Indulgence to Restraint; How Corona virus showed me what I needed to see
Significance of 2020 by Vineet Relia
2020 has been a year that holds some of the most significant events of my life. Everyone that I know has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic in some way. For me it wasn’t just the pandemic that holds significance, although it is likely to be the root cause of every change that has happened to me over the year, it isn’t the only event that has led me to the person I am now, looking into the beginnings of 2021. Recently I have been thinking that without this year I would not be where I am now, the changes in my life would have never happened without the forced stop the virus brought to my everyday life. It has made me review and evaluate my position and aspirations and because of it, I stand here at the end of 2020 somehow a happier and more fulfilled man.
Could it be that aside from the devastation that the pandemic has brought many of us needed this year to rest, reset ourselves and decide if we actually were going down the right path in life?
Last year I wrote about my college reunion, the experience was invaluable to me. I returned rejuvenated and ready to tackle what life had thrown at me. Full of new charge and determination I started setting up my own firm in January of 2020 with the ambition to carve my own space and leave a mark in the fiercely competitive world. Alongside my business partners, we received initial success bringing on board new clients, and some we had worked with in the past. Life seemed to be going on the up and then the most unexpected event struck; the pandemic. The coronavirus swept, not just across India, but across the world bringing business to a grinding halt and forcing life as we knew it to stop. Suddenly, I found myself, no longer shaking hands with clients and closing new deals, but confined to my home without the luxuries of before such as servants and drivers who were instructed to remain at home to reduce the spread of Covid-19. As my family and I adjusted to this new way of home life, I found myself with something I was not used to having, time.
It was not long before I decided to put this time to good use. I started by taking a course on ‘The Fundamentals of Neuroscience’ although this stemmed from an interest in learning something new, this knowledge about how chemicals play such an important role in our bodies and brain is something that will now underpin everything I do going forward. This applies both to my personal life, as I now have insight into how to keep my body and brain healthy and strong, but also business. Understanding brain function and activity means I can better understand and help future clients.
By the second month, I started to notice changes in the people around me. I imagine the panic that the virus brought out sides of people that they would normally hideaway. Fear can do that to people, make them strike first through fear they may be struck. Some co-workers, friends, and even staff began to show themselves as people that I didn’t feel I wanted to associate myself with any longer. I began to realize that the life that I started at the beginning of 2020 was going to look a lot different by the end of the year. Although I didn’t know just how it would look I wanted to be prepared for any changes or challenges that came my way. After completing my course in neuroscience, I then set my sights on completing a course in Contract Law from Harvard Online with the aim to gain a better understanding of the different elements of this area of business.
Going into the third month of lockdown, I had started developing some new business ideas built on my new knowledge and the decision that I wanted to surround myself with different kinds of people and partners. I began to reach out to new associates and began to explore some of these new ideas with them and even started the groundwork in some of them to launch in the New Year.
As we now find ourselves coming out of lockdown restrictions, brushing ourselves off, and looking ahead to a hopeful virus-free future it is already different from before. Many of us now drive ourselves, we have reduced the numbers of staff to minimize contact with others and now we appreciate the smaller things. With regard to work, as old clients re-emerge with their own rejuvenated approaches to business and new clients and opportunities present themselves the term work/life balance seems to have a new definition and is refreshing to see within business circles.
Now, at the end of 2020, I stand with a completely new team of people and a new outlook on life and business which will hopefully not be tainted with those who were involved in my life pre-2020. We must never underplay the devastation Covid-19 has had on people around the world, people have lost their lives, families have struggled to support themselves and some businesses will never recover. However, from every storm there is a passing of the rain clouds, where the sun shines through. For some of us, myself included, mother nature has forced us to look closely at ourselves and even though it is difficult to find out if we are truly happy and content. Leading up to last year, I lived a spoiled life, I didn’t appreciate the smaller things. Now I have corrected my vision. I value time spent with my family, I appreciate the fact I am here to carry my own bags or drive my own car, manage all my work paying bills, making presentations, mailers etc without a personal assistant. I have gained knowledge and understanding and look to implement this within my business strategies. I have grown in ways that I would not have been able to do before 2020 and I look forward to taking the leap into 2021 ready and motivated.