a crisis like this for us to notice.
The experiment I’m most excited about is remote work (shocker, right?)
Why? I believe it can radically reorganize society to make everyday people a priority once again.
There’s always going to be work that needs to be done in person, but those of us that are able to continue to work from home are currently doing it by the tens of millions!
All those bosses, corporate execs and managers that told you working from home could never work were dead wrong! We’re all doing it now and we’re making it work!
Every day you’re learning what makes you uniquely productive.
Every day you are designing your ideal workday.
Every day you are getting better at managing yourself.
When this virus passes, you’ll get to connect with people in person again, but do you really want to give up your newly won freedoms over how you work?
Don’t Go It Alone: Solo Summit
Are you feeling overwhelmed by working from home?
Have you lost your job or are you worried about money?
Has your business lost significant income?
Even in isolation, don’t feel like you have to figure out your new work reality all on your own!
Reflection isn’t necessarily a solitary activity. Sometimes you need to talk out your challenges and observations with a community of like-minded people.
We’re hosting free live video chats every day at 12pm ET.
We’re calling it our Solo Summit.
Expert facilitators will be available to take your questions about:
- How to manage yourself while working from home.
- How to pivot your business if you’ve lost most of your clients.
- How to evaluate your personal finances to feel more secure.
- How to explore alternative work options if you lost your job.
- How to maintain your sanity and support your health.
- And more!
Resources + Bonus Materials
Moment of Reflection
Last week I stared out the window because I had the time to do so. I noticed a cardinal checking himself out in a mirror! What have you noticed you might not have before as your life has slowed down?