Early in 2020, the whole world shut down. Life as we once knew it stopped existing. We could no longer just go out and meet up with friends and loved ones whenever we felt like it. We could not even walk around freely or even breathe fresh air without fear of contracting a potentially fatal disease.
How are you now? There’s a 99% chance that your life now is not as it was before – and this is probably an understatement. You may be asking yourself, “When will this all die down? When can I start going back to my ‘normal life,’ where I got up, got dressed, went to the office, wash, rinse, repeat? When can I play pickup basketball with friends, go strolling outdoors, or go drinking with friends? When can I regain my freedom and my sanity?”
Nobody knows. Not even the world’s best scientists or doctors can tell when it will happen, or if it will happen at all. Yes, developed countries have started to open up, but COVID-19 is still around and appears to be more resilient than many of us once thought. Things have changed. We may never go back to how we used to be, so now we need to adapt.
Adaptation is how species have survived for millennia. When a species fails to adapt to its environment, it dies. If you’ve lost your work or regular routines pre-pandemic, how do you plan to pivot in another direction? Like Hakeem Olajuwon’s famous Dream Shake, he always moved in the direction that gave him the best chance of scoring. Life can be that way, too. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, so they say.
Before 2020, I was a basketball coach. The Philippines’ pandemic response has still not allowed the opening of any form of competitive basketball for anyone outside of the PBA. Schools have also stopped offering face-to-face classes, which means all varsity programs have ground to a halt as well. I lost my job by default. That was when I had this conversation with my friend, also a basketball coach, about pivoting.
We looked at what was available to us, and what we wanted to do. It may not be our old line of work, but we’d still make a decent living. After that conversation, he pioneered a coaching service here in the Philippines, while at the same time starting a master’s degree in Sports Management in Seoul National University. I, on the other hand, have shifted my focus to being a full-time life coach and dad.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel happy or strong right now. These are tough times, but there’s always a place in the sun for you. Sometimes you just have to do your own dream shake to find it.