A quarantine pensata: heart, listen, help & share.

Bob Wollheim
6 min readMay 23, 2020


Hope you are safe and well. Hope this moment of the world finds you with the necessary energy, spirit and mood, to get to the other side stronger, more resilient and more human.

So, why am I coming to you here? I thought I could share some thoughts, ideas and hacks that I have been learning for the last couple of years (and also a few in the quarantine time) that I think make sense to share in this intense moment.

Maybe they help you. So here they are.


Last year I had the chance to study a book — A General Theory of Love, by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon (Amazon) — which is not new (2001) but presented me several new concepts and new understandings around our human mind. It’s a scientific book, the authors are all professors at UCLA, and they point to very interesting things. Among one of those things is that humans, besides not believing much in it, are much more into sentiments (emotions, not impulses) than into rational thinking and logic. Basically they say we feel things, and then rationalize them to explain to ourselves and to others. It does not mean we are all impulsive and act before we think, or that our rational logic capacity does not exist and it’s not important. It’s more complex, they say. In simple words, it means we are sensitive animals and that our sentiments and emotions play a larger role in our decisions and in our lives than we would like to admit, and also many studies say. It’s based on research. It’s very interesting, worth checking. There is a very interesting interview by one of the authors that is worth watching if you got interested (26 min I would not miss it — below)

Why am I bringing this topic?

Cause we are in a moment of full sentiments and emotions, bombarded with all kinds of information (real and fake) and all kinds of emotions and I think it is a good reflection to understand them and deal better with our reactions and behaviours. It can help one take it easier or understand it’s ok to feel all we are feeling. And with all around us, too.


Another thing that I have been studying is: listening.

We talk, talk, talk. We all want to talk a lot, but we don’t listen enough and, mainly, we don’t listen in a present, impartially, complete and uninterested way. There is a professor, author and speaker — Willim Ury — that I just love and that made me understand how valuable it is to be in a meeting (or party, or with friends and family) and pay deep attention to a person’s conversation. Besides being able to understand much better what is being said, it creates strong empathy, it will enhance that chances of all kinds of agreements and, besides it all, will make both parties feel fulfilled with the dialogue. Some people call it deep listening. There are several TED Talks by William Ury, but the one below is special, one can’t miss it!

Why am I bringing this topic?

Again, in this intense moment, listening can play a huge role in understanding what is going on with people around you, family, clients, significant others, and, probably most importantly, to also understand what is going on with yourself, if you can listen to yourself.


The other day I was mentoring a friend. She was having a bad moment and questioned that she did not know what would happen with her business, her profession, her career, because she just couldn’t figure out what was coming next.

She wanted some wisdom from my side but, in the current situation, I couldn’t be of any help for a simple reason: I do not know what is coming next either.

Besides the fact that there are lots of “future specialists” out there on our LinkedIN feeds, I don’t think anyone can really know what is coming next. That doesn’t mean it is all bad, in fact, I believe that very innovative ideas will appear in the near future. It’s just too hard to know, due to the intensity of the changes and the broadness of them.

Then I made a provocation to her, in fact two, that made her stop and stare at me.

First I said: once we don’t have any clue of the future, we can co create it!

Re-invent your future, your career, your business!, I said. That’s the only thing we can do now and, when we do it, we automatically get a bit out of the uncertainties and put some movements to our lives, businesses and careers. Instead of being stuck in a moment, one starts to move and evolve and, what is most exciting, to innovate and to change the future by creating it.

Obviously, this is easier said than done, but, if you do it small piece by small piece, it totally works and when you realize, you are in a new place, with new approaches, new mindsets and, consequently, in a new life.

The second thing that I have been thinking a lot about is what can help maintain our energy and our minds up and running under so much uncertainty, besides co-creating our own future?

My thoughts on that mentorship: there is only one thing that can energize and make us feel ready for the day to day challenges: to help others.

Generosity, openness and kindness. The world needs it. There are so many people lost, others in business troubles, a lot jobless and others that just don’t have a plate of food for the day.

It does not matter the size of the help, it can be a conversation (remember the power of listening?), it can be a donation, it can be any kind of support you can offer. I am positive it will make you feel good, energized and it will also move the world, change lives, and make all us more human.

Why am I bringing this topic?

Cause we are all living with high levels of anxiety and have to deal with the highest levels of uncertainty in probably decades. And this is not an easy task to anyone, not to me, not to you, even when we think or say it is. If you co-create your future and help others, I am absolutely positive it will make things easier. I am doing it.


There is a 4th thing I would mention here also: the power of sharing. Social media might have diminished the value of sharing, it seems like we share everything with everyone all the time, at no real value, but, don’t forget that when you SHARE something GREAT from you that will help others, you are being generous and connecting with others.

This, at the end of the day, it’s the reason I am sharing this pensata with you.

Hope it is useful and, somehow, helps you rethink or re-connect your sentiments, plans, ideas, businesses, jobs, and your life.



Bob Wollheim

Partner, EVP at CI&T and Co-Founder at The Next Company