When i think of how to thrive and survive difficult times, I go back to the times of my childhood. For someone who doesn’t know, i grew up in Eastern Uganda. When the current president Museveni took power, our region was plugged into different types of crises. Among them were wars and rebellion. Government forces fought rebels, and cattle rustling from Karamojong warriors. There was massive displacement, loss of property, assets, wealth and people were living in caves, forests and different hideouts. There was no food, shelter, non-food items, water, sanitation and social protection. There were diseases, children died and including adults. Youth were forced to join armies, either government or rebels whichever got hold of you. This experience gives me the qualities to share how one can survive a crisis. They say the best teacher is experience. A personal experience and example can shade light on what can be done to overcome any crisis. Apart from that there are other crises that have personally been part of and i have seen people energised and energing out of it.
What is a crisis? To begin with a crisis is unknown event that occurs without knowledge or predictions from people, leaders or communities. It is the change of normal circumstances to abnormality affecting people in a manner that alters people’s lifestyle or way of life.
And success is simply the completion of purpose or achievement of worthy ideals. I expand this if this need be.
To succeed you need to;
- Prayer. Prayer is your connection point to the creator. It is the common union with God. Prayer helps you to:
Increase your faith, resolve, confidence, self esteem and belief in someone or power bigger than the crisis. It empowers you to live beyond the current situation. It gives you hope when everything seems hopeless. It gives you power even you are overwhelmed and overpowered. Prayer open doors and gives you the ability to trust supernatural over your situation. I applied this key many times during the crisis i wrote about.
- Planning. This is the second key. Planning is looking beyond the present to the future. Planning allows you to have a view of the future from the present and expect things to change. Planning is the setting of new worthy goals and aims. It is the setting of the new course of action and you create short term, medium term and long term goals.
In times of crisis your goal is survival and safety. You set new goals on:
This goals will become your road map to your destination. Your goals are the source of your motivation, passion, focus, objectivity. Without goals you will be like a ship floating on the sea or lake. And to achieve your goals, you need to have reasons why you are doing it. Your reasons keep you hanging in there. Instead of giving up.
- Persistence. Crises will test your capacity to endure and manage pain. You have to be persistent and have an endurance attitude. You don’t give up or quit. Winston Churchill one time told the soldier that ” we shall fight in the sea, we shall fight in the land, in the air and we shall never give up” what an attitude. You need to give your all and persist until you come out of the crisis. A crisis will transform and modify your life. You come out better than you started a crisis. Persistence wears out fear, resistance and overcomes problems.
- Responsibility. To emerge as a winner, you have to completely take charge of your life. Some people become irresponsible during crisis. They become drunkards, smokers, drug addicts and sex workers. What they don’t know is a crisis is temporary. A crisis can last 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 months or 5 years. Yet if you are 25 years, by age 30 the crisis is gone and you have more 30 years of life on earth. What do you do when your lungs, kidneys, have been affected by cigarettes, alcohol or HIV. By the end of the crisis you have new problems which are even bigger. So be responsible. The current crisis will pass and you still have so many years ahead to live.
- Innovation and creativity. You need to think outside the box and practice reflective thinking so you can remember the good memories but also design new strategies. For instance, if food is lacking think of having one meal. If clothes are lacking, carefully use what you have sparingly. If water is lacking maximize what you have and so forth. Don’t waste the available resources and assets. You have to minimize wastage of resources. Jesus Christ himself applied this ideas and you too.
There are a lot more keys than this but will share next time. Please spread this message to help someone who is going through a crisis. Remind them there is life after a crisis or tragedy or adversity. It is not yet over until its over. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Stay alive during a disaster and you emerge a winner.
Dr. Samuel Odeke
Strategic and Global Leadership Expert