Some Days, I Reimagine Normal

As we collectively reimagine normal, not just in the workplace but in our holistic lives, I took my team through a visualization exercise and have shared it a few times by request since.  Sharing the prompt and questions here in case they are helpful to you or your team. 

It’s been fascinating and inspiring to hear people’s reactions and what’s come up.  If you do indulge and are comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear from you!

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I believe that the future of work starts with you.  As individuals.  And is really a part of the larger idea of reimagining normal, not just in the workplace but in our holistic lives and whole selves. 

There will be a time for more tactical thinking and planning in the future.  Today, I am going to ask you to look inward and to embrace and explore the space of dreaming and possibility.  This is important individual work that will help inform your thinking around everything else. 

This is about you. Your life. Your dreams. Your fulfillment.  Amidst all of the challenge and devastation that the past 18 months have brought, we are being given a gift.  A unique opportunity to reimagine normal. 

I have been thinking a lot about what this means and the opportunities we have ahead.  In many ways, we’re being given the opportunity to reinvent our lives.  It is so important that we be intentional and not let that opportunity pass us by.  The critical thing, in my view, is that you actually make the space to determine what your wants and needs are.  What does reimagining normal mean for you?  What do you want it to mean?

For some of you, maybe you already feel pretty clear about this.  For others of you, maybe you haven’t yet paused to look at things from this perspective.  Whatever the case, I think we can always benefit from this exercise, even if it is just honing and deepening work we have already done.

For the reflection exercise, the ask is to look inward and give yourself some time to write down what comes to you.  My recommendation would be to just write what comes rather than to try to get to the right answer.  There’s usually something valuable in all of it.  Also, to write continuously, even if you feel done.  It’s surprising how often something new pops up even after a string of “I’m done”s. 

I used about 3-5 minutes for each set of questions, but feel free to do what comes naturally. 

Think about all of the different aspects of your life. 

  • What is important to you? 
  • What brings you joy?
  • What makes you feel fulfilled?

Imagine you are at your 90th birthday party.

  • What is that older, wiser you like?  What are they reflecting on? 
  • Who is there with them? What stories will they tell in celebration of your life well-lived?
  • What would the dream be? 

Now, dial that in a bit and imagine one year from today.  What do you hope to be reflecting on? 

  • Think of the things you noted were important to you and brought you joy and fulfillment. What do you hope is true for them? 
  • What do you hope you have created or maintained space for?  What do you hope you’ve held less space for?  

Now, think of each of the 52 weeks that make up the year and each of the 7 days that makes up each of those weeks. What do you want them to contain?

  • How do you want to feel moving through them?  And, what evokes those feelings for you?
  • Again, think about the things you noted were important to you and that brought you joy and fulfillment. What do you hope is true for them? 
  • What do you hope you have created or maintained space for?  What do you hope you’ve held less space for?  

Take a moment to reflect on what came up for you.  Was there anything exciting or surprising?

Take a moment too to reflect on yourself as the architect of your days.  And, as the architect of your days, the architect of your life.    

My hope is that this has provided you with some fertile ground from which to grow your vision for reimagining normal. 

With love – XO

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