I bet if I asked you what challenges Covid has created in your life, you could list a dozen or so right away. We are wired to recognize and focus on the negative. Focusing on the negative was originally a survival tool, because it was important to anticipate the dangers in the world around us and prepare for them. However in our modern society we’ve taken it to a new level. We’ve created a whole stressed out generation that lives in relative comfort while stressing over what might happen. We’ve even coined the phrase “comfort zone” to identify the area where we feel the greatest sense of ease mentally and emotionally.
So, what’s so wrong with living in our comfort zone, physically, emotionally, and intellectually? Doing things that are uncomfortable and hard is how people grow and succeed.
When we are very young, we see hard things as challenges to be attacked and overcome. Watch any baby that is learning to crawl or walk. They fling themselves into the task with abandon, mindless of the dangers and pain involved. And they succeed. Because they are persistent. Because they are determined. Because the end result matters and the fact that it is hard is secondary.
But a shift often occurs as we become older. We become complacent with our accomplishments and while we want to succeed, we want it to come effortlessly. We are driven by pleasure and comfort. We may even become resentful of work that is too difficult, relationships that are too complicated and physical challenges that are too demanding. Cue the entrance of a pandemic which challenges us in all areas, physically, economically and socially.
So what are your Covid Bonuses? What positive changes or realizations has the pandemic caused in your life that has created a new mindset, a new direction or a renewed energy? Here are some possibilities:
New possibilities and opportunities are all around us– As long as we are living in our comfortable routine, our eyes are closed to new opportunities. Much like the individual who drives to work the same way every day even though a new, more efficient highway has opened up, we travel in the same circles and have the same experiences without reflecting on what else is available. Sometimes it takes a crisis for us to recognize what is available all along. What is an opportunity that Covid has created or helped you recognize that you have been overlooking?
Our minds are designed to problem solve-Our brains are designed to answer questions and solve problems, but you have to ask the right questions to get it thinking along the right track. If you are asking, “Why me?” then you are going down the wrong road. On the other hand, if you are asking “What can I learn from this?” and “What are the action steps I an take to meet the challenges I am faced with?” then you are setting yourself up for successful, life changing results. It is the difference between giving away your power and being empowered to be at cause in your life. What Covid related problem have you successfully solved with your creative brain?
Put your greatest strength to work– In the midst of a crisis you need to take the time to recognize your areas of strength and then use them to benefit others. Your family, your community, heck, maybe the world needs your unique blend of skills and talents right now. How you can use your strengths to be of benefit as we all struggle to work through tough times? What skills and talents do you have that you can put to work right now?
Manage your energy well-Many of us are furloughed, out of work or working from home. In any scenario, knowing how to focus and use your energy wisely is always a concern. When there is a pandemic afoot it is critical. Are you getting enough sleep? What about exercise and healthy food? Are you maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Make sure your income is diversified- Too many of us live in a world of false job security. We think that our line of work will never be threatened. A lifetime of ups and down has proven this to be false. How can you set up your income so that you are resilient in tough times? Do you have a savings next egg that can carry you through? What is a new line of business you could engage in? Could you create multiple streams of income?
Now is not the time to complain about the challenges and struggles in each of our lives. It is not the time to wish things were different or hold our breath and wait for life to return to normal. Instead it is a time to tap into our unique human resilience and creative ability take action and change lives for the better.