Many people are sharing great words of advice for coping in our current circumstances and I’d like to share 5 strategies for being your best during a crisis.
- Reinvent yourself
Of all the times in recent history, now is the moment to reinvent yourself. That doesn’t mean trashing everything you’re good at but facing up to the reality that the world around is evolving at an accelerated pace right now. Clients will realize that virtual meetings can be as effective as face-to-face ones, virtual training and webinars do add value, high quality take-out meals are in demand, etc. Reaching people and connecting with them is going to be different now and will be more different in the future. Become an expert in using interactive online meeting portals, learn new skills for a more virtual world, or maybe even consider a career shift so that you can be more relevant and impactful. Whatever your profession, conduct a reflective inventory as to how you can reinvent yourself … not just for a more virtual world, but for when we return to a semblance of normality and you can be a better version of yourself.
- Be a voice of reason
It’s intriguing to see how polarized opinions become in times of crisis. “This will last for two years”, compared with “it’ll blow over before you know it”. “Stock up with a month of groceries”, compared with “I go out every two days and buy what I need”. “Find a way of meeting up virtually”, compared with “how can we twist the advice to meet up in small groups and just sit further away”. And the political blame game continues. If you can, control your impulses and be a voice of reason, reasonableness, and responsibility. Don’t jump on extreme opinions, don’t argue, and don’t get drawn into taking sides. Be a moderate in times of extremism, be a collaborator in times of differences, and try to add humor wherever you can.
- Be purposeful
You may or may not be impacted significantly by the current crisis. You may be fortunate enough to have a job which continues to roll along or even ramp up in these times. But many are facing a loss of work, or at least a significant downturn. We are already seeing marriage troubles increasing as stress levels mount, investors panicking, and parents struggling to work at home (if they can) with their kids suffering cabin-fever. One of the most important strategies you can embrace at this time is to build purpose into each day. Create a structure to your waking hours, fill it with meaningful activity, and beware the enemies of laziness and depression. Exercise every day, cook meals, be creative, and let your deep sense of purpose express itself … i.e. reflect on who you are, your talents, your values, and your passions, and let these shape your world more than ever.
- Seize the day
What can you do now that you would otherwise have had no time to do? Maybe clear up your office, get a head start on cleaning up your yard, connect with your network proactively, use your time to think creatively, design, and develop new products. Grow your own skills by taking time to learn. There are so many opportunities that this crisis presents. Indeed, when business gets back to “normal”, the time you have now will evaporate sooner than you know. You may well be so max’ed out because everyone will be on catch-up, that you rue the day when you had time to add value but didn’t take advantage of it. So, seize the day and the unique opportunities it presents.
- Make the world a better place
You can either hunker down or hustle. You can bemoan your lot or reach out to others whose lot is worse than yours. You can wait for people to contact you or you can be the one who takes the initiative. You can make the world a better place during these troubled times. You can be the friend who connects, you can be the one who take responsibility for overcoming restrictions and finding virtual ways to connect, and you can be the one who brings light into other people’s world. Write someone a letter and mail it, take a photo and share it, offer insight and bring it … all of these add value to the world around you. Take a moment to make someone else’s day brighter.
Now isn’t the time to pontificate or being a smart ***, but it is the time to be the best human being you can be!