What resources and mechanisms do we have in place to face an utterly unknown and uncertain future?
We do not come empty-handed. We come with life experience of hardships overcome, change initiated and adapted to, seemingly intractable problems solved, and losses endured and accepted.
Your story has within it the lessons and insights you need to cope in this time of crisis, as scary and as unpredictable as it is. All those times you questioned why bad things happened to you — now is the time to take out all the lessons you gained from those experiences!
Think of a difficult time in your life and as hard as it was, you will also acknowledge that you found unexpected strength when you needed it, fresh perspective at times and new-found resolve when the chips were down.
To help you reflect on your own story to be able draw from it key life lessons for this time, I share two of my own, one more business focused and one personal.
My business was flying. I had formed a partnership soon after the 2008 recession that had helped me move in a completely new direction from personal and team development into sales and negotiation for top tier sales teams. I was a distributor building my own client base paying a percentage of the income I brought in to the owner of the company and of the IP.
I have seen it happen time and time again. Success makes you a target. Overnight the percentage I was required to pay the owner doubled, essentially halving my business. This would have been fine if I had other business interests but all my eggs were in this basket. Very suddenly I had to find other revenue streams and diversify my business in order to not only make up the income but to also reclaim control, something I had given up for short-term gain.
I turned to my network, people I knew and respected who I thought might have the right contacts to get immediate access to material I could take back to my customers as something fresh and new. I met up with an old mentor who is now one of my current business partners. He pointed me in a couple of directions including the possibility of taking up the WISDOMS material which he had developed several years earlier. I explored the various opportunities but came back to WISDOMS which I then took into the corporate arena very successfully and am now expanding into a digital market.
These are my lessons:
· Keep as much control as you can over your life and finances. Only you have your best interests at heart.
· You cannot do it alone. You need a growing and influential network.
· Give to get.
Love really does conquer all
My parents moved in to live with us about 10 years ago. My Dad died just over 18 months ago. He suffered from throat cancer in the last 18 months of his life. It is a terrible, debilitating disease which took his voice, his strength and eventually his ability to eat, drink and even breathe. A good deal of the time he was in pain and discomfort.
From my Dad I learnt many lessons about resilience, enjoying the simple things in life, laughing and having fun in the face of adversity, and loving more and more deeply as days are numbered. I also learnt that when you are caring for a very ill and dying person that you love dearly, you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.
Your needs in the moment are secondary and while you have to catch up with yourself eventually, you can persevere for the sake of others for a long time. I learnt to change a tracheotomy tube and feed my Dad through a tube in his stomach. I learnt to keep his spirits up while my own heart was breaking. I don’t tell you these things for your sympathy or to be overly dramatic but to point out that you can do very hard things when called upon. I know this because not only did I do this but my mother, and all my sisters who visited at various times.
· Loving and caring for others is an incredible motivator.
· You do not know what you are capable of until you are in the situation and you find yourself rising to the occasion.
My hope is that these stories will find an echo in your own. You have overcome huge hurdles in your life. You have suffered and survived great ordeals. These can now be turned to good, giving us the inner strength to persevere and triumph in the difficulties and changes that lie ahead.