Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Living Leadership Series: Leading with a healthy mindset. A recent online conversation during these challenging times of COV19 made me think of the question.

"Is a healthy mindset towards COV19 determined by our age?"

One of our staff is preparing for the imminent arrival of a new family member, and our recent conversations made me think about the shift in mindsets over the last few generations from surviving our problems to empowering our curiosity. It made me realize why we will ultimately as a society, come out in a better social place because of the impact COV19 has made on our daily lives. I wanted to share with you my positivity, as a gift to help you embrace and overcome the challenges we are all facing together.

Our hidden superpower

Embracing empowerment from curiosity, over an anxious mindset of judging the way problems are being addressed to survive, is the best emotional medicine to help us all get through the coming months. Have you been to a local shop recently? Did you notice how we are all talking and behaving with more civility towards each other, and with kindness to the amazing staff in the store?

The opposite of this is seen on social media or when listening to a TV channel or news station at the moment. According to the news, we are doomed for the foreseeable future, and political infighting is growing, especially in the States which is led through a judgmental culture of blame. What if, each of us shifted our mindset and embraced the new local shopping experience as the must-have norm, that is by living to help each other as the norm, not just because of COV19?

What if our superheroes in the health industry today, became our benchmark of acceptable behavior for all of us to aspire to? What if, we always embraced our challenges together, not with a siloed mindset of immediate judgment and impatience, but with curiosity and a compassionate understanding towards each other?

Does our wisdom from life’s experiences enable us to shift our mindsets more easily? Can it be assumed that wisdom is a benefit gained from aging? If so, it would suggest that we are all able to guide and coach others better based on our own life experiences, to the benefit of others. This being the case, why is the catch phrase, “what would Greata Thumberg say?” so powerful. After all she is 17. Maybe it suggests that it is not age that is the determining factor, but our passion towards the outcome we seek, and those outcomes are a reflection of our values.

We live in a world and at a time when life is improving year on year. Yes, COV19 is a big world problem today, it is not to be underestimated how serious an impact it is having, but it has also brought nations together, it has slowed down world pollution, people are reaching out and helping each other more, we are living healthier lives, and we are all washing our hands more. Markets will recover, families must be allowed to grieve for lost ones, and life must continue, and the Ozone hole is shrinking!

Our shared learning

From a positive perspective, we must look at COV19 and understand what social wisdom is coming from it, and what we must learn together if we are to become something different as a result. A good friend of mine in their mid 50’s often says to me “What would Greta say?” She, as mentioned, is 17. So age is not a restriction on being able to adopt a healthy mindset to face the challenge COV19 has put in front of all us, as a collective world society.

As a world society, we continually find ourselves being able to embrace a positive mindset shift, to see the good this world crisis has created. COV19 forced the world to come together and become curious in a way that is helping us all.

To show why we are getting better in our social evolution, we need to look back in time, to reflect on the mindset from the 1950s after WW2, and see where age has played a real part in our ability to move forward together. All and any war is horrible. It suppresses the sharing of healthy human emotion and denies us the ability and chance to be authentic with each other, and to build trust and transparency in our connections.

In the 1950s, society’s collective emotional state was that of numbness, as people focused on survival to suppress the pain of feelings born from the horrible effects of brutality that had occured. Scarcity promoted a mindset of survival-first. People turned off or hid their real feelings to find connection with others, to rebuild their lives, to get by and fit in.

Tough times. Generations grew up with a mindset of ‘don’t show weakness’ , put your best foot forward, don’t complain, don’t be seen to fail, dig deep and get on with it. Work hard and be thankful. Don’t stand out, comply with the tone of the nation. Be the right person and you will survive ok. Times were extremely tough!

Emotional recovery from a difficult world event takes time, it takes generations to embrace the learnings available and to make sustainable differences. There is value in always encouraging cross-generational learning, as it encourages growth through curiosity and new perspectives. After all, our advanced learning skills driven by curiosity, differentiates us from the other species sharing the plant. As we age, we hold onto our experiences as a way to help us fit into current society, to be seen. What if our learnings from what we experience, become too heavily biased from a need or conditioning to fit in rather than be who we are?

Our Shift in mindset to empowerment

During the 1960’s and 70’s society’s emotional pendulum swung away from survival-first, towards a mindset of open to love and a freedom to choose. In many ways it was the start of the social shift towards loving with abundance not scarcity, and accepting the diversity existing within all of us. We started to recognize our differences and as a result better evolve, as a society together.

