Where is the gift in all this?

As we start to move forward out of our current situation and hopefully having the biggest part of the health threat behind us, we are now facing the bigger problem of the economic threat. At this point it’s been approximately 8 weeks since the majority of the population lead by the federal and state governments have been in damage control and it would seem based on the current data we are now moving into a different phase.

Its been interesting to listen and watch as a student of human behaviour how people have reacted and responded. At the core of the most people’s problem is the uncertainty of what is going to happen and what will our lives look like going forward. There has been an endless line of experts stick their head up to offer their perspective on what is likely to happen, where the numbers will go and what the impact it will have on our worlds as we know it. On a short reflection most of them have got it wrong for the better but it’s fair to say here in Australia and particularly in Western Australia we collectively have been part of a great outcome to this point.

One of the best lines I have heard is that very few have been infected but most of us have been affected. Even those few who have economic stability or even a win from this know someone close to them that has been impacted with a loss of job or downturn in their business.

So where is the gift in all this?

Like all local , global or individual crisis its always on reflection months or even years down the track when you crawl out of it that you look back and take the lesson which helps you become stronger and better for the experience.

This becomes known as resilience.

The challenge is to find that wisdom while experiencing the pain. That is growth.

As a wise person once said “pain is inevitable in life, but suffering is a choice”

So, to find some gifts I have been reflecting on my most challenging times to gain some insight to live and share. Economically the last big global challenge was the 2008 financial crisis. For me it was to become the toughest time in my business journey but the lessons that came from that have helped me build to be better and stronger than ever. Although I believe that the 2008 financial crisis is very different in many ways to the current health led crisis the lessons to take from it can help in the current impending economic crisis. The main different is that if you are in business this is the time to get your life crisis lessons… I mean, never has there been this such government assistance to help you ride the wave of this storm. Take the assistance but I hope it does not dilute the lesson that will help you in the future.

Here are 6 reflections I can share from my experience that may find useful to adapt to your corner of the world.

Acceptance and Commitment
The starting point is to be aware of where you are at. The longer you stay in the denial and resistance stage of any change process the longer it will take to get to where you need to go. Once you accept where you are at, then commit to the process, strategy, and tactics to move forward. I suggest you seek help if the pathway is not clear for you.

Creating Versus Managing
One of the things us humans do in times of crisis is get defensive and we retreat to managing the situation as best we can. If you change your mindset to creating what you want rather than just managing the situation and hoping what you want just happens your outcomes will be better. Making some decisions to create what you want will lead you to start dictating what your outcomes will be, by taking control. The actions you are taking or not taking at the moment will show up in your results in the next 3-6 months. Be mindful this is happening all the time.

The Problem is not the Problem
What ever the problem you are facing, or you think you are facing is usually the surface problem. There is most likely something deeper that is driving that problem that really needs to be addressed. By only tackling the problem at the surface level will not give you the progress and growth you need. Below the surface of most problems you are dealing with there is a human behaviour driving it.  Understand that and you will be closer to permanently dealing with the problem.

We Never See things as they are
Look around you and more importantly to yourself. What you believe is happening now and what you believe is going to happen moving forward is a reflection of how you see the world. So, we don’t see things as they really are, we see things as we are. Sit on that thought for a minute….and ask am I seeing clouds on the horizon or am I seeing blue skies. What your seeing, who and what your listening to is a direct reflection of seeing things as you are and not how things are. There is no right or wrong in this but a better question to ask is, how is this view you have serving you? I know this is a bit deep but read it again because if you can really understand what this means it will unlock a clearer pathway forward.

The Power of Association
Who you listen to and what message you align yourself to will have a big impact on how you recover from the economic downturn. As always, your growth will be dictated by who you allow to influence you. Be careful who you listen to as you get to choose which smart room that will help you emerge stronger and which will keep you bouncing along the bottom.

The Accumulative Effect
The position you are in now is an accumulative effect of everything you have done leading up to the current downturn. I know you will say that I didn’t see this happening, but if you had prepared yourself differently leading up to this point things would be different now. So going forward it’s not one major thing that is going to change your pathway forward, it’s an accumulative effect of lots of little changes in behaviour over a long period of time that will not only create a better version of what success is for you but smooth out any eventual storms that will come again. The time to fix the roof is before the storm…Not when its raining.

So, in summing up as you navigate your way through the muddy waters the gift will be the lessons you learn from this journey that will benefit you for years to come. Try and look for the lessons while your going through it, rather than on reflection in months or years to come.

Torrin (gift seeking) Minutillo


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Torrin Minutillo

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