Part of why we’re so tired is that the world as we knew it shifted abruptly. We had mental maps for the terrain and mental rulebooks that guided behavior. Almost overnight, those mental models about the world were called into question.
You can see this in something as simple as what constitutes good behavior walking down the street. Three months ago, if I was walking down the street in my town and saw someone cross the street to avoid me, I would have thought, “What’s up with that guy?”
Now if I’m walking to my office and I don’t change course to avoid crossing paths, I’m pretty sure the other person is thinking, “What an a**hole!”
Part of what’s changed is the stories we tell ourselves about the world. Three months ago, I thought that the dangers in my world were things I could see, predict, and – to some extent – control. Now, the story we’re learning is that the world is a place full of contagions, that what we can’t see will very possibly get us.
The same is true about the business environment we’re living in. We never imagined a situation where no one can travel, where most of the economy is shut down, where we go from historic levels of employment to nearly historic levels of unemployment in a couple of months.
As tiring as it is to edit the OS that runs our lives, it’s work worth doing. The world we live in is different. It’s unlikely to be the same as before. The sooner we discover true stories about the new world we live in, the sooner we can start being useful to ourselves and those around us.