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With the new year well underway, let's start an organic social movement based on elements for daily life that I am sure would increase the well-being of all Mexicans. Here are five proposals that I hope become fashionable and trend until they "normalize."
Health and Its Best Friend: Science
Yes, I know I included this in my list last year, but isn't health very much in fashion?
Now that we are following the advance of the fourth COVID-19 wave and the presence of omicron among us, the great difference achieved by science is evident: vaccines have proven their effectiveness and, therefore, the severity of COVID-19 contagion is infinitely lower among completely vaccinated patients. Diagnostic technologies have also advanced rapidly and we have reliable antigen tests and can get the result of a PCR test in 24 hours. They are much cheaper and FDA approval of another home test has been announced recently that will make timely diagnosis even easier. To round off the response from scientists (my favorite superheroes), two new FDA-approved oral treatments have also been announced. They will allow infected patients to be treated at home. With all this, a possible end to the pandemic is in sight, with the population having access to these new treatments.
Understanding that health is the most important factor, how do we make sure it maintains the place of priority that it claimed with the pandemic? Here are my suggestions:
- Let's maintain a genuine interest in the healthcare system. There are still many unresolved priority issues.
- Let us defend the rights of patients (because we will all be patients too), doctors, nurses and all health workers.
- Pay attention only to validated information sources: become fans of science (and block all anti-vaxxers from your networks!).
- Perhaps most importantly, let's take responsibility for the care of our health and that of our loved ones; let's be active promoters of vaccination, blood donation, healthy habits and early diagnoses of diseases.
2. Digital Thinking
It does not matter if you are an entrepreneur or work for a company, if you are a homemaker or a freelancer, student, artist, activist or poet, being outside the digital age is almost like living out of this world. Thinking digitally means considering the use of technology to facilitate the tasks you do every day, such as turning your cellphone into a tool to achieve your goals, learning something new, amplifying the scope of your messages, enhancing the functions of your computer, connecting with interest groups. In other words, existing in this new virtual reality.
I am not saying that we should become hermits living minimally through machines; what I am proposing is the intelligent use of technology to empower our talents, make our dreams come true and improve our quality of life.
Today, success is no longer defined by the one who comes first or who proposes an idea for the first time: it belongs to those who know how to incorporate digital tools into their production processes and thereby improve the way of doing things.
The borders of the virtual and the face-to-face, or what in marketing we call offline and online, have disappeared. We are facing a hybrid reality that forces us to always consider both dimensions. Imagine for a moment all the borders that have been eliminated forever and the infinite possibilities that this context offers: we are facing a colossal stage of creativity, collaborative creation and innovation.
I have always said that innovation is not a generational issue and that it refers much more to the attitude of acknowledging with humility that there is always an opportunity to improve what we do (it does not matter if it is about processes, products, services, your way of managing the household budget or the education of your children). So, for those of us who are not digital natives, there is nothing better than breaking pre-concepts, personal fears and plunging into the incredible adventure of reinvention, learning as you go about the technological options that can help make a better version of you and your projects. And for digital natives, I remind you that it is not enough to know how to live and interact with technology, you also need to get in touch with the "real world" to know the problems you can solve.
3. Social Responsibility
The post-pandemic world is crying out for empathy to acknowledge the deep gaps, inequality and destruction wrought by savage capitalism. It requires genuine compassion, that which allows us to put them in the shoes of others, first withdrawing our own to try to inhabit the skin of others and then understand their pain and no longer be able to escape from the genuine intention of helping. The active response of empathy and compassion is precisely Social Responsibility, which consists of actively and permanently committing to a cause, those that have been created to generate mobility, to eliminate inequalities, to mitigate pain, to repair damage.
Social responsibility is much more than a business badge, a kind gift (usually from what we have left over) or an end-of-the-year action to expiate guilt or "get in the picture."
It is about choosing one of those causes that connects us, inspires us, moves us so much that it becomes a purpose in life: personal, family, community, or company. Once the cause is selected, the liberating impulse of the purpose will make it almost impossible for them to stop working, thinking, creating and doing every day to make a positive impact.
In companies, social responsibility also implies a deep and permanent self-critical look, which identifies all the negative impacts that economic activities generate to develop sustainability and sustainable actions that mitigate said impact.
Social responsibility is about adding greater value to society from which we extract daily.
The good news is that helping those who suffer, doing everything possible to improve our world, doing what is right, makes us more human, more aware, connects us with spirituality and is an inexhaustible source of happiness. The one that money cannot buy. So, choose your cause: children, young people, older adults, the environment, the sick, the ocean, the most vulnerable, minorities ... Get engaged, understand how you can join in and may 2022 make us all more human and happier as we understand that we need less than we have and that others survive on very little.
4. Entrepreneurial Spirit
No, I don't think everyone should become an entrepreneur, at least not in the sense of the first idea that comes to everyone's mind: creating businesses. I have understood throughout my professional life that only some have what it takes to found a successful company from scratch. Others are very good intra-entrepreneurs who prefer to create from existing organizations and are agents of change highly desired by companies and organizations that are constantly searching for them, allowing them to build extraordinary corporate careers or to become partners with the companies for which they work.
In both cases, entrepreneur or intra-entrepreneur, there are usually common characteristics: they believe madly in their projects, they have a very high tolerance for frustration that allows them to insist despite rejections, they are resilient in the face of obstacles and failures that frequently turn into opportunities for improvement or reinvention. Their only constant is change. They are good communicators who manage to convince others of their ideas and turn them into clients, suppliers, partners, investors or collaborators.
This team of cracks, responsible for 99% of companies in Mexico, will continue to be fashionable and will give a lot to talk about this year.
However, when I refer to making the entrepreneurial spirit fashionable, I mean it in a much broader sense: I am talking about getting on what we at ASEM call “Marea Emprendedora,” evoking the unstoppable force of water that adapts to all shapes. Imagine that all of us in Mexico let the entrepreneurial spirit invade our daily lives: change the NO for the YES, believe in oneself with determination, be proactive and stop complaining, start acting to transform the reality that bothers us, the personal, the family, the reality from my neighborhood.
It is about acting, assuming what we must do, simultaneously becoming architects, engineers, carpenters and masons of our own lives and believing that we can achieve everything we dream of, but not by dint of wishing it, but thanks to work: tough, disciplined, and consistent.
Enough of leaders hawking a speech while their actions say the opposite. Enough of the citizens who are outraged by corruption but see nothing wrong with paying a bribe to the traffic policeman. No more companies creating beautiful advertising campaigns while embracing deplorable business practices that pollute, marginalize or harm. Let congruence become more than fashion; make it a personal and social obsession.
They say with wisdom that it is your actions that speak of you, of the things you believe in and that move you. That everything you say comes true and that nothing that you cannot fulfill does not come out of your mouth. Be flawless. That your actions can be counted, published, said. That beyond the private space that all human beings deserve, there is nothing to hide. Be transparent in your actions.
Of course, flee from those who say one thing and do another. It points out (from the place allowed only for those who behave in congruence) those who cheat. Take them away from you, deny them your support. Report, do not shut up, because that also makes you an accomplice.
So, who says, Me?