Third Era, and A New Life
In the last article, I staked the idea that we live in a 3rd socioeconomic Era.
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens human survival and welfare like a tsunami. Individuals can exist and thrive only when humanity is protected. We, the Homo Sapiens, are bestowed with intelligence and memory to learn and adapt to the changing world. I am confident that we will get over it, just as our ancestors dodged hundreds of calamities and disasters in the past. Moreover, we are armed with the most potent weapons: science and technology, to find drugs and vaccines to cure the current pandemic.
Modern life revolves around the media. People who watch news surrounding COVID hardship and death continually risk their emotional wellbeing. Limit your screen time and learn only what you need to about measures of preventing the contraction and spread of the virus. Don't agonize over the contradictions, conflicts, and uncertainties you learn in the media; that is the nature of democracy. Don't be disappointed or resentful of the people who express extreme opinions, for they act as guideposts for us to seek the middle path.
Additionally, understand that the media exaggerates and makes dramatic presentations to score higher ratings and greater profits. For them, it is business as usual. Yet, it plays a decisive role in taking the issues to the forefront for the greater good. Learn to discern the real news from the fake news. When you begin resenting others' selfishness, greed, or rude behaviors, it will be comforting to remind yourself that they too serve the community in some measure.
Life will never be the same; new normals are evolving in all business, medical care, employment, and lifestyle. Telemedicine is partly replacing traditional medical practice with greater efficiency at lower costs. The FDA is on a fast track to approve drugs, and the DEA has permitted controlled drug prescriptions online. Businesses are going global, allowing for outsourcing and working from home. A student-centered, affordable online education is chasing away the traditional educational system that evolved in the industrial age. Let’s buckle up and adapt to new attitudes, habits, and behaviors that can help you build a successful and happy life. A few such tools are discussed below:
1. Accept Diversity and Extirpate Bias from Your Heart and Mind
Diversities have evolved for historical reasons. Our ancestors migrated out of Africa to settle down along Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia, the Indus river in Asia, and the yellow river in China. Isolated from each other geographically, they developed their own cultures, customs, languages, faiths, and philosophies. So, the diversities that evolved through natural selection are a thing of beauty and should not be a cause for conflict.
Diversity bias against color, religion, region, culture, and customs that developed in the agricultural era haunts us even in this scientific era. Bias tears down communities, cultures, and faiths, often causing war, death, pain, and suffering. It blocks listening and learning, building bridges between the diversities. Knowing what we know now, fighting for faiths, regions, and belief systems are misplaced priorities. The world will be peaceful and harmonious without such conflicts.
2. Consciuosize Your Attitudes, Habits, and Behaviors.
We live by our attitudes, habits, and behaviors ninety percent of the day. They embed in our subconscious mind, and like a broken record, they spin the same behaviors in an ever-changing world. There lies the rub. Fortunately, we are capable of bringing them into the conscious mind to amend or replace. That is called Consciousization (a noun coined in the book, Joy Of Life) where we curate our habits and attitudes with applied reason and logic.
In a like manner, we can Conciousize (verb) our fear, worry, or conflicts by keeping a diary of the events over a six week time period. Keep track of when, where, and what happened. Note down the duration, intensity, exacerbating, and soothing factors of the event. Analyze the data for axiomatic thought patterns that repeatedly initiated negative emotional feelings. Undesirable emotions can be avoided by ignoring or preventing their instigating thoughts.
3. Identifying the Purpose of Life
I believe the purpose of life is served through goods and services we render to society. Whether you are an engineer, doctor, nurse, senator, farmer, or janitor— virtually any work anybody does to make their living meets their purpose in life. Regardless of your profession, you are touching the hearts and minds of 7.8 billion people in this world, invisibly. The social elite and clergy pontificate the purpose of life, while ordinary folks shy away ever attempting to define it. I struggled with it until I had my aha moment. The simple truth about the purpose of life is to help yourself or help others. Let it be clear and loud that every working person meets his/her purpose of life totally and squarely. The president of the united states and the janitors of the white house serve their purpose, weighted equally for the greater good. The good news is our anxieties, worries, fears, and conflicts fade away as we begin to see ourselves and others as all serving the same purpose: service to humanity.
