Chanakya Thoughts: Three ways to chase your dreams and stay hopeful amid COVID-19 pandemic

Just when we were beginning to ease back into the old normal, and almost being happy at finally finding some semblance of sanity in our lives, the second wave of coronavirus has once again left us looking at uncertain times. Many of us are either directly affected by the virus, or a loved one or people we know have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

And, once again we are left with the dreaded thought: Will we head for another complete lockdown? While the leaders are against such a move for economic reasons, they are equally worried about the flouting of Covid protocols by people.

Last year, initially, we did take the complete lockdown  in the right spirit — it gave us a chance to spend time with family, work from home became the new normal, allowed many to touch base with their creative sides, try their hands at cooking, binge-watching or even engaging in other online activities.

But, this time, it does not seem like fun anymore. We don’t want to sit at home; we want to go to schools and workplaces. We prefer face-to-face interactions over video calls. We want our domestic helpers to be back and prefer to travel again for work and vacations.

In such a scenario, with uncertainty looming over us, is there a Chanakya way of tackling this second wave? Let us look at advice given by him and connect it to our present scenario: 

“Activity is that which brings about the accomplishment of work undertaken.” (6.2.2)

Just imagine this... Before the outbreak of the pandemic last year, what were your dreams and aspirations? Retrospect and make a list.

You would be surprised with the kind of plans you had chalked out for yourself — be it related to your career, travelling, purchasing things you have always wanted, carrying out social activities or engaging in a hobby that you held dear to your heart.

Once the list is done, ask yourself, ‘Do I let this past year affect my wish list?’ You will then be able to understand the advice of Chanakya from a new perspective.

According to Chanakya, activity is not just about movement. It is accomplishing the work that you have decided to undertake. What if situations make us slow down? We need not forget those dreams, goals and aspirations. It is time to relook our priorities and work towards them with a new attitude.

Change the route

Let’s say you wanted to start a new business in the pre-pandemic days. For instance, open a music store or a new design studio, which might seem impossible given the current situation. But, don’t stop. Experiment with the idea and maybe start an online music store or design things virtually.

You just have to change the method; let the goal be the same. Even I got affected when Chanakya classes weren’t being held. But, I went online and reached out to a new global audience.

The goal is the same — to teach Chanakya — only the method changed. And, thus, made a positive impact on many world over.

Seek help

When you are working towards your dreams, don’t shy away from  seeking  help.  Things change with time. The world will function in a new way. You cannot remain rooted to old techniques and tools. Seek help from others and acquire new skills. How many knew about Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams a year ago? But, today each one is an expert. We learnt it with the help of others. It is also time to help others who are stuck in life and career. Remember, we are together in this and will support each other.

Focus and determination

Do not let go of your wish list. Do not kill the dream. Just hold on to it. The winners are not just dreamers. They are doers. Stay focused on your goals. Be determined to reach them despite the current situation. Be active irrespective of what’s happening around. In my first article (dated July 26, 2020) I had written:

“It is not the Paristhiti (situations) that matters, but our Manasthiti (mindset).”

So, stay positive and keep working. Stay motivated and inspire others.

(The writer is Founder Director of Chanakya Aanvikshiki Pvt Ltd, a best selling author and an expert on Chanakya’s teachings. He can be followed on his twitter @rchanakyapillai)

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