Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Imagine. You wake up this morning and there is nowhere to go. The rise in Covid infections has led to another national lockdown and as a result, you have no job. You were either fired, retrenched, made redundant, let go, yesterday.
Your family is dependent on you. The bills are paid by you. One of your children is scheduled to sit SEA on August 20 and the other is entering Form 5, in the hopeful reopening of school in September. What are you going to do? What are you going to do, TODAY?
As a result of Covid 19, data projects that 1.5 million full-time Caribbean jobs are projected to have been lost. Locally, there are families who can’t afford to buy food and a survey conducted on small to medium enterprises showed that 36 percent terminated full-time employees and 55 percent have terminated part-time or contractual employees. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? Are you depressed, angry, feeling hopeless, thinking that life is unfair? Good. You feel that. Feel it in all its entirety and when you’re done, let it go. Because only when you let it go, will you be ready for some Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, truths.
“One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
You may not be able to control what happens in and to your life, but you do have control over how you choose to respond. Are you going to lie down and play dead or are you going to get up and fight? You have responsibilities and people depending on you, get up! Look around you. What do you see? Are there any opportunities for another job or can you identify a skill or a business idea you can use to create one? Get a pen and paper. Write all your options and ideas down. Don’t worry if they sound crazy. Don’t think, write all that comes to mind. Then, by process of elimination or prioritization, decide which one you can start working on, TODAY.
“What we need to do is lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you - what used to be a tailwind is now a headwind - you have to lean into that and figure out what to do, because complaining isn’t a strategy.”
I complained my way into success said no successful person, ever. If you want to change your situation, then change your mindset. Focus less on the problem itself and more on finding a solution. Everyone knows at least one person who every time they see you, tells you the same story, about the wrongs that were done to them by person A or B. When this happens a little too often, you tend to do one or two things, avoid the person or bluntly say to them, “I’m tired of hearing you complain about this. Why don’t you just do something about it?” Stop complaining. Objectively think about the situation. Make a decision about the way forward. Act accordingly.
“Life is too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful.”
Resourcefulness - the ability to find quick and resourceful ways to overcome difficulties. This is our fundamental aim, to be resourceful. Throughout human existence, our lives have been dependent on our ability to be resourceful, to solve a problem using what we have available. Many times we tell ourselves we need a specific environment, a particular tool, a professional qualification, or whatever other obstacles we choose to identify as a reason for our inaction. Use what you have and start or as we say locally, “make do”. Until better can be done, “make do”. Life is going to challenge us, beat us up and at worst, leave us for dead. But, the true human spirit does not stay down, we get up and we fight. This fighting spirit takes us to the “truths” of one of the greatest boxers of all time, Mohammed Ali.
“You don’t lose if you get knocked down. You lose if you stay down”
As we said before, life is going to beat you up. Like death, there is no escaping it. But you have a choice in how you choose to respond when it happens. Motivational Speaker Les Brown would say in his talks that when life knocks you down, try to land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up. For many of us, we have had more than our share of life’s challenges and we have begun to think that this is our portion. It’s not. Learn from the experience and make changes. No one ever said life was going to be easy, but it does get better.
“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”
As a matter of fact, let’s just scrap the whole imagination bit. This is real life. Time is a limited resource that we all have. We spend so much of our time living in the shadows of other people’s thoughts, ideals, opinions and we do not take the time to figure out our own. We have all been blessed with our own unique gifts that make us stand out. The late Dr. Myles Munroe once said, “If you want to become successful, seek to become a person of value.” Your value is tied to your gift. What is your gift and have you been spending your time using it? These are some of the many ‘truths’ of life. Choose the one that best resonates with you and get on with the business of living. What are you going to do, TODAY?
Author: Alicia Psyche Haynes