Staying Strong in Tough Times
The world is facing a global crisis. People in every continent are anxious about the COVID-19 pandemic. Nations are shutting down, economies are slipping into recession and many businesses are projected to collapse due to the effect of the widespread virus. The impact of the pandemic is putting unprecedented pressure on all of us like never before.
It is in times like this I remember the words of Dr. Robert Schuller; “Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do.” No doubt, it’s a tough period all over the world, but are there things we can do to cushion the effect and ensure we pick up our lives again when we get through this?
First, it is important to adhere to the precautionary measures advised by various health experts and governments. Stay indoors as much as possible. If you must go out, avoid crowded places and practise social distancing. Avoid unnecessary body contacts and maintain good hand hygiene – that is, wash your hands regularly with soap or use hand sanitizers (at least 65%-70% alcohol-based). It cannot be overemphasized that prevention is better and easier than cure. Do all you can to stay safe.
When I think about holding up in difficult times, I remember the time I started my first business. It feels like yesterday, though it’s about 17 years already. The business was not doing so well. Salaries were outstanding, doors seemed to close in our faces. I ran out of savings and the future looked so bleak. During this period, it took everything in me to get myself out of bed, much less show up at the office to lead my staff. But I knew they were looking up to me. If I showed signs of giving up, they would lose their confidence. In fact, many mornings, I would get myself ready, ride to work and take a few moments outside the office to give myself a pep talk before I show up to start the day.
Though the pressure I experienced cannot compare in scope and magnitude to the challenges facing the world right now, I learnt in those times, many life lessons about how to keep hope alive in tough situations. Among many, here are 3 things I learnt from that period of my life that can help you stay tough in tough times.
- Keep Your Vision in Focus
Friend, when we face tough times, we are tempted to give up on our visions and goals; we sometimes think it’s the end of the road but it really isn’t. While we do our best to manage the situation, keeping our eyes on our goals gives us a good chance at reaching them even in the crisis. We can in fact see new ways to forge ahead as we learn to circumvent the situation. As we focus on the big picture, we strengthen the possibility of making it a reality.
- Draw Strength from Your Support System
Isn’t it such a relief to have good people around you in difficult times? A good support system provides the physical and emotional stamina to pull through hard and trying times. For me, my wife, friends, family and my faith have been the best support I could ever wish for. It is times like this we should remember the African Philosophy of Ubuntu: “I am because we are”.
- Don’t Waste the Downtime
Now, the world is tending towards a lockdown. Several nations have instructed their citizens to stay indoors. Here in Nigeria, the clamour to self-isolate and stay indoors is increasing. While economic activities will be badly affected, this period also provides the opportunity for us to develop ourselves, learn new skills and increase our capacity. You can explore online resources like Coursera, Edx, Skillshare, Udemy and more to acquire new knowledge and skills. The truth is downtimes give us the chance to strategize and discover new opportunities.
Friend, it is crucial to stay safe and healthy this period. Also importantly, maximize it.
Remember, You Have Only One Life to Live, MAKE IT COUNT!