The incredible shrinking world

Can you remember what you were doing this time last year?

If you still have access, it might be useful to look at your calendar from October/November 2019. It’s highly likely your activities were more varied than they are right now.

As you reflect on where you were and what you did, it’s worth comparing how you felt about your opportunities in the world then vs. now.

The pandemic has dramatically shrunk the size of our world.

Our options are fewer. Our movements are restricted. Our interactions are limited.

I don’t need to remind you of the downsides. Our perspectives can become narrowed. Our reactions tend to lose appropriateness. Our belief in ourselves can become diminished.

Our #1 job in the coming months is to push back against this powerful shrinking force.

For sure, we need to do what we can to limit our movements and interactions in alignment with the best available public health advice. But we don’t need to turn in on ourselves and compound the problem.

Small decisions can have a big impact. Minor tweaks to our responses and approach can break the cycle of habits that shrink our perspectives and beliefs. Just a couple of percent of an increase in our ‘expansion’ week to week can accumulate quickly.

That our world has shrunk is not a reason to beat ourselves up further, or to act out on our frustration. But we can’t deny that this is happening, nor that we have the agency to respond more usefully.

Our world will expand again. Maybe sooner than you might fear. It’s time to prepare accordingly.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.


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