The zodiac year of the Tiger is said to start with a bang and end with a whimper. And certainly 2022 has started with the kind of bang no one wanted to see – the advent of Omicron that's drawn out the supply chain snarl, upended all return-to-workplace plans, dealt another blow to international travel and the already-staggering aviation industry...you name it, the Omicron variant has messed it up yet again.
It's uncomfortably characteristic of the Tiger year, which has a lot of negative connotations in the Chinese zodiac. In a year like this one, people are said to be more impulsive both in business decisions and in personal life; more hot-tempered, more inclined to take drastic actions, less trusting and cooperative. How much more so, when pandemic fatigue has stretched the patience and resilience of many of the breaking point!
On top of this, the Tiger year is even considered to be a bad year for relationships, including workplace relationships, and business deals – to the extent that those who are superstitious may actively avoid making big deals during such a year.
How do we weather out a year like this?
Fortunately, there's an ameliorating factor built in. Running from 1 February 2022 to 21 January 2023, this is the year of the Water Tiger, which is said to be more calm than the usual fiery beast. The element of Water adds objectivity, focus, and self-control, traits that serve us well in good times and are invaluable in bad times.
In practice, this may be hard work. Keep an eye on your own temper; think twice before you speak or act. Take a step back regularly to assess whether you are making decisions based on objective facts, or whether you have been caught up in emotion. Pay more attention to other people and try to focus on empathy – something that has really come to the forefront in the last two years, and which is critical to sustain for the sake of our own humanity if nothing else.
Try to focus on the upsides
The Tiger isn't all bad. For all the impulsiveness and temperamental behaviour associated with this zodiac sign, it is also said to bring a tremendous rush of energy and productivity. It can be a time for deep and extensive change, a complete overhaul and rejuvenation of things that might have appeared stagnant.
Because of this, the year of the Tiger can be a good time to revisit policies that aren't working, approaches that seem to be stuck in a rut, even entire organisational cultures that are struggling to evolve. Still stuck on the value of face time, for instance? Omicron is an opportunity to exercise flexibility, as Wall Street investment banks did.
Take care not to rush in too fast and hard, though; impetuousness is the downfall of the Tiger, and change management is especially critical if you're planning to do something drastic to the status quo.
And don't take the downsides too seriously
As unnerving as the Tiger's reputation may be, it's important to remember that these predictions are based off a combination of mythology and post hoc attribution. The zodiac year, like Omicron, may not be within our control; but our response to it definitely is.
And even if we have trouble shaking off the mystique of the Tiger, there's one thing in the mythos that's more than worth focusing on. The year of the Tiger is said to end with a whimper. Let's ensure that come next January, the whimper isn't ours.