It is safe to say that the word of this decade is ‘disruption’. While the phrase ‘decade of disruption’ has been overly used to dramatically describe past decades, the 2020’s came along with contempt scoffing, “oh yeah?…hold my beer”. The decade started with the Covid pandemic and continues to ripple with wave after wave of turmoil in our social environment that is reshaping most aspects of our lives. Flatten the curve was originally the rallying cry for managing the pandemic, but that reintroduction to statistical distributions and deviations has become a common graphic to describe everything from supply chains shortages, employment, housing markets, and fuel prices. If this decade get’s branded with a symbol, the phallic bell curve resembling the middle finger, gets my vote.
The question on everyone’s mind is: “When will it end?”. Well, remember that time as a kid you threw that giant rock into the lake to make a splash, those rippling waves carried forward for a long time before the water got calm. Covid was the rock that made the big splash, and now Putin is pulling a ‘crazy ivan’ in his obnoxiously big boat to cast some more waves of chaos on our tranquil lake of life. We can expect that the waves of disruption will continue for several years to come as inflation wrecks havoc on our economy, and our sense of normalcy is all but lost.
Nothing drives American’s more crazy than messing with their ‘normal’. Just look at all the social media rants about gas prices. Our blood pressure soars while fueling our cars, as Ukrainians are fearing for their lives walking to another country. Our perspective of normal is as skewed and narrow as the charts describing the disruptions affecting us. We can’t embrace discomfort or uncertainty in our lives, which is limiting our future growth as we reminisce of better days gone. The catchphrases ‘the new normal’ or ‘next normal’ only further demonstrates our disdain for change and our demand for comfort amid chaos.
So if your are looking for calmer waters or peace from the barrage of disruptions in your life, good luck. This decade is likely to be a rough ride to the end. Find the fortitude on display by the Ukrainians, face the coming onslaught of disruptions with a defiant attitude of ‘bring it’. Push forward in perseverance, forget the past, and find your comfort in the consistency of constant change.
“Fire is the test of gold, adversity, of strong men. Cling tooth and nail to the following rule: not to give in to adversity, not to trust prosperity, and always take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases. Whatever you have been expecting for some time comes as less of a shock.” Seneca