We will face tough times in our lives , sometimes sharing the burden with nearby loved ones and sometimes handling it seemingly alone. These times include:
- A separation from a life partner
- Death of a family member or close friend
- Being a victim of abuse
- Receiving a permanent disability from an accident or from a health issue
- Diagnosed with a major health issue where the outcome is uncertain
- Fighting a crippling addiction
- Facing financial ruin
- Losing your job
- Failing an important exam
No matter where you are, what situation you are in, you will look back, sometime in the future from a much stronger position. Look forward to that position now. These quotes will help you.
“For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment – the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.” Sir Tom Moore, Centennial War Veteran
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Clergyman
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping-stones is how you use them.”– Unknown
“He knows not his own strength who hath not met adversity.”– William Samuel Johnson, Early American Statesman
“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carry with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”– Napoleon Hill, American Self-Help Author
Dr Martin Luther King, summed it up perfectly:
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy”.
You can read many self-help pieces on the web. A useful one is “Therapists spill: 14 ways to get through tough times”, By Margarita Tartakovsky
When in a crisis remember you will survive it – Jack Welch’s five stages
The key to remember with every crisis is that you will survive, and life goes on. Jack Welch, one of the most successful CEOs of the 20th century, handled each crisis based on what he considered were the five stages of a crisis.
1. The crisis will be worse than it first appears.
2. The bad news will come out sometime so may as well face the music now
3. The situation will be portrayed in the worst possible light by ‘the press’
4. There will be carnage.
5. The organisation will survive.
You can use these five stages in a personal crisis with a few modifications.
You will face a number of crises in your life
Girls, crises such as a break-up of an important relationship, loss of a job in a economic downturn, a major health scare, the unexpected loss of someone very close will happen in your lifetime. From the ones you have faced already you know that you have survived. As Jack Welch promises.
My first major crisis I had to face was when my wife and I separated and a few years later she needed to get back to England, with my children in tow, to support her ailing and ageing mother. My next major crisis was when second wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
In both these cases it immediately made me refocus and reroute my priorities. In the first crisis I increased my UK speaking engagements enabling me to spend quality time with my children. In the second crisis I refocused back to my writing. As it turned out this was very timely as I was already COVID-19 prepared.
Here are some actions to take
- Understand that crises are a normal part of life and they go through the five stages Jack Welch mentioned.
- Think and read about the particular crisis you are in.
- Embrace Peter Drucker’s abandonment to clear the decks so you focus only on clearing the crisis.
- Avoid any challenges that could comprise your integrity because it will all come out in the wash later on.
- For all important decisions discuss them with your mentors first
- Lean on your friends – you are not alone. You have friends who really care for you. Now is the time to throw pride away and seek their help and support.
- Have one-to-one sessions with a life coach or a counsellor. Counselling is a useful process. I have attended over 20 one-to-one sessions.