No doubt the greatest factor to distinguish how one survives post-lockdown will be the state of our thoughts.
The lockdown has had far-reaching implications for sure. People are impacted financially, emotionally, physically. Depending on how long the lockdown lasts could mean a year without education for our students which causes a whole different complexity to be dealt with come the end of this period.
With all of these real and difficult situations that are looming on the horizon, times are sure to be challenging to say the least. So what can we do as individuals to ensure that we survive the aftermath? If not thrive throughout it?
I for one believe it’s going to come down to our mindsets.
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
Someone once drew a comparison between reacting and responding in a way that opened my eyes in an incredible fashion.
When you go to the doctor and they tell you that your body is having a reaction to the medication that was given to you, it’s a bad thing. The body reacted in an unexpected way and a different course is required to correct not only the initial issue but now the effects of the incorrect medication.
However if you visit the doctor and they say your body is responding to the medication, it talks of a positive cohesion between your state and the applied remedy.
Similarly, in our lives, when we react to situations we tend to mess it up even more. We are short-sighted, irrational, emotional, and lack the mindset to effectively take action to the situation that we are facing.
We see this a lot at the moment of social media.
We are having people blaming the government for the issues that are arising and the difficulty that the country is experiencing. Some are even going as far as to say that the deaths are on their hands.
Now without going into too much politics, these thoughts are not entirely incorrect. HOWEVER, they are extremely narrow-minded reactions to a situation that the government, as it is, has very little control over.
Here is my two-cent thought on the matter as it stands.
The government can do very little to irradicate the virus, as can very few governments in the world. Sure the financial situation is not great but there is not much we can do about that now. However, what we can do is band together to curb the spread as best as possible.
Here is where I feel many people are falling short. They are expecting the government to fix everything. Unfortunately, they cant. End of story.
I would rather hope that these individuals understand this one and simple fact, your outcome is, in large part, completely in your own hands.
Sure the government can try their utmost to make a difference in this situation however at the end of the day we all know that they can’t fix everything. The issue is that there are people who are angry and putting this pressure on the government, expecting everything to be just dandy for them because they are owed something for being a citizen who may or may not “pay tax”.
Could I suggest that we all take a step back from these types of reactions? Because if we don’t do so, and do so soon, we will find ourselves in a situation where we seem surprised that things have gone from bad to worse. Not because any powers have let us down but because we did not take responsibility for our own lives.
Here is something that I learned from Wes Boshoff.
When you look at the word responsibility, we can break it up into two words. Response and ability. Or the ability to respond.
When we find ourselves in a situation, we need to try to see it from a third-person perspective.
This helps us to see the situation as a whole, or at least more so. And we can then objectively see that, in fact, we play some kind of role in this situation. And here’s the thing. We need to be the superhero to help ourselves out of it.
The problem is that we quickly adopt the Lowis Lane perspective that Superman is going to fly out of nowhere at just the right time and catch us before we fall to our death. And then on the tombstone it reads, “here lies _______ fell to their death with a surprised look on their face when they landed.”
Sure I’m making light of a situation but in reality, in a few weeks or months’ time, this is going to be a very real thing. This is going to make or break many people. We need to learn how to fly soon. And the only way to being the process is to realise that we have an ability to respond to this situation.
But it’s going to take one heck of a mind-shift.
“People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.” – Epictetus
Questions to ask
What do I see?
This is critical if we are wanting to discover a mindset able to respond to the times.
When running a race, unless you know where you are on the trail, you will never know how to get to your finish line.
So take some time and understand where it is that you see yourself. What are the struggles that you are facing? Financially, emotionally, relationally, whatever comes to mind write it down.
Don’t be lazy, shy or insecure in this task. The truth, as an ancient author put it, will set you free.
The more you can understand about where you are and how you got there, the easier it will be to take action to get you out of that situation.
The next step…
What can I do about it?
This is not meant to be a demoralizing thought. As a matter of fact, you should take this question very seriously and approach it with the mindset that “there is a way to win, I just need to find it.”
This is where your humility will be tested. Many of us are so uneasy with asking for help, especially when it comes to asking people to identify, critique and point out the flaws in us and our actions. But this is a vital step to changing your mindset.
Accountability is the one thing that helps in even the direst of situations. For someone else to know where you are and where you see yourself. They can act as a perspective of optimism and encouragement to pull you through the hard times.
Tell them what it is that you want to achieve and by when. Tell them the rediculous plans you have and tell them they have every right to put pressure on you to see it through.
But be sure of one thing, YOU DO IT! Don’t expect anyone else to take the reins, you will fall back into your old thought process that someone else will sort out your problems. This is NOT the case.
Just a word of caution, speak to the right people. You want people who are going to believe in you and want you to grow in the direction you are wanting to go. Whether its to start a new business, end a bad habit or even change the people you hang around with. You need people who can support you through it.
A good option, if you have the funds for it, is to get a personal coach who is an unbiased third party focused solely on your improvement and success.
Once you have worded your expectations of yourself and understand the steps you want to take its time for part three.
Jump and learn on the way down.
This is something we all have to accept.
Taking the plunge and learn how to fly on the way down.
There is no short cut, and if anything this is the shortcut.
Taking that first step off the ledge is the scariest and most difficult thing for anyone to do when they are looking to respond to a situation because it will be the polar opposite of how they have been wired for most of their lives.
But its the rewiring that makes all the difference. The rewiring is what makes us not only who we are but who we want to be.
And here’s the thing, this process will never end. It is always needed because we are always facing new challenges that require us to reinvent different aspects of ourselves.
These things make life worth living.
We all have a perspective on our current situation. Lockdown or not. But how we see the world and our place in it, will determine what we are willing to do to get through it and come out better on the others ide.
Never take for granted that you are the one who is in control of your life. You get to decide what you do and you are the only person who can take responsibility for it.
Don’t let this slip or you will end up with a life that you hate.
Look fear in the face, look critiques in the face and tell them that you will be at the top one day reaching down to lift them up.
And then when you do get to the top, do just that. Never leave someone behind who is trying to follow in your footsteps.
I truly hope that this has helped you. If you have any thoughts or opinions please leave them in the comments section, I will personally contact you to discuss it further. We are always growing and learning.
If you are looking for a coach at this time, contact me at [email protected].
To your future success.