We all started this year hoping we would make it a better one than the last. We made a list of goals that we wanted to accomplish, and we were excited to see what surprises 2020 would bring. However, what we never expected was for the whole world to stop due to a pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). While the outbreak started in China, the virus has now spread internationally.
Everyone around the world is experiencing fear, worry, anxiety, and instability. Every day, more people are getting infected and others are dying.
Every time I go to the grocery store, I see empty shelves and worry that one day we might run out of food. Parks, schools, gyms, restaurants, and all the places we would often go to are now closed. The streets are empty and our towns are starting to look like ghost towns.
Humans are losing their shit and going into panic mode. People are being greedy and only thinking about themselves—they are buying everything in bulk while others don’t know when their next paycheck will come or if they will be able to have enough food for their family.
I have seen many bad things, but for the first time in my adult life, I can honestly say I am scared of the future. None of us were prepared for this crisis. It arrived without warning, filling our days with confusion and chaos.
There is a lot of crazy shit happening right now. These are scary and uncertain times for all of us, but there is a major decision to be made, and it’s how you will react to this situation. This crisis can bring out both the worst and the best in human nature. Are you going to curl in a ball and panic? Or are you going to make the best out of this situation?
The truth is, you can approach this crisis from either a place of fear or a place of possibility.
Yes, I know it’s hard to be positive when it seems like the world is taking a turn for the worst. But I encourage you to look at the bigger picture. You can do something great during this crisis. Some of the most iconic people that ever lived used crisis as an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Let’s take a look back at our history.
In 1606, deaths from black death led to the closure of theaters in London. Shakespeare isolated himself to avoid getting infected by the deadly virus, and during that time, he wrote three plays: King Lear, Macbeth, and Anthony and Cleopatra.
In 1665, there was a major outbreak of the bubonic plague in the UK. During this time, Isaac Newton discovered Calculus when his Cambridge University classes were canceled due to the pandemic.
In 1918, the Great Influenza Pandemic reached just about every continent around the globe. Walt Disney was 17 years old at that time. Walt wanted to help, so he joined the Red Cross, and weeks later Disney came down with the flu. He returned home and recovered from the influenza—10 years later he created Mickey Mouse.
This is not the first pandemic, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last one. You could get through all of this by doing nothing, or you can see the opportunity in the crisis and make the difference you were born to make.
Use this time to reflect on all the things you took for granted when everything was normal. Use this time to fix a broken relationship or leave a toxic one. Use this time to work on yourself. Use this time to work on the foundation of your legacy.
We cannot control this virus, the government, or even the people around us. But we can control our thoughts and our actions. We can make conscious choices and have a better response to the current situation. How you act during this time of crisis will forever change the way you view your life. Focus your energy on the present moment, figure out what you can do today so you can have a better tomorrow.
Someday, we will look back at this moment and be thankful for the lessons it taught us. It will remind us that life can suddenly change, and therefore, we should make the best of it every day. It will teach us not to take anything for granted and to appreciate things in life that truly matter.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and this is your chance to take charge of your life so that you come out of this experience stronger.
You can use this time to lead and create a better future, or you can use this time to panic. What will you do?