• Shweta Madhu

Back To The Drawing Board

Do you remember how the world was supposed to end in 2012? But then the sun rose again on New Year’s Day and the only cataclysmic thing that happened was Gangnam Style. The world kept spinning and we shifted into autopilot. Now, amidst pandemic and political parody, it truly does feel like the end of the world. No natural catastrophes or massive asteroids.

Just humanity behind closed doors wondering what comes next.

It seems like we’ve been given the reset button. The question is, do we go back to what was or create a new normal? I, for one, decided to take my life back to the drawing board. Here are my top tips to help you do the same...

The Power of Manifestation

The reality that we experience is a consequence of our conscious or unconscious manifestation.

“Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?”

The ancient interview favourite, dreaded by many for decades, is probably the most important question you can ask yourself right now. Tonight, you might respond with career goals. Tomorrow, with ideals. Next week, you might paint a picture or write a story drenched in imagination.

If there were no obstacles in your path, to where would you ascend?

If there were no expectations, what would you want to do?

If money nor immigration mattered tomorrow, where would you go?

With the unpredictability of life, there are no correct answers. But if the picture you paint makes you feel lighter than you did yesterday, it’s a step in the right direction. 

Unrelenting, dedicated, positive manifestation of your goals will lead you there faster than anything else.

When life hits play again, go out into the world with a head full of plans and a heart full of hope. With so much uncertainty around us, it’s easy to forget that what we have within us is all that’s left to our control but always remember that that’s all you need, the rest will fall in line.

Choose Gratitude, Always

 If you had to list every single thing that you are grateful for, how long would your list be? What happens after the obvious ones – family and friends, an education or a job offer?

All my life, I’ve been labelled “aggressively optimistic”. I never stopped to think of the intent behind that term; it was simply my most valuable asset, and whether or not others agreed, it has brought me far.

I truly believe that regardless of circumstance, there are always reasons to be grateful. Find yours.

In medical and psychological realms, gratitude is a popular therapeutic tool when life looks bleak. Choosing to be grateful will positively impact your productivity, relationships with others and most importantly, your relationship with yourself.

It takes 21 days to build a habit so why not use quarantine to practice being grateful, no matter what. Soon it will become a pleasant reflex. When the air clears, you’ll find your outlook brighter and dreamier than ever. After all, your mindset shapes your reality.

Take It Online

When I first began medical school, everyone told me how I’d have to spend the rest of my life learning. It took me a couple years and a few reality checks to realise the potential of those words independent of any particular career choice.

Pre-pandemic, life was busy, to say the least. Ask anyone why they weren’t following their dreams and the reply would’ve been “there’s not enough time”.

With doors shut and streets cleared, most of us are freer today than we have been in a long time.

Use it to educate yourself, from academia to social causes and new skills to personal development. With the world only a click away, information is more accessible than it’s ever been before. My personal favourites are Skill Share and Future Learn. Find an area you’ve always wanted to learn more about and take it online! By the time the pandemic passes, you’ll have invested in yourself in ways that will only ever reap success.

For those who believe in signs, 2020 has handed us the clearest one of all; that nothing ever mattered more than self-reflection and self-investment. Use this moment to press the reset button on your life. And next time you ask yourself when things will be back to normal, first ask yourself what normal even means. 


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