People were living longer, being healthier, and starting to prosper. Yes, there were still lots of social problems to be resolved, new ones as well, but there had been a shift from survival mode at the world level, down to national levels. As societies evolved we became more accepting of each citizens' needs. The emotional numbness of society created from war, started to thaw. The Berlin war fell, the USSR ceased to exist, and many countries shifted their social mindset and promoted the need for authenticity within its citizens.

For the next 30 years, as the emotional thaw of numbness continued, society exponentially evolved in its social intelligence. It began with a moment towards passive , then aggressive then passive again behaviours etc as our pendulum of self-learning swung with momentum. As we have continued to grow, we have better understood the value in living with creativity and curiosity in our lives to moderate the swing of the pendulum. This curiosity has helped balance the passive / aggressive seesaw of the 80s and 90s. The work place has fundamentally changed as a result. Today we are given the chance to think people-first.

The micro revolution, the internet, the knowledge revolution, connectivity and social collaboration, have all moved us to be more connected, and with an ability to be more understanding and embracing of our individual differences. Today, diversity is front and center and growing in its ability to thrive through our desire to embrace our differences, not because of them.

Judgment on problems faced still remains center stage, however empowerment is the new mindset enabling us to see the way forward and to promote compassion and deeper tolerance for each other. World leaders and people like Greta are great ambassadors of this mindset. This mindset shift is especially seen in the gen x and gen z of society, who have grown through a freedom of choice, over a choice of survival.

“If we adopt a mindset of empowerment through curiosity we live with the ideal of outcomes to be achieved and a shared sense of purpose.”

Empowerment through curiosity, is to seek and understand the ‘WHY’ first in the context of wanting to improve the outcomes being sought. Our younger gen of X, Y and Z citizens have a lot to share with us in this ability and to help us all in unlearning old habits to embrace and gaining new positive behaviours.

My two sons as young adults starting out in life, collaborate with their friends in a digital world, as social online citizens with a strong grasp of their own and their friends, social and ethical values. Today we exist in a We not Me, environment. We take in diversity because it is the norm, not because it's just to be different to the traditional standard of bygone years. We condemn inequality and social injustice. We live with freedom and rights, we live healthier because of the past sacrifices of our previous generations. We owe it to them to be healthier in our thinking and behaviours.

The modern platforms of communication that now underpin our social collaboration skills, have helped bring us together in unity. Gone are the days of being told what to know, when to know it and how we are to think about it. Today's information is instance, what we want to know and when we want to know it. We have made the choice to make up our own minds. COV19 has proven this to be the case and is accelerating our maturity in helping each other.

In adopting a mindset of empowerment through curiosity, we live with the ideal of passion driven outcomes. To be achieved with an inclusive sense of united purpose. We coach each other and challenge ourselves to create opportunities to succeed together. Compare this to the previous mindset of anxiety-based problem solving, where things must be fixed to survive. We are being proactive in moving forward and facing the challenge that is COV19.

The victim / rescuer / persecutor mindset, which creates tension and conflict by default, drives individuals towards behaviours of judgement and condemnation. What is or is not right, or in alignment to an individual's opinions is not the best way forward. A cycle of constant negativity inherent in this style of thinking brings us all down and causes disharmony in people, who are then forced to be false in themselves to be accepted, to fit in, and not stand out for the value they bring.

Has COV19 changed your mindset

In answer to the question of “Is a healthy mindset towards COV19 determined by our age?” I feel the answer must be "No". A healthy mindset towards facing COV19 is determined by our own choices of how we decide to think in the given situation. If we are to get healthier, we must think healthy thoughts that create an abundance of opportunity. We must embrace and then contain COV19 for what it is, a virus!

In sharing my insights, I hope you may choose to shift more towards a belief in your own empowerment through curiosity. With compassion and curiosity not judgement, we are better set to deal with the COV19 challenges. Age is not a factor in adopting a healthy mindset to overcome COV19. We are all in it together.

“We just can’t shut down the world. So our job is going to be in the face of this coronavirus problem of making sure we also provide for the basic necessities for everyone until we get through" Dr. Michael Osterholm

Six Factor is a people first company, inspiring others to achieve their greatness. If you are needing or seeking help on how best to cope with COV19 in your situation, send us an email to info@sixfactor.com. We are all in this together and we are ready to help our fellow citizens overcome the challenge that is COV19.