By: Chuck Gillespie, CEO 

I write this today with the deep appreciation for everyone on the front lines of the health crisis caused by COVID-19, and the dedication to their chosen profession.  I am also thankful for the brilliant people, globally, who are making the most informed decisions they can about how to manage the pandemic, and who are seeking a vaccine for this virus.

Each of us has spent time in the fear zone worrying about the issues surrounding coronavirus; from those we have lost, to how this will affect us personally and professionally.  The paradigm shift from December 2019 to May 2020 has been drastic and ever shifting.  But we must begin to learn and grow so that, collectively, we can rise from the tides of fear and build our society back in a way that allows for all to thrive.  It begins with helping those who need our help the most.  At the same time, we all must rethink our own lives and make changes, so that we can begin to plan for the next normal.

So, what will the next normal entail? We do not know, because we are still writing the first chapter of a very long book.  However, I can tell you what I would like to see in the next normal.

  1. More time and resources dedicated to building a people-centered, purpose driven society. We must have a greater focus on community, connectivity, social interaction, and removing the systematic barriers that do not allow for everyone to seek high-level wellness.
  2. A greater focus on finding a win-win solution. In the previous normal, words like “Greater Good” had been lost in translation; improperly utilized today in business, in politics, and in society.  An emotional, spiritual, and occupational wellness shift that allows for mediation, consensus, and unity needs to be at the center of our next normal.
  3. Pragmatism, which is defined as dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. This is where life-long learning and intellectual wellness come into play.  We need a more pragmatic approach to life.
  4. Practice what we preach. No longer should we accept blindly the group-think bias of a tribal narrative.  This is true of media, business, politics, religion, and our own upbringing.  I learned a long time ago that the person with the biggest megaphone is typically not speaking for the greater good.  They are usually speaking for their own good or the good of their tribe.  We need to better realize this and be focused on pragmatic win-win solutions.

Watch in the coming weeks National Wellness Institute’s initiative dedicated to creating a next normal, focused on high-level wellness for all.  We are calling it “Last Mile (Last Kilometer) Wellness”.  The initiative is designed around four basic questions:  What do you want to change?  Why do you want to make this change?  What will it take to start making the change today?  How can I (we) help?

What is your version of next normal, and what does your “Last Mile/Kilometer Wellness” look like?