I've been invited on a number of podcasts and interviews recently where we have touched on the same theme: what positives can we take from the last year and the Covid-19 pandemic?
Personally, I've been overwhelmed seeing the very best of humanity spring up in unexpected places.
Those of you who know me well, know how much I value and believe in the power of our behaviours and actions. So, as we hopefully start to creep out of this dreadful time, I want you to think about the five qualities I believe will can help us all.
I think humility links closely to learning. Our ability to understand our weaknesses and regard what we don’t know or understand as an opportunity to collaborate and learn is a huge strength.
I have always believed that one of the greatest traits of a good leader is their humility and their confidence in using it to bring the best out of others and to grow themselves.
To truly care about others is a magical thing to see. To be able to understand, give support and show empathy, even when you yourself are struggling, is a magical and inspirational quality.
And almost selfishly, I don’t think there is anything that gives oneself a greater lift, than knowing you have really made a difference to another person.
One of the things I miss from my career as an educator is the energy of children. Their curiosity, wonder and awe of the world was infectious and I miss being able to witness their everyday discoveries which filled them with such joy and excitement.
I think if we could learn to view the world in this same childlike manner, seeing the minutiae of everyday activities as exciting discoveries and moments of beauty, we'd feel far more joy and be far more satisfied with our lives.
This, more than anything, has helped me through the dark months of the pandemic. From very early on I knew my professional life was going to take a hit, but I also knew that if I could go to bed every night knowing I'd been of use, then I'd feel better about the present and the future.
I spoke about purpose in my TEDx talk and have always thought of it as a basic human need. How can we move forward without having a sense of purpose?
To love and to be loved is to be human. One thing dying people often say is that they wished they'd spent more time with the ones they loved.
If the pandemic has shown us anything, it's that human connection, be that through a phone call, a Zoom quiz or a walk in the park, makes all the difference.
The last year has been stories of love and loss, friendship and connection, in a way it's forced whole societies to come together in a way they haven't done for more than a generation.
And with that, I want to say Happy Valentine's Day.