COVID-19, The coronavirus…This too shall pass and when it does, what have you learned? This truly is an unprecedented time for all of us, and something I have never experienced in my 50 years of living. This is something I have never prepared for nor expected, yet I’m forced to make decisions and navigate through this adversity like everyone else and make decisions to protect my family and myself from harm. Social distancing is a new phrase engraved into our minds and this experience can teach us all something about ourselves now and prepare us for the future when adversity strikes again – and it will strike again.
Adversity is never desired yet is often the element that challenges people to see what they are made of; it can motivate and push you forward, overcoming the obstacles laid before you, or it can crush you and leave you on the wayside. Unfortunately, many people fall towards the latter and struggle through adversities and challenging circumstances and become defeated. They blame others for their misfortune and feel victimized instead of energized to take the necessary actions to overcome the challenge; nit-picking the details and making excuses instead of seeking solutions and opportunities.
Napoleon Hill wrote that in every adversity there lies the seed of equal or greater benefit. All too often people focus on the darkness before them; the struggle and difficulty in their way, instead of the opportunities or blessings that lay waiting to be discovered. It’s a mindset – a choice to look at things differently and to seek the path towards success and to overcome obstacles. Life can and will be difficult at times, sometimes for longer than we like, but we have a choice, A CHOICE, to decide how we will conduct ourselves through it when it comes. This is called an internal locus of control vs the opposite idea where I believe I don’t have control over the things that happen to me in life (external locus of control). Different mindsets with completely different outcomes. Figure this concept out for yourself and your world will change forever!
So, what does this all mean amid our current crisis with COVID-19? We are faced with a severe adversity! The circumstances are different from other challenges you may have experienced but realize one thing – It’s not about the situation and challenge you are going through, as they will differ in severity and impact, it’s how you handle it. It’s all about what you choose to do, how you choose to respond and what you focus on that determines how you will navigate through it all. Some will do so successfully, and others will experience catastrophic outcomes. Same environment, different results! How can this be?
CHOICE. You need to take control of your own mind and direct your mind towards ends of your own choosing. These are Napoleon Hill’s words. You do have a choice!
Know one thing: I’m not saying the choice is easy. It is not, trust me. I know first-hand how difficult it is to choose as the COVID-19 epidemic is not my first major adversity in my life as of recent. In 2018, I was diagnosed with Stage III Colon Cancer. This was a shockwave that rocked my life and the thoughts and actions of my family and me. I’m still in the fight and I give credit to two factors: First, my faith as I have complete peace over this situation and fear does not control me. Second, I believe in the statement by Napoleon Hill stated above regarding how we must take control of our own minds. What he’s talking about is controlling your thoughts. Where your focus goes, energy flows. If you focus on the difficulties, the stress, the odds against you, etc., you will struggle to maintain a healthy balance and fear will settle in and slowly you will relinquish control to it. This is not a healthy way to live. Fear will strip you of your ability to use sound logic and will weaken your immune system due to the release of cortisol (Seek expert counsel to learn more) because you will be in a fight, flight, or freeze mode – something that no human or animal was designed to experience long term.
So, decide once and for all that you are in control. That you can influence the outcomes during adversities and setbacks that come your way. You can choose to seek the opportunities and blessings that come with every adversity, and you can thrive during these tough times.
I love quotes! Especially from experts in their field. Jim Rohn is expert counsel. Choose discipline to alter your thinking and focus on opportunities and avoid the negativity, the criticism of others and what they did to you and how you were victimized – this is the blame game, and in this game, no one wins.
COVID-19, diagnosis of cancer, loss of a job, bankruptcy, etc. These are all horrible experiences and, are they difficult to endure? YES!
CHOOSE. Choose to break any strongholds in your mind and face the challenge, minimize the fears, seek solutions and navigate your way towards success. Towards opportunities. If you do this, you will discover a powerful talent that will allow you to face anything that comes your way in the future. Remember, you may be bruised, beaten, knocked down more than you care to be, but you can always choose to seek the silver lining, the opportunities, and the blessings. One day, COVID-19 will be just another difficulty that you’ve navigated through or around. Know that you’ve got this!
If I can navigate through having cancer with the right frame of mind that generates victory, you and I can navigate through COVID-19 and come out on the other side triumphant. You will also influence many around you to do the same. This virus is contagious, but so is your attitude!
Chuck Bolena, M.Ed.
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Photo by: Giancarlo Revolledo