Life feels so out of control at the moment. We are surrounded by the news of the day. It seems every other post on social media is somehow connected to COVID-19. It’s the top story in every news or media report. Schools, restaurants, gyms, businesses and churches are closed until further notice. Consumer confidence is low. And even with six feet of separation, seeing and hearing about it are almost unavoidable. But what it doesn’t have to be is all-consuming.
If you are reading this blog, you’re still here. And if you are still here, it means there is still hope. Yes, there is a crisis. Yes, we should all take precautions. But in the midst of crisis is where we build our leadership muscles!
One of the traits of great leadership is optimism. In down times, it is the leader’s optimism that pulls people up and gets them to see a future that can and will eventually be realized. Fear is more lethal and contagious than any virus. However, hope is greater than any fear. Optimism is the ability to “see those things that be not as though they were.” Optimism, when backed by sound and effective practices, is what fuels hope.
The crisis we face now is actually a growth opportunity for us all. Here are four things I know for sure about a crisis (let me know if you agree):
- It stretches you to be creative. You’re forced to think out of the box and do things differently.
- It makes you a better steward. You have a clearer definition of needs vs. wants. You become less wasteful!
- It resets you. Going through a crisis has a way to ground you and bring you back to balance. It gives you another chance to learn from your previous choices so that you can make better decisions going forward.
- It clarifies your priorities. You reconcile for yourself the people, experiences, goals and things that matter most.
Listen, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. It could come in the form of a cleaner world, humans with better hygiene, closer relationships with the people we love, or certainly a greater appreciation and respect for teachers, healthcare workers and even grocery store employees! Perhaps for some, it will force us to take a day of rest once a week that will result in better health. Here’s one: better cooking skills! And maybe neighbors will begin helping other neighbors more. Grudges can be put on hold or forgiven altogether. Racial barriers might finally crumble and people link arms in ways that demonstrate our resilience, goodness and strength as a human race. Even the environment and the air quality will benefit, if nothing more than less cars on the streets blowing exhaust and toxins into the atmosphere.
We know there are challenges and issues surrounding the pandemic that we cannot control. However, there are things we can do to manage ourselves. Here are some things I am personally doing to maintain my optimism:
- Following all of the guidelines from the CDC and government authorities, which include staying home, washing my hands religiously and social distancing.
- Meditating and studying scriptures. I’m also considering a 3-day spiritual fast (let me know if you want to join me!).
- Limiting my intake of media.
- Going for walks. This has been most therapeutic, actually, for my mind, body and spirit.
- Speaking positivity to my family, friends and followers.
Let’s make hope contagious! How are you fueling your optimism today? Leave a comment and share with others. CLICK HERE to join our #OYO Community and be sure to follow me on social media for daily inspirations.