For the vast majority of the population, COVID-19 has caused some type of disruption in our lives. Whether it be employees losing jobs and businesses forced to close, students returning home and needing to switch to online college for an indefinite amount of time, or even international business deals that have been halted because of border restrictions, negative effects have no doubt bled from the micro to macro levels. These negative impacts, coupled with news media coverage of deep-set and new problems across the world, contribute to an overall intense feeling that 2020 is, simply put, a bad year that should be ‘cancelled.’
If you or someone you know has been plagued with similar sentiments as above, rest assured that you are not alone, but part of a vicious cycle: negative thoughts cause negative emotions, and in turn lower your motivation, drive, and ability to focus on something you could be doing instead of feeding this loop of negative energy.
However, ‘crisis’ is really just one side of a coin – the flipside of the coin is named ‘opportunity.’
Here’s how: the 2008 Great Recession had many negative impacts on the economy and the world was never the same after. But no one wants to go back to the “normal” before the Great Recession – here’s why: Airbnb, Whatsapp, Venmo, Instagram, and Uber have two things in common: 1. they are extremely successful and have significantly changed or improved our lives, and 2. They were founded during the Great Recession! These businesses’ success is proof that a recession or crisis is a prime time for some to speed forward, but the many losses from the Recession shows that crises are also a time for others to fall behind. Against the backdrop of our current world, how can we rewire negative energy into something positive?
First, emerge from this positive feedback loop – do so on your own time and set personal goals as everyone’s interests and pace of growth are different. But some suggestions to start with are to find joy and purpose in immersing yourself in new hobbies, learning new skills, taking on new projects, or finding new passions.
The 21st century has presented us with so many distractions in life, but the pandemic has wiped away a large portion of those distractions and freed up time for you to tinker at your mind. There is an idea, talent, or untapped reserve of potential in there just waiting to be unlocked.
Change is often feared – it brings uncertainty and throws us in a territory that is unfamiliar. But throughout life, change is how we grow and find new and exciting frontier.
Just like this article, your thoughts can shift from an enormous amount of negative energy into a drive for finding new passion and drive. Best of luck moving forward, and I’m confident that we’ll come out of this pandemic with more clarity of our direction and purpose, and with more gratitude towards what we may already have.