It may seem counterintuitive to think that growth is possible during challenging times. But actually, it is possible. I heard recently that the Japanese call crisis a “dangerous opportunity.” Just imagine, whatever you are going through right now could be an opportunity for you to grow. I’d like to help you grow. Here are 5 actions you can begin to integrate into your life in order to grow during challenging times.
- INVEST in others, yourself and especially your BIG DREAMS. Now is not the time to shrink back from big dreams you were formulating for this year. The best way to see those dreams come to fruition is to invest in them, by investing in yourself and others (who support your dreams). Make sure you’re leveling up your skills. Have the dream conversations with yourself. Enlist the support of your dream team to ensure that your dreams come true!
- REPLACE negative thoughts that do not support who you are becoming or the direction you’re heading in. Our vision is who we are becoming, while our mission is the active steps we are taking to get there. We must have all of our thought align with the vision we have for ourselves. Our thoughts must also support the direction we are heading in. You will never rise above the internal thought structure (or image) that you have for yourself. You can’t achieve ‘10’ dreams with a ‘5’ self-image! Do all that is in your power to shift your thinking by replacing negative thoughts with ones that move you forward.
- KEEP TRYING—trying counts toward your success. Sometimes we discount effort. Not all plans work out, but we can give ourselves credit for trying. Trying leads to practice and practice leads to having (if you keep trying!). So the next time you try (and fail) count that a small win and keep trying!
- SEARCH FOR SILVER LININGS! My friend Dacher Keltner is the founder of the Greater Good Science Center. He recently interviewed me on his podcast: The Science of Happiness. When you’re going through tough times (like this pandemic) it’s critical to find the good. But you have to be intentional about looking for it! This exercise, Finding Silver Linings, created by Dacher’s team at UC Berkeley is an excellent practice to start today so that you can intentionally look for the good in your life.
- EXIST for a reason. Be driven by your PURPOSE. We learned about the phrase ‘purpose-driven’ through Rick Warren’s best-selling book. But what does it mean to be driven by your purpose? Well think about your car. Whomever is behind the steering wheel with their foot on the gas pedal is the one who will decide (among other things) where you go, the speed you travel and the route you take. In our lives, it’s best if we put our purpose behind the steering wheel and let it drive us forward. People driven by their purpose definitely end up where they want to be (and they are happy to get there)!