COVID-19: The Houseguest That Won't Leave
Life can throw us many curve balls. For instance, COVID has been that annoying houseguest that has taken over our lives and doesn't want to leave.
COVID has disrupted our lives by causing isolation, loss of jobs and businesses, loss of our loved ones, loss of being around our family and friends, mixed information about social distancing and protocols, closed or partially open schools, and so on.
What we thought would inconvenience us for two weeks has stretched out to over a year. COVID was a hardship that no one planned for. Our lives will never be the same. Is that a bad thing AND a good thing?
Obstacles Are Stepping Stones To Opportunity
After the affluent times of the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression (1929-1939) became the worst economic downturn in modern history due to the stock market crash of 1929. At it's lowest point in 1933, around 15 million people were unemployed (25%) and almost half of the nation's banks had failed from investors withdrawing their money.
Many Americans were in deep despair but out of this same era came resilience and gratefulness. Survivors saw hidden blessings in their life that they hadn't realized before.
Losing their possessions brought out creativity and better use of their resources. Some people learned to take business risks that paid off. Others learned to reinvent themselves. They learned to take care of each other and have hope in the future.
What about you? What are some of your hidden blessings that came out of this past year with COVID?
Okay, We Have Choices But What If I Don't Like My Choices?
We make choices every day. Choices can be quick and easy most days and difficult and overwhelming other days.
When hardship happens, you have two primary choices: accept your circumstances or embrace change and seek new opportunities. It's really that simple for your first decision.
What's that you say? I couldn't understand your question in that whiney voice. "But what if I don't want to accept my circumstances and I don't want to get out of my comfort zone?"
Well, lack of action is a decision so basically your answered your question which is to stay in your comfort zone. Too many people play it safe and stay miserable because they're afraid to be uncomfortable. Life is too short to stay miserable when you have at least one option. You can still embrace change by taking baby steps.
Change is constant. Goodness and hardship are going to happen throughout your life. Learn to make good choices by practicing critical thinking. Critical thinking leads to better decisions which leads to improved problem solving. You can learn more about this important resilience skill on my blog 4 Reasons Why Critical Thinking Leads to Better Decisions.
Embrace Change With Inspiring Overcomers
I love reading inspiring stories about people overcoming hardship. When I was a young girl, I became fascinated with Helen Keller. She was born in 1880 with eye sight and hearing but became blind, deaf, and mute at 19 months old from an illness.
At age 6, Helen was taught to communicate by her teacher Anne Sullivan whom she spent 49 years with. At the age of 16, Helen could read Braille, use the typewrite and write, and speak fluently enough to go to Radcliffe College where she graduated "cum laude" in 1904.
As time went on, Helen learned to speak and started giving lectures in 1913. Aren't those amazing accomplishments from someone who overcame extreme hardship?
More Inspiring Overcomers
I highly recommend researching others who overcame hardship. These stories will keep you motivated when you experience difficult times in your life.
As a child, Thomas Edison's teachers told his mother that he was dumb and would not be successful in life because his mind wandered in class. Talk about a lesson in perseverance and optimism, when asked about his many failures at making a lightbulb work, Mr. Edison replied "I found 10,000 ways how not to make a lightbulb."
Elvis Presley was a social misfit as a boy and failed his music classes.
During Fred Astaire's first screen test, an RKO executive said Astaire can't sing, can't act, was balding. and could dance a little.
Before Harry Potter's success, J.K. Rowling was a divorced mother, living on welfare, going to school, and trying to write a novel in her spare time.
When you're feeling stuck in life, will you choose to stay in your comfort zone or embrace change and look for new opportunities?
Hunt the good stuff, find the humor, keep positive, and focus on your blessings. God can bring good out of every situation!