I've been a vegetarian for over 20 years. A few years ago a lab-grown steak was on offer for dinner. At the time it was valued at $5K USD per kilo. I politely refused. I was a vegetarian.
When I was telling the story over dinner to my meat-eating family, my daughter challenged me. "Why didn't you eat it? The reasons you are a vegetarian are because you don't want animals to suffer and for environmental reasons. Why didn't you try it?"
Out of the mouths of babes! I realised my mindset needed to shift. I wasn't as free-thinking as I thought I was. How could I possibly open hearts and minds enough to alchemise impossible to possible, if I was stuck in a belief system?
Leaders and decision makers are currently talking about a 'new normal', (which I find to be paradoxical - how can 'new' be simultaneously 'normal'?), trying to ground themselves in 'something'. Grounding brings certainty and certainty makes us feel safe.
Yet it's obvious that the only thing we know for certain at the moment is that uncertainty is a permanent fixture and change is our constant. So why do we fear change? Why do we push against agility and adaptability? And what will it take to embrace the opportunities that the excitement of discovery might bring?
If we want to create a future of abundance and hope, if we want the experiences of the last six months in particular to be meaningful, we need to deconstruct what we know and rebuild what the future means to us. Or rather, what we mean for the future to be.
There are memes aplenty out there on social media advocating for change. From George Santayana, 'Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it', Albert Einstein's quote 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results', and Max De Pree's 'We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are'. How many times have you read one of these and internally nodded with a 'yes, that's so true!'.
We have never before experienced where we are now. Our established systems of work and education, finance, health and the global economy have been tilted on their axis. Actually they've been knocked right off.
If we truly want to be the change in the world, leave a world worthy of our children and our children's children, it's time to walk the mindset talk. We need to create new models, not adapt ones we already have, squeezing them into the current 'box' of COVID-19. The world was beginning to spiral before. The virus has accelerated that spiral.
As Ben Zander pointed out in The Art of Possibility, a downward spiral and an upward spiral are the same thing. Life depends on how you view them.
Will you view our current situation as having spiralled down into the depths of despair and ruin? Or will you view it with eagerness to create new pathways and set new expectations. Expectations of a better world. For you, for our children and for the planet.