Ever since the beginning of the pandemic last year, I, like many people, have had lots of time to think and contemplate.
For one, it truly was astonishing just how powerful a micro-organism can be, for it to be able to effectively halt the world’s activities for a few days. Even now it is crippling economies around globe.
Secondly, I know that many people, including myself, have been in quarantine for a good while now. And while we all understand that this is for the greater good, I can truly sympathise with people’s feelings of social depravity. Sure, texting and zoom calls can have a go at satisfying those needs, but naturally they’re just not the same thing.
So here we are, in some of the tightest lockdown restrictions since the first wave of the pandemic, without much to do.
So, it was a few weeks into quarantine, while I was basking myself in depression over not having my social life anymore, did I suddenly remember a powerful idea I read about in a book.
The book in question was The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (fantastic read,may do a book review sometime), and it talks of the idea of using crises as an opportunity to make change.
Of the many fantastic concepts and ideas that were examined and talked about in that book, this particular one stuck with me quite well, simply because it was the first time I have ever heard and thought about it.
This idea of treating crises as an opportunity instead of an adversity was very refreshing, and helped put my view of a pandemic in a new light. During a crisis, we seem to be too focussed on combating it and minimising its damages. However, most of the time we fail to realise that a crisis can help highlight what’s wrong with our current structure and system.
It points out the flaws, mistakes, and failures with our current framework that caused a catastrophe to to occur in the first place.
Using the current pandemic as an example, the clear flaws of many countries’ healthcare systems/governments have been exposed for all to see. This gives us the opportunity to take a step back and say “Okay, clearly our current system isn’t working out the way we wanted it to. What are the other options to prevent something like this from happening again?”.
Now going back to our lockdown, is it now possible for us to use this concept of using a crisis as an opportunity? Of course!
While it may be nice to watch a few Netflix series or hop on the Xbox to pass time sulking about not being able to see our close ones anymore, could we instead use all this free time to pick up new hobbies, or learn new skills? This is what I thought of during the lockdown, and the amount of joy and freedom I have gained from this is astonishing.
I decided to give the world of chess a try, and have been sucked into it ever since. I’ve now tripled my song repertoire for the guitar, and have given the piano a try as well. I’ve always been a fan of true crime and mystery novels like Sherlock Holmes, so I tried my hand at cracking all sorts of puzzles and begun learning about all sorts of ciphers, in the hopes that I can improve my puzzle solving abilities.
Hopefully I can motivate some of you to take this opportunity and pick up something new for a hobby, or even improve existing ones during this pandemic. Always look out for rare opportunities, and pounce on them once you see one!