In the last episode of my 21 day challenge recording for my YouTube channel Performance Cafe I looked back on the challenge of starting Performance Cafe. This comes very timeously as South Africa is coming out of lockdown and has been upgraded to level 2.
As a sense of coming back to life, so to speak, starts infusing the country now is an opportune moment to reflect on the learnings and opportunities that this presents. I realized that despite the challenges, it was a very rewarding experience which taught me much and also created new opportunities. As the saying goes, there is no growth in your comfort zone.
Much like the butterfly, who needs to force his way out of the pupae, we have had to force our way through the COVID epidemic, lockdown and all the related trials we have faced, not only as a country but globally. Just like that butterfly, I would like to challenge everyone to take the ugly and the awful and see how we turn it into something beautiful and majestic.
It is very easy to get sucked into the negativity of the lockdown and become incapacitated by the negativity that is all around. And in some ways maybe we even feel guilty for being able to see the positives in this situation, but it is important to celebrate the wins and see the positives as we need to look at rebuilding what was torn down. The only way to do this is by seeing the opportunities.
I love the quote attributed to Nelson Mandela, which says: “There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” I love quoting the airline safety briefing to clients who lack self-care, especially the piece that says that should cabin pressure drop one should first put on one’s own mask before assisting others. In this case the example takes on new meaning. If we can find opportunities, if we can learn and grow through this pain, then we can find ways to help others and hopefully start mitigating some of the losses others incurred during the lockdown. By playing small, not only do you therefore hurt yourself and risk your own future, but you also risk the future of others.
As I have often mentioned before, this has been an enormously trying time for many people and I do not want to disrespect that. However, I do believe at the same time we have a choice, we can sit in discomfort, while staying in our comfort zone, or we can push though the discomfort of change and find something better. Not just for us, but for many people around us.