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  • Stephen Scott Johnson

2021 – After the Plague Came the Renaissance

With persistent lockdowns, essential freedoms hanging in the balance, and the pandemic invading just about everything, we must never forget that we are beings of love and infinite potential. History tells us good things emerge from chaos and that pain is one of nature’s great disruptors – a catalyst to innovation – be it meetup groups, digital doctors, or one’s conscious awakening and ‘rebirth’.


Right now, the desire to escape the gravity of status quo and question the meaning of everything permeates society, a context where the personal and professional culminate in a reconnection to that which is timely, relevant and authentic. Like the mythical phoenix reborn from its own ashes, the gift of these past 18 months lies not in our ability to adapt but rather, to surrender and self-actualise – a realisation that chaos is an essential element of change – and rather than seeking to control our external world we must learn to let go and turn inward – to become something more – understanding that “growth, resilience, and love are our true nature, and these attributes make for a beautiful life, no matter what is happening in the world around us.”


In Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, I love how behavioural scientist, Scott Barry Kaufman, reimagines Maslow's famous Hierarchy of Needs, with new insights for living our most authentic, fulfilled, and connected life. Kaufman picks up where Maslow left off, ‘unravelling the mysteries of his unfinished theory, and integrating these ideas with contemporary research on attachment, connection, exploration, love, purpose and other building blocks of a life well lived.’ In essence, he suggests the journey toward realising one’s potential isn’t a series of levels or steps – a summit to conquer, so to speak, but rather, is an experience – a vast ocean full of new opportunities for meaning and discovery, as well as danger and uncertainty.

Great leaders know that under the turmoil of chaos and change, there is a beauty of patterns and designs. – Amit Ray

The future is unwritten. The invitation is to act differently – to create essential space to connect with a deeper version of self and to process whatever is going on within and around us, then act from a place of clarity and awareness. Instead of getting pulled into the vortex of stress and uncertainty synonymous with this pandemic, there are positive steps you can take to ensure resilience and wellbeing – so that you emerge powerfully through the storm. My wellbeing hacks are a daily commitment to being the best version of myself, born from self-discovery and getting honest about the things that derailed me in 2020. I’ve chosen to replace alcohol with water, connect with nature every day (a walk in the sun to ‘reset’ or lay down on the grass and bring awareness to my breath), and ensure I get adequate sleep by going to bed earlier (to read or journal without circadian-disrupting blue light from devices).


What have you learned about yourself this past 18-months? What are your wellbeing hacks?

Until next time...