When uncertainty befalls upon us, resistance entraps us. And it seems like a more serious threat as the world around us changes at a pace faster than the speed at which we can make sense of what is happening. New technologies appear with rising frequencies, reinventing how individuals commute, how music lovers listen to their favorite playlists and how doctors perform surgeries. Pandemics can cover the span of the globe within days and put all humans of the world in a self-quarantine that forces them to do things differently.
Uncertainty and change are not things we can simply eradicate.
What’s the other alternative then?
In short, it’s the ability to be flexible while being forward-looking.
In a slightly longer form, it’s the following three steps.
STEP 1 — ACCEPTANCE
Acceptance is the last stage of the Kubler Ross model, also known as the 5 stages of grief. It starts with denial, grows into anger and frustration, moves through bargaining, then depression. It might seem like an exaggeration since for most cases, neither are we terminally ill nor have we lost a loved one. We are simply quarantined. But in a way, we are grieving for a lifestyle that we cannot sustain given the risks linked to the epidemic.
But you cannot live through a situation with a certain harmony and ease, if you don’t first accept it as part of your new present life and a potentially determining shift towards a different life.
Take your time to express your anger / frustration / resentment / sadness, and then accept it not as something that will stop tomorrow (because truth is, we don’t really know when it will), but rather as something that simply is (stoicism being a powerful life lesson here).
STEP 2 — ADAPTABILITY
Adaptability is a key 21st century skill in an era that is fast changing. Covid-19 has shown us how fast things can change and how fast we need to adjust.
That’s how species survive whilst others die and go instinct. Think of how the Cactus developed a spinal structure as a replacement for the leaves in order to store the water and keep it even at high temperature and for extended periods of time.
To adapt to new circumstances, the smartest action to do is to create new systems that function properly in light of the changes.
Reinvent your habits and routines to better manage space, time, physical health, mental health, learning…
STEP 3 — GROWTH
It’s not enough to cope with the situation. This might be the perfect time to rethink how we want to work and learn and live…
It’s not just about emergency crisis management, it’s also about strategic thinking for the creation of a personally balanced, socially empathetic, economically just and environmentally sustainable future.
When we accept circumstances and find ways to adapt to the changes, we set ourselves on a path of growth by transforming the negative into positive and the dire into opportunity-bearing.
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