written by Angie Morgan & Courtney Lynch

As we get deeper into the second year of pandemic living, we continue to see the disparity of our experiences.

Our hearts and thoughts are with those in India, South America, and places where the virus is raging. All of this is happening while progress seems to be being made in North America. For many here, it feels like we’re gaining momentum and can see glimpses of the other side of the pandemic. And, even with all of the loss, devastation, and suffering the pandemic has brought, many of us are wondering: Is it possible that in some parts of our lives we might be better off for the experience?

I’m starting to see a shift in many of the leaders I’ve been connecting with. They’ve evolved from trying to minimize the pain and impact, to enduring it, to now – the early stages of seeing the growth, positive impact, and new ways of living and leading that they share are better than before.

Let me give you an example.

One senior manager described to me recently how she now lives her whole life not just on weekends, but on workdays, too. No commute means time to work out, read, and relax each day. Another leader shares how he knows his kids better now that he travels monthly instead of weekly, having the opportunity to be more present. A consulting colleague has shared his work is more meaningful and of a higher quality since he was able to use time during shutdowns and quarantine to improve his services and skills. Most who can, want to work from home at least a couple of days a week from now on. For many, that’s something they never imagined before because they just didn’t see it as possible.

As we experience the new opportunities significant change brings to our lives, here are key questions to reflect on to understand what might be better off for you:

  • What was the most significant loss or hardship you experienced in the past year? What learning, value, or growth did that difficulty provide you?
  • What do you know is much better about your life today that wouldn’t have been so without the pandemic?
  • What changes brought on from the pandemic are changes you want to keep in your life?

As a reminder, we’ve also created a pandemic Reflection Guide that can be a great companion to you as you journal your thoughts. Click here to access it.

As leaders we often gain much more from challenge and change than we do from mountain top moments full of glory and victory. When we take time to recognize the benefits of a difficult experience we didn’t chose, we get compelling insights into the paths forward we can choose to be better off because of what we endured.

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