Assuming you survive this pandemic, what sort of person will you be?
Winners and champions are different - they may be in the same circumstances as losers, but they see and believe different things - Milton Kamwendo.
The national lock downs initiated by several states in the world as a way of preventing and reducing the spread of the dreadful and devastating Covid-19 disease catalysed by the coronavirus has been received with mixed reaction by ordinary citizens, workers, politicians, businesses, the poor, the rich and leaders .
Some got into panic mode to the level that they have remained locked down and out physically, emotionally and psychologically. Others who were initially shaken sooner than later shook off the dust and decided to approach the crisis differently to at least realise opportunities brought about by the challenge.
Some believed that every dark cloud has a silver lining. In the words of R.B Mansell, like optimists they sought and found opportunities in the presence of difficulties as opposed to the other folk who normally are the pessimistic majority that makes difficulties of their opportunities.
To avoid appearing to be trivialising the impact and effects of the Covid-19 scourge, it must be stated from the onset that the pandemic is indeed a cause for concern to all and sundry.
However, over-mourning and over-reacting on one side and/ or underestimating on the other hand of its effects is rather suicidal. The sober and rational-minded ought to approach the whole matter positively and diligently with a view to plan for a life after the disaster. It is common cause that one day the scourge would be in the history scrolls.
Assuming you survive, what sort of person would you be? Will you be a helpless and wounded survivor or you will be a victorious fighter? Your reactions in the present will determine the tag that would be attached on you then.
I am aware of some people who have been holed up in their homes since the beginning of the lockdown, due to excessive fear; they are in a self-imposed quarantine. They spend 24 hours of each day hiding indoors doing absolutely nothing. They are not planning anything for the future. Daily if not hourly, they check the news on the statistics of how many have and are being infected and dying.
Though it is important to be abreast with the state of affairs, some have done it negatively to the level that they have become fearful and helpless, paralysing all their faculties.
Why can't you take advantage of the disadvantage, why can't you open your eyes and approach the challenge with a positive outlook and be able to scout for opportunities hidden in this pandemic.
Since time in memory, great personalities emerged during calamities, recessions and difficult times as this.
In the Bible (2 Kings 7) four disadvantaged lepers who were put in quarantine outside the city due to their condition decided to move forward and refused to be held down by the situation and by people. The men were eclipsed by a myriad of challenges; being infected by a horrible disease, adverse starvation, a devastating drought & famine in Samaria, stigma associated with the leprosy disease and the mighty Syrian army that had besieged Samaria where food could be found.
The lepers ignited their self-conviction, though they were surrounded by limitations all around them, they said to themselves, "why are we sitting here until we die? If we enter the city there is famine and we shall die there, if we remain here we will die also." They therefore decided to enter the city to face the Syrian army without any weapon whatsoever in their hands. Guess what happened, God respected their resolve and frightened the Syrian army and a turn-around came to them. In fact the lepers became instant living heroes for themselves and their kindred also. Instead of dying in quarantine, they became overnight millionaires, for they possessed silver, gold, food and clothing left behind by the frightened Syrian army.
The great former President of USA Franklin D. Roosevelt refused to be lampooned and dwarfed by threatening and prohibiting circumstances. He was stricken by polio at age 39 and was physically paralyzed from waist downwards and was wheelchair-bound. But he refused to be disqualified from standing for public office by his condition.
I am convinced that in this predicament lies the potential to produce world-class personalities in business, labour, politics, civic society, religion, in academics, in the medical arena, in leadership etc. The pandemic has presented a window for innovators, change agents and strategic thinkers to prove their worthy.
Those that dare to come out of their cocoons to think outside the box will come out tops to run & lead rejuvenated organizations. Some will be able to start new ventures, fresh and effective assignments. However the inverse is also perfectly correct, this challenge may relegate some people to oblivion and extinction.
To the ordinary person, the lockdown has presented you with a chance to refocus, reset and realign yourself to factory settings; to reboot for a fresh start, to de-clutter yourself from unnecessary attachments, to revisit your original purpose, to self-introspect, reflect, re-plan and re-strategise your life at least without the burden of the need to fulfil this or that fixture or attending to this or that programme.
You can work up in the morning; sit down with a pen and note book, writing down new business plans, the future you want and how you want to pursue your goals. You have all the time to meditate, read a motivational book or article, study and revisit an area you are passionate about. Why not, you are not rushing for work, for a meeting, no flight schedule to miss, no traffic jam to beat, no one is pushing you for this and that report or meeting. There is absolutely and abundant time availed to restrategise for the future.
Do yourself a favour by not focusing on thinking about where this disease came from. Whether it is man-made or is the work of the devil or God, is this the end of the world, or am I going to survive or am I going to die. While these are important questions to ponder, you will realise that you have little or even no leverage to give solutions to those life issues. In that regard why then can you not decide to take the positive route of pursuing alternative opportunities and doors that are presented by this temporary set-back.
Stop thinking of the 100 reasons why it cannot work under the circumstances, rather think and pursue at least one single reason why it will definitely workout. Stop mourning, complaining and regretting, life is not lenient with the mediocre, be like the David of the bible who could face the challenge (Goliath) head on no matter how threatening Goliath was, indeed life rewarded him handsomely.
n sum, the ball is in your field; decide to be different, rational and positive about the situation. See yourself in a bigger, better, stronger and rejuvenated outlook during and after the lockdown. Clear off the victim and disadvantaged mentality. No excuse regardless of its factual validity will change your circumstances, do not accept and allow any obstacle to stop you. Thomas Carlyle succinctly concluded says, "The block of granite which is an obstacle in the path of the weak becomes a stepping stone in the path of the strong." Instead of praying for God to remove that mountain ahead of you, pray for the grace and ability to climb it. If you cannot find a way, make one for yourself.
Wish you the best in your endeavours, the best for you is yet to come.
Tafara Herbert Tavengahama is a leadership trainer and success coach, motivational/transformational and conference speaker, marriage and youth counsellor. He is a management and Human Resources consultant
He can be conducted on voice call & WhatsApp number: 263 7730 64449 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org