I truly believe that feeling connected is a basic human need. We are hardwired for connection and no human being is made for loneliness and seclusion. If you look at the current coronavirus pandemic and the associated lockdown, people are scared of disconnection and want to be among others.
The main difference is the type of connection that people are seeking. Some people are seeking to serve hedonic needs characterised by the endless cycle of desire for pleasure. These are things that people think will make them happy but when they finally get hold of them, they are not as happy as they think. They are perpetually on a hedonic treadmill that chases unhealthy desires at all costs.
This is the type of connection that brings sadness and under the prevailing lockdown conditions, more infections and potentially death where it could have been avoided. The need for this type of connection serves no one especially the seeker, those close to them and most importantly the innocent souls that are doing all it takes to protect themselves. Seeking connection in hedonic pleasures takes us nowhere at lighting speed.
The lockdown presents a great opportunity to seek connections that bring us closer to our loved ones and serves a higher purpose:
Connection with self:
Some people are afraid to connect with themselves. They also want to be with other people as a way of avoiding self-reflection. This is the starting point; you cannot connect effectively with others when you fail to connect with self. Here are a few tips that I suggest:
- Revisit your values and check if your actions are in sync with the person you desire to be.
- Check how far you have achieved against your goals and make amends if need be.
- Check your health in its totality, is it what you need to be able to connect with others healthily?
- Improve your skills, its time to open and dust off that book that has become an ornament next to your bed.
Connection with others:
Now that you are comfortable with self, you are filled with self-confidence and self-belief to be fruitful to others. Here are a few suggestions:
- Engage with your partner/spouse and rekindle your relationship be it face to face or online depending on what social distancing dictates.
- Help your children, nieces and nephews with their schoolwork. You might realise how little you know since you left school (just saying).
- Connect with your parents, siblings, wider family and friends at a deeper level to understand their fears, doubts, motivations and aspirations. They might just need assurance and to be listened to. Those who cannot connect with their loved ones in person, call them, send messages of hope and more importantly, pray for them (I mean it).
We can deny it as much as we like, we are emotional beings and that is where the centre of connection is. Our emotions are the engine for authentic connection where we create and nurture love and belonging to serve a meaningful purpose. Seek the right form of connectedness and you will come out of this period a better person than you could have imagined.
Tex Hlalele is a Life & Business Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Author. Book Tex for speaking engagements and to help you and your team gain insights and possibilities for individual learning and organizational advancement on +2764 656 6174 or visit http://www.dreamsmadepossible.co.za/contact.html. He is the author of the book, Face the person in the mirror.