4. Set Your Goals:
Goal setting is prioritizing your needs and preferences, which includes the construction of a roadmap to achieve them. The modern world offers abundant opportunities and choices around one’s education, employment, business, relationship, and lifestyle. Going through life without a set goal and focus is neither productive nor fulfilling. Therefore, it is mandatory to choose specific, measurable, and achievable goals, and to stick with them until they are attained. The goals should be written down, memorized, and practiced relentlessly to assure success and happiness. These plans should include your financial, personal, business, and relationship matters. They should be popularized, memorialized, and practiced diligently. Until they are fully memorized, you should post them on your desk at home or work, or on your smartphone wallpaper.
5. Seek Opportunities in Problems.
The COVID crisis disrupted markets and businesses, as well as created massive unemployment. Opportunity seekers should get over the initial shock quickly and explore short-term or long-term opportunities in the new environment. Take advantage of the CARES act, and use lockdown time to attain new skills for a job, or to start a new business. Look at the opportunities in growing markets like IT, delivery logistics, transportation, etc. Be wary of declining oil and gas or big-box retail industries.
Opportunities appear only when you seek them. The opportunity door opens when you pass through the initial shock, first impressions, and cool off period of anger and resentment. We remain blindfolded as long as negative emotions, a feeling of victimization, and helplessness continue. The key here is to have an open mind to spot diamonds in the dust. These opportunities should be exercised not only to grow rich, but also to resolve issues through compromise, win/win agreements, or forgiving or forgetting. Cut your losses to focus on new opportunities.
6. Set Up Self-Affirmation To Empower Happiness.
Affirmations are concise. Self-talk statements should strengthen what you intend to believe, focus, value, or do. They are built around your beliefs, values, and goals to streamline and empower your actions. Athletes use self-talk statements and visualization techniques to compete successfully. Each time an affirmation is stated, one’s nerve cells fire and wire together to build more robust and extended neuronal networks called neuroplasticity. Select precise, short, and inspiring statements that compliment your values and goals, and memorize them. My affirmations acted as icing on the cake for the joy in my life. Let me share one of my affirmations.
Have a Great Day, Every Day?
My day at work starts by greeting everyone with a firm handshake and gentle eye contact while stating, "I feel great." As I say it, I stand tall, thrusting my chest out and my chin up. The crown of my head chases the sky. This ritual empowers and reverberates my mind with courage and confidence. I feel and act like a hero in a movie. The beauty of it is that each routine encounter becomes a positive and compelling engagement, an outstanding ploy of public relationships, and a formula for success. If I happen to slip into a bad mood or low spirited, saying this affirmation boosts my morale, feeling, and wellbeing.
7. Commit to Charity
People are social beings, helping a fellow human in need is innate to us. If you are lost or in distress, strangers will come forward to rescue you. The concept of family, friendship, interdependency, and mutuality are genetic traits. A man and woman procreate and raise their offspring. People become rich, rise to power, and become famous by standing on the shoulders of the rest of us. When the community is threatened as it is with Covid-19, everybody is vulnerable. We are all in this together.
We share the same planet, environment, ecosystems, air, water, and universe. The concept of private ownership, wealth, individuality, and freedom was born during the agrarian era. Our ancestors led egalitarian life during the hunter-gatherer era. Our genes are alike by 99.99%; we all are cousins anywhere between 1st to 1000th. Therefore, protecting the neediest and desperate among us becomes a moral obligation, not merely a voluntary act. Besides, giving makes you feel happy and extends your life.
8. Stay Positive and Optimistic.
A mindset that believes in getting through this COVID crisis no matter what is a positive one. A positive attitude broadens and deepens our creative intelligence to embark on newer opportunities. It boosts self-confidence and the trust to build a better life past this ordeal. Hope and optimism are eternal and innate to humanity. We are blessed with the generational gift of extensive knowledge and knowhow to surpass the odds in life. We are no longer helpless or desperate like our ancestors in the African jungles or the ancient world. Let hope and audacity be our default behavior.
The philosophy and the tools of happiness discussed here are elaborated in a book, Joy of lOf Life. It is a best seller on Amazon. The proceeds from the sale of the book go to Awareness USA, a nonprofit trust. For further content and discussions on the joy of life follow me on my Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/purna.bikkasani,
or on our website: awarenessusa.org
MD / Awareness USA