MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL – WHY ARE WE DOING THIS AFTER ALL?
Confession time! This title was boldly and unapologetically swiped from the lips of Anita Mendiratta. Our last episode of RISE was about the business of personal transformation. As Anita and Demian examined the idea of personal transformation – assisted in their enquiry by our brilliant (and literally transformative) guests Dr Clare Neser and Mia Kyricos – it became clear that the most important question we should ask ourselves is “why?” Apart from prompting Anita’s witty one–liner used as our title today, this question also presented itself as the obvious line of investigation for RISE – AND SHINE this week!
When we asked you, our viewers “what have you focused most on improving in the past year?” the majority, 31% of you answered “my health and fitness,” followed by 28% who said your skillset. Mia was unsurprised by this result, stating that “at times of change, people look for transformation.” What was a surprise was that no one, not one viewer, stated that they were focusing on their appearance!
What is Transformation?
It’s defined by the Oxford English dictionary as “A marked change in form, nature, or appearance.” And when asked by Demian how they defined it, Mia said that for her it’s about “transforming to the next best version of yourself.” Clare agreed, observing that after being “cocooned in restrictions” people are then “unleashing their potential and making the most of themselves.”
We’ve discussed over the past 3 seasons of RISE how each sector of our Travel, Tourism & Hospitality (TT&H) industry, like other industries, has needed to dramatically pivot. Re-imagining and re-inventing the way we do business to survive the changes brought by this pandemic has been central to re-engineering for the new world of travel that awaits us all. For many it’s been a question of survival, and for some – tech being an example, it’s been an opportunity for unprecedented growth. Not only are companies improving the way we do business in order to remain relevant and profitable – there’s also been a much-needed prioritisation of employee wellbeing.
Being forced to pause and reassess our impact on the planet, on our communities and on each other, led to many of us feeling a call to duty – to action, and a sense that together, within our communities and organisations, we could and should effect change, do better, and be better. Also, interestingly, this pause has allowed us to look very closely at the decisions we make in our daily lives and how these impact our greater sense of wellbeing within our communities. Are we taking care of ourselves so we can help take care of others?
This leads to an interesting angle. Mia made the valid point that “we’ve all had to hold the mirror up in some way.” To some extent self–evaluation has been driven by the extra time we had in 2020 when forced to pause. We’ve used this time to reassess who we are, and whether we’re happy with what we see – both physically and psychologically. We’ve had time to think about whether we’re happy, fulfilled, and healthy. For many, the risk and fear of falling ill brought home the need to improve our physical health and literally… our chances of survival.
TYpes of transformation
Our 2nd RISE viewer poll indicated that people are invested in improving their health and fitness, their skillsets, their relationships and their education. As mentioned before, an interesting anomaly was that none of our respondents indicated an interest in improving their appearance! This feedback is not supported by the evidence of an increased uptake of surgery to improve facial and body appearance. Clare believes, in the case of her practice that this was stimulated by lockdown. The recent upsurge in these procedures is variously attributed to:
- The opportunity for recovery time at home, behind closed doors
- Our increased online interaction and the reality that many of us aren’t happy with what we see on our zoom screens
- Disposable income that would previously have been spent on travel and entertainment
Why, and why now?
This is the most important question!
What makes us want to change anything about ourselves? This question has been partially answered in terms of:
- The opportunity the pandemic provided to be better and do better
- The necessity for survival of businesses and individuals
What we haven’t discussed is that taking action, transforming and improving ourselves provides us, psychologically with a sense of taking back control during a time when we feel we have little or no control over outcomes.
Lack of control and an inability to predict what tomorrow will bring leads to a sense of powerlessness and fear. Controlling in some small way, any element of our lives, whether it’s improving our diet, fitness, skillset, or relationship gives us comfort in the ability to predict and manage whatever area of our lives we can!
What does it all mean?
Will the momentum of positive change continue beyond the pandemic? Will the self-