When one thinks about Ferrari, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is Scarlet Red fast cars (if not very fast cars). Scuderia Ferrari, the professional sports team of Ferrari has dominated the sport of formula One racing over the past decade. Although they have not been on the top in last few years, they still have the knack of turning around fast and efficient cars.

Combine this with a four time World Champion Sebastian Vettel (Seb) in driver’s seat; the expectations for Scuderia Ferrari Formula one team would be very high (as usual) at the start of every year.

Beginning 2020 season, Seb went ahead with his ritual of christening his 2020 car as Lucilla with very high hopes of returning back as champion.  The plan was in place and ambition burning.

The outcome?

This year has been the worst in decades for Ferrari and Seb. They haven’t managed to get to the podium and in fact are languishing at back of the field struggling to even get into top 10 which is very below par from their standards. Even worse, it was only August 2020 and Seb had lost his seat for next year which starts in March 2021 which is very early in terms of “sacking” a driver and here we are talking about a four time world champion.

This is the year 2020 in a nut shell. Such has been the case for me and even 95% of the people in this world where the things have not at all gone to plan and in fact are staring abyss. The Black Swan of COVID-19 has swept everyone by surprise. The plans and ambitions for the year have been tore apart, the champagne has not just been put on ice, it’s been thrown into the bonfire.

But life doesn’t stop there, it shouldn’t. So where do we go from here; You, Me and Seb.

Let me summarize what I learned from Seb on how to approach the future given that the current plans have failed (from one of his latest interviews).

  • Accepting reality: No matter how big you are, which ever field you are in, how successful you have been in past and how well you might have planned for future; there is always an element of uncertainty with the way universe operates. That’s what Senn Delaney called “Gravity”.
    He describes a “Serenity Prayer” (attributed to American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr) in his leadership course human Operating system.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

So the message Seb gave was clear, accept reality and move on.

  • Use this time to know yourself well: Sometimes you land flat on face due to circumstances but here is an opportunity to be optimistic as that is the best thing one can do. I look at this as an opportunity to know myself better.

 “If you do what you do and keep doing what you do, you know what you have to do. But in a new situation, I feel, you have to dig deep, and ask yourself what you eventually want. This will help you to pivot out of a difficult situation.”

  • Take time to plan the next step: My next learning is don’t push yourself or hurry into a make shift decision. Understand what the opportunities are around. Ask yourself, do you want to just tread waters in mediocrity because it’s safe and you just want to be a participant or you want to be a champion again. One should not put the guard down, don’t let the situation to make you forget that I am here to achieve, to win.
  • Be Grateful:  Eventually I need to be grateful to whatever has panned out in past. Just because 2020 has not gone as planned doesn’t make the past irrelevant. Taking some time out to reflect on past achievements will give strength and confidence for building the future again.

Its ok, Let’s move on. Lucilla (read 2020) has not behaved as planned for most of us. Let us accept her as she was. As Seb said its exciting when suddenly things are not in your control. I am sure this gives me and you a chance to rediscover oneself. We need to remember if one door shuts another one will open.

Seb’s words have inspired me to hang on and realign my roadmap for future; I wish you also the same.

P.S.: By the time I finished writing this article in Mid-September the news flashed up that Seb found a new job with team Aston Martin. I pray for everyone that we find ours also soon.

Be Grateful, Be Mindful, Be Here Now!

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