I don’t know which definition of crisis to deploy here, but just know that a crisis does not pre-inform before causing alterations to things otherwise organised before its arrival. Maybe this lays a foundation for the entire article or not. Be the judge.
Crises are inevitable. Life has always moved from one crisis to another. At a state of rest, our world needed a disturbance, and not one necessarily with a pad. Enter the coronavirus disease in 2019.
The world is battling with a global crisis, COVID-19, described by the World Health Organisation in March 2020 as a pandemic; one that has affected both the healthcare and economies of the world. Call it the coronavirus or the Wuhanvirus, it is a crisis that has altered almost everything as we once knew. Little wonder the fuss about a New World Order. That’s okay here before I go further.
Everything that has a beginning has an end. The end will certainly come for COVID-19. The questions will be asked of us as a nation, as individuals: what is the takeaway? There is this advice that has been over-flogged like most new words or sentences that stray into the Nigerian lexicon, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
Now, it is useful and fitting because, according to Victor Asemota, “All great inventions came out of constraint and not abundance.” Whether it is constraint to self or not, every crisis is pregnant with underlying opportunities. Smart people are looking out for these opportunities, others are just moaning over the constraint.
And this is not about getting busy at nothing to be precise. Unless, of course, you are working from home, or are out there rendering essential service. It is about making productive use of the time learning, thinking.
I get it. Many want to worry about what to do to supplement what they have at home, some others are worried about the next rent, meal, or even the next job or what becomes of their jobs before the lockdown. Some are even worried about where the COVID-19 emanated from and when it will recede. Worry has never been productive; thinking has always been. Worry creates more problems, but thinking helps to solve them. Thinking puts you in a mental disposition or space where you are very receptive to ideas or generating them.
Admittedly though, people find it difficult to think during crises. They would rather drown themselves in worry, till they’re consumed with depression, seeing no way out of the mess created around them. If you have spare time, learn. If you don’t have, create some. The reason is, if you fail to think or learn new things, you’ll be left behind. I can most certainly assure you that the world will never return to its normal state as we were used to. There will be a new normal – whatever that is – and it won’t just accommodate you just because you were that guy or lady, prior to the invasion of COVID-19 on our world. Take it; there will be a new normal, and you must be ready to flow along.
Makes for the best time to deploy the phrase, “Never let a crisis go to waste” because every crisis is pregnant with something new to what had been, different from the past and it requires new thinking, approach. Just as expectant parents-to-be don’t fold their arms and wait till the birth; they prepare materially, mentally and financially for the coming of their baby. This COVID-19 outbreak will birth a new thinking and application, a new world. Would you be caught napping?
I’ve been a victim of my writing in the past. I worried myself sick in my time of crisis, questioned to no end why my world faced the wrong bend and time ticked away without a care for my ordeal. The crisis only began to wane in my mind before it began to manifest on the outside because I applied new thinking and approach.
Some of the profoundest discoveries of any kind – businesses, corporations – have risen out of crisis, a primal need. You hear business people talk about business solutions. It is not just about mouthing it. Without problems or challenges, there won’t be solutions. Solutions are not luxuries; they are necessities. Smart investors are not made during comfort or the season of abundance; but during crisis. Needs are not just what they are; they present opportunities based on your perspective.
Someone tweeted the other day, “People will find new ways to satisfy primal needs and that becomes the new opportunity for the next Zuckerberg or Jack.” You can’t achieve this just scratching the surface. You have to dig deeper, reaching out to the depth of you.
Former senior executive at Facebook and billionaire, Chamath Palihapitiya, once advised, “Be an incredibly astute observer of the present.” A phase of the old world ended months ago, the new is gearing up as the COVID-19 wanes. A lot of folks are saddened about their past. Unfortunately, the crisis of the past has ended, but they have become their own crisis cases. Move on.
With COVID-19, no one knows the direction of the world, certainly not as usual. Thinkers and those who are willing to apply themselves to new thinking and approach will shape the course of events. You should not spend the crisis window thinking about the end of the world. The world will not come to an end just because you wish it or your preacher said so. It has been programmed, already. Unfortunately, there’s no timeline to this, and the shortness of life demands that you make the most of it, productively. And uprightly too.
You don’t have to invent something new or recreate the old. It’s okay. Make a shift, adjust, adapt, learn something new, discover you or a new potential, read. And, like an athlete set on the mark awaiting the sound of the gun, prepare for the new world take off, so you’re not left behind. The new world needs you. Be present there.
Remember, you don’t fix it unless it is broken. Our world is broken and needs fixing now. Arise! O compatriots of change.