Last night I had an hour-long chat with an old friend of mine – an illustrator from one of the worst COVID-19 hit places on earth right now. He also happens to be one of the most optimistic people I know, not because he is optimistic towards everything he sees, but because he is always positive with the things and situations that affect his life. While most of his colleagues are busy complaining at the moment, he seems to be preparing himself for the next.
“Lost my job, haven’t stopped working though,” Giuseppe told me when asked how he had been amidst the whole situation. “I am also utilizing the situation to improve myself,” he added.
Giuseppe isn’t ever gonna stop illustrating, either on canvas or on the graphic tablet, for illustrating he believes, is his work, and illustrating for an agency regularly for an amount of compensation is his job. Lucky are those people who make a career out of their passion. Luckier are those who identify their passion in their youth.
Experts have already warned: the world will be facing a global recession very soon, no matter if COVID-19 will be brought under control or not. But if you are optimistic enough, every country in the world has dealt with it in the past. If you get hold of ‘Think and grow rich’ of Napoleon Hill, published 83 years ago, you might be dealing with a similar situation explained there within a few months. The positive thing is – it doesn’t tell about how the global economy collapsed but instead explains how it opened doors to significant new opportunities and how corporations transformed. Giuseppe reminded me of the book that he recommended me ten years back – which I happened to read only two years ago.
My conversation of an hour with Giuseppe wasn’t just a regular old-friend chat, asking about families and progresses in life, it was a serious exchange where he convinced me – with his optimism – to grab the opportunity when we have it. Here are the takeaways I would like to share:
Focus on what you can change, not what you can’t
We all know future days are not promising. So let’s find a way to criticize Governments, systems, and fellow humans for their mistake because of which the virus was able to travel to every continent; complain all day, and do nothing. Or do something that can make a difference in our own lives.
We focus more on the things that we can’t change than on the things that we can. We all have our life goals, but we keep forgetting that only – and only – our action will help achieve them, not our neighbour, not the government or any system. It is one of the habits of successful people that they focus on what they can change and work on it, and it’s not hard at all. The habit of complaining and blaming others for your failure will always keep you where you are.
Think of what you can do to move one step closer towards achieving your goals. Level up your skills and knowledge so that the world would see a better version of you when you are out there to perform in a few months.
Know your priority
What might be your thing of preference at the moment? Health, family, career, or becoming a keyboard warrior on twitter? You probably know you should prioritize your health and your family’s health the most in the current scenario. But you still can’t keep your fingers off the apps. You might be working from home, but due to undisciplined routine, your performance might be plummeting.
Start by categorizing things according to their urgency, work on what is essential and avoid what is not. You will see the difference within weeks. This habit will be beneficial if you incorporate it for the rest of your life.
There has never been a better time to learn
Probably not. In fact, it’s never a bad time to learn. However, it’s the time when your interests are not going to affect the consistency of your learning. Weekends are not that exciting, and you won’t probably meet your friends every day or go out to visit places with your family. Instead of getting bored all day at the house, learn something because all your life you have put your interest over your opportunity. From cooking to coding, you can access any training for free on the internet. Just make sure you’ll make proper use of it later on.
Have you ever learned anything at its best on your own without being forced to do so? Probably not. If you have ever done so, then it’s a guarantee that you must have mastered it by now (or you are on the process at least). The problem with most of us is we have the desire to learn, but we are not consistent.
From my early teens till today (I am in my early 30’s), I learned so many things. I even went to the gym to train for boxing at 18. Only if I had learned one thing with full dedication, I would have mastered the guitar, or nailed graphic designing, or even competed in the featherweight division.
It’s crucial to figure out what it is you actually want to learn before deciding because there will come a situation when things will become harder, and you’ll figure out that it was actually not the thing that you wanted to learn. You will then abandon the training with only a little knowledge. Little knowledge will only make you an arrogant POS that everyone hates.
It’s the right time for you to train yourself to face what the future will bring. You don’t have any alibis left at this moment for not trying to become a better version of yourself.
It’s never a bad time to upgrade, but the world might not be treating you in future like the way it used to treat you before, so prepare yourself while you have all the time and resources. Make a new routine, mind your own business, upgrade your skills, and make the most out of yourself during isolation. The world is eager to greet the better version of you.