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There have been significant epic changes to human existence marked by singular themes which defines the humankind transformation. The Industrial Revolution, The Atomic Age, the Reformation, and the Renaissance are mark major changes in the human story. Are we currently, living one such age? Will this period of time be a new era which will forever known as the ‘Pandemic Age’? And if it does, what transformation will describe the human experience?

If we define the current time  by a singular descriptor, for instance, the ‘Pandemic Age’, it comes with several negative connotations. Pandemic means sickness, fear, isolation, contagion spread and death. None of these descriptors provide any positive transformational imagery. We don’t feel safe or nurtured. Unlike the Renaissance, an age of beauty, art and innovation, this Pandemic Age will be defined by how we react, change and evolve as a global community. Remember during the Renaissance there was war, disease, famine and hardship, but it is remember for the resilient nature of the human condition and remembered for the birth of music, art and grandeur of the age.

This time will alter us all. It will shape our future. It will make changes in our psyche and personality. Dramatic events shift life as we know it. These events shape our perspective and alter personalities definitively. It is your choice what change you will make. Like a sculptor chipping at a rough piece of marble, this pandemic will alter us, but it can be for the good if we can find inspiration.

The quarantine time has made us reassess what’s important, what is takes priority, and has given many business people a chance to reflect, slow down, adapt. This reflection has led many to begin a journey to transformation. They will experience the  Michelangelo Effect . This is the process of developing into the person you want to be.  The Michelangelo Effect is usually reserved to define relationship dynamics where couples shape each other to best fit together. If we extend the concept to self-development, we are in constant battle with the self we are and the self we want to become. Often change only happens when forced or focused on…

As an entrepreneur, living though this period has given us all time to access the status quo. Many have decided that this is the time to make a life change. And true change requires a consorted effort. This disruption can bring on positive results. Perhaps starting a new business opportunity and becoming a business owner can now become a reality because the ties that bound have evaporated. What is now important may not have been what was a deal breaker only a few months ago. Perhaps it is having more control in guiding their future is a more compelling need now. Perhaps it is having more financial independence or having a more robust work-life balance are more important to you now. This shift will lead you towards living the life you have dream of…

Instead of begin labeled the ‘Pandemic Age’, let’s try flipping the script. What if we call it the Cocoon Age?  A cocoon is a defined as “a protective covering or a silky covering made by an insect to shelter themselves while they grow”. In their most vulnerable stage of development, nature has provided creatures a protective and safe place to grow and prepare for their ultimate transformation. In this environment tremendous change happens. In a cocoon, you can take time to prepare yourself to be who you’ve always wanted to be.

A simple change in the main descriptor allows us to see the possible, instead of being paralyzed by uncertainty and fear.

Everyone’s pandemic experience will be dramatically different. An undoubtedly, some life events people are facing during this time will change a person’s trajectory. While some will have to manage through grief, or recovering from illness, job loss and separation are all devastating change to deal, but they are all transformational. Even in the darkest times, amazing change can happen.

Consider Michelangelo’s life which was filled with challenges and dramatic life events which shaped him and his work. His mother died when he was six and had to leave school to become an artist’s apprentice early in his life to survive. Known today as one of the most prolific artists of his time and anytime, Michelangelo was hired by powerful people and fired by the same several times. He moved several times due to his work and once spent eight months in the depths of a quarry to pick the best marble for a single project. He had to leave art unfinished due to political unrest and one of his precious pieces was melted down to make a cannon for a rival force. He was compelled (some say forced) to paint in solitude for more than four years to complete the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. For a year he gave up art to be a warrior to protect his beloved city of Florence. Every one of these situations and events shaped and molded him into a master artist. He took every instance to drive his passion and make himself the best artist of his time.

What will your Michelangelo Effect be? What transformation will happen during this Cocoon time? What change will you embrace and what new path will you sculpt, paint or create for yourself?


Carmen Gigar is the Chief Marketing Officer for ActionCOACH Global.