These are unprecedented times. Most of us have never been through anything like this. The news is full of uncertainty, and social media fuels the blaze 130 characters at a time. And still, the world moves on. Millions of people log on from their home offices and do the best they can. Millions more wish they had that opportunity. And still millions more are volunteering in their communities making a real difference.
What role do we play in all of this? I believe if we focus on these three simple, but not simplistic, things – we will get through this.
Patience is something that is difficult for many, especially when we are so hyper-connected and time is gauged in seconds instead of minutes or hours. Those of us who are extroverts find it incredibly difficult to slow down enough and let things be. We miss the human contact. And our introvert friends are also running things through their minds over and over, constantly buzzing between gratefulness and anxiety.
Take time to breathe. Slow down your expectations and settle in for the long haul. Although this crisis seems that it developed overnight, it will take time to recover. Developing some patience and appreciation of the things that are out of our control will help frame our actions and our attitudes. Make a point of not checking your social media accounts constantly. Find something productive to do and keep your mind occupied. We may not have contributed to this crisis, but we can ride it out and contribute to its recovery. Remember, the world needed you prior to this and will need you even more afterward.
Take care of those around you.
Time will judge how we acted during this time. Did we take care of just ourselves or did we find room to look out for others? Everyone reacts to crisis differently, but part of the human condition is to be wanted and cared for. Brighten someone’s day with a quick check-in call or email. Help them see the positive side of things and provide words of inspiration. When we do this, it also feeds our soul and helps us cope with the day’s issues. Provide reassurance where you can and help those around you not get too caught up in things that they can’t control. There are some of our friends and colleagues that will be caught up in the media frenzy. Help them diffuse their feelings of anxiety with a calm word and a virtual hug.
The way you treat people today will go a long way to developing future relationships and you just might make a difference in their day.
Prepare yourself for the future.
We have been given a gift. A gift of time. What can we learn or do to prepare ourselves for the future? It’s a great time to work on those things you have been putting off—writing, reading, taking a class or seminar. Remember all of those things you said you‘d do if you just had the time, well you now have it. Use it wisely.
If we play our cards right, this time of crisis will soon pass and we will be better for it. We will have learned to not worry about things we cannot control, we will have built stronger relationships and we will have learned valuable new skills. It’s up to us, it always has been.
And, still, the world moves on.
Craig S. Galati is a Principal and Shareholder of LGA. His strength lies in helping his team create memorable experiences through design. Through his passion for workshop facilitation and public outreach, Craig has provided invaluable clarity and direction to multiple public and private organizations. Craig is an accomplished speaker and has worked with many organizations on leadership and strategy.