My, my, aren’t we having fun? Who needs a basketball tournament when the world has decided to stand on its head? Whether it is Covid-19, the financial market’s response to it, or its impact on our normal daily routines; we are experiencing an example of just how quickly our world can be turned upside down. This from the perspective of one who has not been touched by the virus directly, at least not in the health domain.
Despite what we often think or tell ourselves, times like these remind us that resiliency matters. The question is, how does one go about being resilient in the midst of such? Hopefully, there has been a bit of preplanning and preparation, but there are still things we can do even at this stage. Here are a few examples.
It is easy to let oneself be overwhelmed by the news and the unknown. Easy, but not helpful or productive. Consider stepping back from the news a bit. Yes, you need to stay informed, but you do not need to be obsessed with the news (unless you are able to directly influence it). Information is power. Being overwhelmed with information, however, is paralyzing.
Think it Through
Once you have collected adequate information, put it to work. Think about your situation, risks, and opportunities to improve them. You may have options that are outside the normal but viable in times like this. Think them through, then make decisions and begin to act. Be proactive, not reactive, and remain calm. Consider how you can recognize and plan for alternative paths and possible future conditions.
Create a Plan
Now you have information and a body of thought. Put those to use by making plans for how you will sustain yourself, your family, and your business. Keeping things simple is helpful at this stage. You cannot know everything about the future, so keep it big picture. Establish intent and a range of options for different scenarios and let them be your guide as things unfold. Think big, stay flexible.
It is not too late to make basic preparations. Your plan will offer a roadmap for what you need to do, and for what you need not to do. Likely, you will find that sensible provisioning of basic materials and needs will suffice. Avoid over reacting through emotion driven responses. Trust the work you’ve done in informing yourself and creating your plan. Now, communicate it and make sure everyone knows their role and responsibility.
It is unreasonable to expect every person or institution to do the exact right thing all the time, especially when under duress. That does not mean we should expect that they will not do their best. Government, the markets, health professionals, educators, and business leaders are all caught in a quandary few have envisioned. That is unfortunate, but these are still the professionals, those most qualified to guide our response. If you depend upon these to give you wise advice in normal times they are likely your best source of wise advice today. Retain your trust in them and support them as they do the hard work of responding to and stabilizing conditions.
Make Your Choice
Things can get chaotic quickly when we are faced with disruption of this scale and scope. This is when you and those around you need to act with peace and calm the most. Here’s the thing: being at peace or in chaos is a choice. One builds confidence and provides a platform for contributing to a solution, the other surrenders energy and emotion to the problem. We must each find our grounding, those parts of our character that provide greatest strength and enable us to steady those around us, and sometimes we need even more than that, an extra reserve and confidence that comes from deep inside. For me, that includes turning to my faith for the inner peace that sustains me in tough times.
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You–in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Trust [confidently] in the LORD forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the LORD GOD is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. Isaiah 26:3,4 (AMP)
Going into a state of peace is not something that just happens to us anymore than going into a state of panic is. It is a choice. Today, we have an opportunity to choose the season we are in, to demonstrate our strength and resiliency by moving in peace and tranquility when times are everything but peaceful and tranquil. It is a time for calm, consideration, and consistency that demonstrate our grounding and maturity. Find the weight of these in your own life and live purposefully through them. Choose to operate from a position of strength that can only come from a deep well of inner peace and confidence.