People navigate the good, bad, and ugly of our increasingly virtually dependent world via boundary setting, truth seeking, and connection.
Learning from the failures of 2020 and stepping courageously into 2021, people are seeking relief in Open Book ideals of emotional openness, kindness, and empathy that strengthen self-confidence and promote healthy self-awareness.
Last year people tapped into meditation apps like Headspace, which gave special promotions to frontline workers, to help them recenter during turbulent times. For 2021, the app is expanding its reach in collaboration with Netflix to bring a fuller, more immersive experience and understanding of the practice. Through the eight-part series Headspace Guide to Meditation, viewers gain greater self-awareness by learning about the different ways meditation helps people in day-to-day life, from coping with pain to dealing with stress.
Sometimes achieving a stronger sense of self and appreciation comes from viewing life from alternative perspectives. This past holiday season, nearly 2.4 million U.S. households streamed Pixar’s Soul on Disney+, outperforming Wonder Woman 1984 with 2.2 million on HBO Max. Pixar’s Soul explores emotional honesty and self-reflection through two characters who unexpectedly cross dimensions: reality and “The Great Before.” Through their journey to understand their life’s purpose, they experience each other’s approach to existence which leads them to learn the true meaning of living.
Through acts of empathy, people achieve a deepened understanding of themselves. Given the challenges of 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are creating opportunities of compassionate human connection by spotlighting diverse voices through a Spotify podcast. Elaborating on the podcast’s purpose, the couple states, “when we hear each other, and hear each other’s stories, we are reminded of how interconnected we all are.”
Brands can foster empathic connections too. A wellness brand can host a virtual Zoom communally threaded story sharing event that highlights the ways we are interconnected. Kickstart the event by having the host share one bit about themselves, then have people go around adding to the thread with one way they are connected to it. (e.g., I am Filipino, My grandfather was stationed in the Philippines, My sibling is a war vet, etc.) Spread the word via social through #StitchedStories and incentivize attendance with discounts on their next purchase for people who bring a friend.