According to Tabula Rasa theory, the human mind is a “blank slate” at birth.
So, think of Tabula Rasa as ‘white paper’.
I will introduce a simple exercise to you today to help you think about your life after the Covid-19 lockdown is over.
Imagine and design your life after Coronavirus
Imagine that you have regained your freedom to go out and your life goes back to normal again.
However, you feel that your life will never be the same again.
You have understood the value of your health and that of your beloved ones.
You have reflected on the quality and meaning of your life.
You have a newfound sense of vitality.
You want to design and establish a new life for yourself — a life that is more adventurous, exciting, and impactful.
A life that has more room for colour, creativity, improvisation, and risk-taking.
Imagine that you are at a moment of transformation.
I want you to imagine your life after Coronavirus.
How would you like to design your life?
What would you like to do?
What changes would you like to incorporate to your life?
Please brainstorm and write down whatever comes to you.
You can also draw or doodle or come up with a concept map — as you wish.
Please do this exercise for 5–6 minutes.
Focus on the present now
It is natural that we grieve, cry, freak out, and experience anxiety and sorrow.
It is all fine. Forgive yourself.
These times shall also pass.
Whenever you are overwhelmed, focus on the present moment ahead of you. Take it one slice at a time.
Take a deep breath. Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
In your diary: Write down all your anxieties, fears, stress, sadness, grief, and other emotions that overwhelm you. Take as long as you need.
Your mind will then be more free — it will be like a Tabula Rasa.
You can then practice mindfulness.
Try to be more present and attentive.
Think about what you need to do right now and in the next few minutes.
Even if you are facing an enormous challenge or you are working on a very difficult project, you can break it down into small pieces.
Focus on what you can do right now and start by tackling the smallest task in front of you.
After you start, focus on the critical few tasks that really matter.
If you survive today, then celebrate yourself and start again tomorrow.
What can you do to increase your focus on the present? Identify small actions and write below.
Be in peace with uncertainty and keep creating
As we have no idea of what is coming next, the best thing we can do is to be open and flexible.
We need to get rid of our linear expectations.
The only way to go forward is to be comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty, and to embrace non-linear change.
We need to think and act like bold entrepreneurs:
We need resilience, creativity, adaptive skills, strategy, continuous learning, and resourcefulness.
That is why we need to create our own assets.
You can use this lockdown period as an opportunity to create.
You can design yourself new challenges every day.
You can track your goals regarding your physical and mental health, career, learning, skills, creative self-expression, finances, relationships, sleep, diet, hobbies, and interests.
If you are lagging behind on any of these areas, you can reflect on what is wrong and how you might go forward.
This is a great time to expand your imagination and improve your resiliency.
You can start a creative project that you have always wanted to do, but you were terrified of.
You can start small, experiment, and make mistakes — you have nothing to lose.
This is probably the biggest time and opportunity in your life to create your own creative assets.
What do you love doing?
What are your top activities and hobbies that you want to take on?
Which activities and hobbies could increase your happiness and creativity?
For example, I prefer doodling to increase my happiness and creativity.
What do you prefer?
Creating artwork, singing, dancing, blogging, gardening, knitting, solving puzzles? Or else?
Please make a list and then try some of them.
Engage in an inner conversation with yourself. Listen to your inner voice and make it heard.
Tabula Rasa Exercise for the Long Term
Finally, I would like to encourage you to apply Tabula Rasa exercise for your future goals and for your future career or life.
Please do this exercise yourself.
Get an empty paper or a white page.
Draw, visualize, doodle, write as you wish.
Dream big dreams.
This is a fresh start.
You will start with a clean slate and an open fresh mind.
Imagine that this blank page is your life and your career in the next phase of your life, such as after your graduation.
What would you like to place on this white page?
Suppose that you have the chance to choose freely.
You can choose your own goals, dreams, and passions.
This is your life that you have always dreamed of.
You can draw pictures about this life.
You can imagine and visualise your dreams.
You can dream big dreams.
You can also draw concept maps or pictures that symbolise the dreams you want to realise.
For example, if your legacy and work is represented by the metaphor of a tree, what are the branches? What does the trunk represent? What about roots? Leaves? Soil? Sun? Water?
Here is one of my earlier posters that sums of my own philosophy of learning and teaching:
So, now it is your turn.
How do you visualise and dream about your life in the next chapter?
Please complete the page below.
Remember to make your dreams as detailed as possible — the more details you can imagine, the better.
You can use the SMART system:
Try to make your dreams Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (or SMART).
Flesh out the details of what these dreams mean to you.
Write out the milestones that you will take along the way.
Break your dreams into measurable goals and steps.
Describe the specific steps to achieve these steps.