Sanjeev Kotnala: Nothing Has Changed. Nothing Will…

27 May,2020

By Sanjeev Kotnala


We have moved from a free-flowing consumption-led lifestyle to constrained isolation demanding life. The rules are changing. And they must change. There is a new normal that we must adapt to. In this situation, how immature of me to suggest that ‘Nothing Has Changed. Nothing Will Change’.

Do I sincerely believe it? Is this another illusion of my mind? Am I really immune to the changes happening around me? Or am I going to hide behind the often-used, ‘Change is the only constant’ statement?

It is safe to say, ‘Everything has changed, but nothing has really changed’. I go a step further to say, ‘Nothing will ever change for a person with a differential mindset, who can re-focus, re-tune re-sync in the re-world’.


Nothing Has changed.

It is this simple. Nothing has changed. You were born, and you will die one day. The two extreme ends of your journey called life have not changed. You were always worried about the only truth of your life; death. On the other side, you kept working on everything else in life, which were just a probabilistic and never a certainty.

You will struggle, you will see success and you will see failure. You will have gains and you will lose time to time. Your will put your best efforts and work passionately on things you believe. Nothing has changed. The scale and size of the task may be different, but it is still a challenge. Nothing has changed.


We Are Wired Wrongly.

Unfortunately, most of us are wired wrongly. We see, hear and react to the bad news first. Negative thoughts and constraints flood the mind first. With too many negative thoughts, our assumption about the situation starts to re-calibrates itself. The heart and soul filled with fear and anxiety. We not only search but find defeatist logic for everything. We fail to recognise solutions, however obvious. And, in such a situation, our risk appetite is killed. We fail to imagine success. All we see are the barriers. Nothing has changed.

Recalibrate Responses.

We have to be on guard against such negative feelings. We need to be sharpening our attitude and check our approach to life, both personal and professional at every stage. We cannot be led by sudden impulsive decisions. Nothing has changed.

A short term directive does not ask us to be blind to a long term vision.

It is time for the whole ecosystem to be recalibrated. Expectations, ambitions and aspirations may need to be re-scaled, but they don’t have to die.

The targets in business and life may be stretched and seemingly impossible, but they can’t be wished away.

The competition may be a lot tougher, but we can’t just ignore them.

The demand for product and services may be drastically tapering off, and job insecurity may be on the rise, but we can’t stop living.


There Is A New Key.

Living is all about improvement and purpose-led efforts. ‘Work from office’ and ‘work from home’, are no different, only the base station are changed. The principles remain the same. Innovative, resourceful solutions and thinking are still required. Nothing has changed.

Procrastination still hinders decision-making. The stakeholders meet across screens. Presentation and proposals still need to build-up curiosity to genuinely engage and involve the stakeholders. We keep learning new things. Nothing has changed.

The business lead generation and closure still take time. Cash flow remains critical and credit unavailable. Margins keep getting squeezed and competition ruthless and unethical. The creative agency continues not-in-sync with the purpose and the media choices that confusing and unlimitedly. Nothing has changed.

We need a new key because the locks are not the same. And the lock is a lock because the key exists. Otherwise, it will just be a paperweight or a scrap piece of metal. We always have alternatives.


Change The Filter Through With We See The World.

The situation is not exactly what you wished for. But, then this could not be the first time. However, you always invested in understanding the market situation and find a relevant, viable, appropriate, effective and efficient solution. You still need to do the same. Nothing has changed.

The consumer out there is still looking for recognisable product and services satisfying needs, wants and desires. Maybe few of the parameters are tweaked. Perhaps the importance of health, hygiene, and trust are rising. Probably most of the customers now want no-frill services. Maybe the bonds between family, friends and immediate are getting redefined. The inter-dependence and intra-dependence are finding a new un-spelt meeting point. Nothing has changed.

The product and services launches are happening without the strobes lighting and dancers. Brands are realising the uselessness of singing and drama in their communication. The film-makers revising their approach. Product designer looking at functional superiority. And, the researcher and consultants busy redefining the emerging segment.

No one is saying, ‘All is Well’, but there is a confidence that things are manageable. The collective confidence suggests that unified wisdom will find solutions. Nothing has changed.

We have more unanswered questions than before.

We are confused and hesitant to take decisions.

We commit to a direction that we believe is right.

We fight for our causes, and we want the credit but do not want to share the blame.

Nothing has changed.


We stand at a crossroad of possibilities and expectations. 

We are ultimately nothing but a result of our expectations, experiences, and decisions. We are the net result and more than physical reality, perception of capabilities, intent and expectation. Nothing has changed.

What happens now is no more destiny. It never was.

It is a projection of our capabilities and confidence. And a measure of the nurtured potential, not the potential. Nothing has changed.

In this scenario, Brand-I makes a difference. Now, Brand-i is more critical. Perceptions continue to define reality. We will have to act, come-out gun blazing, in a world that only welcomes warriors and survivors. Nothing has changed.


Nothing has changed. Hence, you must not change. 

Remain positive. See the opportunities where others see problems. Leverage the situation without exploiting the long-term stakeholders in the ecosystem. Willingly contribute to collective safety and security. Believe in whatever power and source of inspiration you do. Find the time to balance and fulfil your family and societal responsibilities. Do not do anything unethical, that you will regret later.

That is precisely what we have been doing or aiming to do. Nothing has changed.


Re-Alignment Is A Constant Process.

All you need is re-alignment and re-tweaking of expectations and approach to the new coordinates and constraints defining the economy. Re-evaluate options and re-scrutinise decisions. We always did that. What is new in this? Nothing ever changed.


Nothing has changed now. Nothing will change in future. 

We will always live within covertly and overtly defined constraints. It is for us to decide if we will allow these constraints to define us. We found solutions in a rapidly changing world. A world is always full of problem and opportunities. We chose the opportunities and gave it our best effort. We failed, but that did not break our resolve. We experimented, and we lost hopes many times, but we did not abort the mission.

This situation demands no different. So why would we not succeed?

Lockdown or no-lockdown, we will continue understanding the newly defined situations and find newer strategies to cope  with and adapt to the new realities.

Do whatever it takes to survive and excel. Man is created by his belief. As the person  believes, he becomes what he is. And for that the person must re-search and not necessarily research.

Keep learning. Keep re-celebrating, re-aligning, re-syncing and re-mapping our resources and efforts. Like we have been doing in the past.

Nothing has changed, nothing will change.

Remember the GITA lesson: Whatever happened, was good, what’s happening, it’s going well, whatever will happen, will also be good. You need not have any regrets for the past. Do not worry for the future. Live in Present.



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