One of the greatest attributes of humans is that of resilience. It cuts across all classes, creeds, races, and religions. We are inherently a resilient species. In fact, talking about the extinction of species, the human is perhaps the safest of them all.
Lessons in Adversity
In the advent of the Corona Virus pandemic that is ravaging the whole world, there are many lessons to learn each waking day.
- There is the interconnectivity of the universe in what some call “the butterfly effect”. That the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in Japan affects the weather patterns in London. We see how an action in Wuhan is affecting the life of my father in Khwisero, Western Kenya, a distance of nearly 9,000 Kilometers.
- We are learning that small things have the power to affect big things. A virus infecting one person is of a “small consequence”, but when it spreads, the exponential effect is devastating.
- We are learning that negligence is astronomically costly. Therefore, we have to be on the lookout and stop either making excuses or justifying things.
- We are learning that a tipping point of an epidemic is nurtured through a process; it is not a big bang thing. Therefore, we need to be militant about enabling small things to keep festering in our lives.
- We are learning that there can never be the same again.
Handling a Personal Crisis
This prompted me to think about handling a crisis on a personal basis. There are two ways that a crisis can develop in your life.
You can invite the crisis into your life by consistently doing things detrimental to your values, your productivity, and your vision. Soon enough, there will be a crisis on your hands to deal with.
Or, you can just keep living and, before you know it, a rogue wave, something unforeseen from the universe, something outside of your control, hits you. It happens to the best of us, not even sparing royalty.
Therefore, we what need to do is learn how we can handle the crisis on a personal level. I believe that one of the genius ways to understand something is to break it into parts. It is to study and ascertain if it has a cycle. I have discovered that at a personal level, all the crises you will ever experience come in cycles.
Phase 1: Just Before the Crisis
There is a link circulating that Bill Gates warned the whole world about an impending epidemic years ago. The thing with this phase is that you will be warned one way or another before a crisis materializes.
Lots of money is spent worldwide on protection and the purchase of military ware. A huge chunk of this goes into intelligence. It is through intelligence that an attack is stemmed out. At a personal level, there are different ways of knowing that a crisis is looming.
Very few things you face in your life in terms of a crisis are an absolute shocker. For the most part, we saw them coming.
What do you need to do here? It is simple. You take heed. Listen to the warning signs and the red flags. Listen to the disquiet within your gut. Do not ignore that funny feeling. It is some kind of intelligence that is so invaluable to save you lots of time, money, and emotions when you take heed. Listen!
Phase 2: Beginning of a Crisis
COVID-19 is named as such because it kicked off in earnest in the last quarter of 2019. What did we do? Perhaps the worst thing we did as a human race was to keep living as if all is normal. We are so inclined to keep our schedules, our routines, and our lifestyles even in the wake of a crisis.
At the beginning of a crisis on a personal level, you have to be so militant to take the necessary adjustments, however draconian they might seem. Here is the thing: a crisis will most definitely mess up your certainty and your lifestyle.
Accept that fact, make the necessary adjustment, and do it as quickly as you can. The thing with a crisis is that we might not know the full extent of its severity when it is in full maturity. If we did, we would make adjustments quickly and militantly. However, we just never know. So we wait until the crisis gathers momentum before we make an adjustment. By that time, our chances of survival are slimmer than they were just at the beginning of the crisis.
Phase 3: During the Crisis
Bob Marley said that we have no idea how strong we are until being strong is the only option we have left. When the crisis if full-blown, all our efforts are geared towards survival. This is where we can miss the lessons of life. Napoleon Hill said that every adversity comes clothed with seeds of equal or greater benefit.
In this phase, as the crisis rages, one of the things that we can do is to determine what we can learn from it. What does this crisis teach me about me? What does it teach me about my capacity and my reserves? What does it teach me about my lifestyle? What resolutions can I make to be better equipped next time out?
Incidentally, Disney, CNN, MTV, Hyatt, Burger King, FedEx, Microsoft, Apple, Gillette, AT&T, HP, 20th Century Fox, and a host of several other big-time companies were all founded during periods of recession.
Phase 4: After the Crisis
One of the most hopeful things about every crisis that mankind has ever faced is this: it shall pass. What we need to do is identify what we are doing after the crisis.
- Are we adapting?
- Are we self-preserving?
- Are we getting conditioned?
Whatever the case, it is an absolute must that, after the crisis, we build reserves. It is the reserves that will help you in the next phase that is coming up, another new crisis. The people who handle crisis well are those who are prepared.
Therefore, during the time of “peace”, don’t just live your days; feed and secure your future by building fortifications financially, socially, strategically, and even in terms of residual income.