Turning Crisis into Opportunity!

Crisis | Opportunity | 12th October | Virtual Wire


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The word “crisis” was made of two brush-strokes in the Chinese language – while the first represents danger, the second represents opportunity.

Therefore, for every crisis, there is always danger and opportunity available. But when there’s a drastic change in certain livelihoods and futures become unpredictable, getting balances and taking decisions on a deliberate path to move ahead is always an intimidating decision as knowledge of the opportunities still available is often withdrawn by many factors. This is all because we exercise little direct control over the factors that give rise to the crisis. However, what we can control is our response to these factors.

Covid-19 is a good example of a Crisis that indiscriminately ripped through communities and compelled workers to perform with such endurance while many were seen losing their jobs, occupation and much more. Historically, it has always been agreed that there is opportunity even in our most difficult moments.

Come to think of this, I have recently realized that many of the most significant political, technological and creative movements in history have been borne out of our greatest moments of adversity and crisis. For instance, Jazz was borne out of the Great Depression, Rock ‘n’ Roll and The United Nations were all products of World War II. Satellite technology, portable cameras and computer games came from The Cold War. Within 380BC, Plato coined the phrase ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

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The crisis is, however, a snapshot of a moment in time. It requires seeing beyond this snapshot and visualizing what gate of potential has just been opened to achieve self-empowerment. An instance can be gotten from a story of an individual divorced or left for another person by the spouse; the individual feels betrayed and perhaps heartsick. After a time, though, he/she may, in fact, come to feel thankful to be freed from an unworthy and inauthentic relationship. This is particularly true if they evolve through the loss and benefit from a new and healthier relationship.

Every crisis presents an opportunity. Crises tend to present themselves as either acute or chronic circumstances. For example, there is an economic upheaval that is driving the United States and the world economy into highly volatile perturbations, with both wealth and employment literally disappearing. In the lives of most people, this is an external crisis raining upon them, typically not of their own making. Yet, through these losses, many people are coming to reflect on their values and choices and are making adjustments—due to the crisis—that actually benefit them.

My father – a recognized chartered accountant and working with different banks on contract, had hardly a spare moment for his family, as he was ever consumed with achieving more and more. The loss of his job during the Covid-19 Pandemic at first paralyzed him with fear. After a time, however, he was able to reconsider his priorities. Today, he works from home in a small business he founded, and all his family have greatly benefited.

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A sudden health issue or the death of a treasured one may bring anxiety and loss. Irrespective of how painful and stressful these challenges and losses maybe, the opportunity to be in the moment and value life from a differing perspective can prevail.

Below are some key points that can enable us to see opportunities amidst crisis:

Think Differently

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Once a crisis hits, the only way to turn danger into opportunity is to completely change your mindset. Seeing the path forward requires a new way of thinking, seeing and responding. If you just apply your tried and tested methods, you may find that you temporarily find shelter from the gathering storm, but you will quickly realize that it isn’t solving the underlying issue which is causing you the real problem. So be prepared to think about your business in a completely new way.

Breaking Free

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Development and major stages of adjustment occur when we are out of the boundaries of our comfort zone. This is more of being far from the equilibrium, where certainty and predictability no longer reign supreme. So we might look at the crisis as a blessing in disguise. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple many years ago, he did not allow the circumstance to hold him down.

He chose otherwise. After his dismissal, he grabbed the crisis by the horns, seeing opportunities where others did not. He went on to lead a small animation company and turn it into the juggernaut that is now Pixar. When The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006, Jobs immediately became the largest shareholder in Disney. Unwanted change happens; look beyond it and embrace the discomfort.

Look At The Bigger Picture

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Some crises are acute and will only happen once. Others are more chronic and happen throughout your life. Things like depression, anxiety, struggles with self-esteem, and other long-lasting dilemmas can occur throughout life. To move beyond the cycle of struggle, practice assessing your own emotions and behaviours without judgment. It will be much easier to objectively assess the bigger picture and see a path forward.

Trust on God’s Word

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Everything that happened to Joseph until the day he met Pharaoh face-to-face, all was the preparation of what God was going to do. He was always growing, always being submissive to the situation he found himself in because he believed in God. God had given him a dream. You say I never had a dream like that. You have something better than a dream. You say, what is that? You have the written word of God. Listen. How many of you, how many of you can interpret the dreams you have at night?

They're useless. Just a mixture of something and you say what in the world did that come from? You can't trust the dream. Listen. You and I have the word of God. We can trust his word. Refuse to listen to unscriptural interpretations by other people. This is very important. You can't afford to listen to other people's interpretations of what God is doing in your life. Remind them they're not you.

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Oftentimes, when we face challenges in life that are beyond our capacity, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage. The ways we face challenges play a strategic role in the results we get. Life has no smooth road for anyone. We just have to trust the Lord because He never gives burdens heavier than we can bear. If God has been with us through the good times, He will also be with us in the difficult times. He is our hope and our confidence.

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