Are you strong enough to stay on course
As we edge close to the end of the first half of the year, our strength, resilience and persistence towards attaining our significant goals is undoubtedly being continually tested. Some of us have faced life’s toughest moments we had never anticipated would come our way. Others have had to brave the harsher side of life we never thought existed. What do you do to remain strong and focused on the course when your lane becomes rough and tough? Tough moments in life can be anything from illness, death of a loved one, false accusations, losing your job, a dysfunctional relationship, a threat on your reputation or even acute lack. It is Victor Hugo who once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.” How do you master courage when the going gets tough?
You cannot afford to give up
The journey of life can often be laced with seemingly endless struggles. In valley moments, life will throw curveballs at you which will humble you and attempt to break you down. Just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference. How do you maintain your morale and stay on course in the face of tough times? Life was never meant to be flawlessly smooth and easy-going, it is a constant struggle with extreme lows and extreme highs. It is in those times when it is most important to persevere that you will be most tested. The reason most people never achieve their dreams is because they simply give up. In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, you should “never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.” When we face challenging times we should ask ourselves, “What would the world miss if we ceased to exist tomorrow?” This is a question not only for individuals but for businesses as well who are barely breaking even due to economic and environmental challenges. Businesses that want to retain their competitive edge in an environment where slow growth has been projected need to have a very clear sense of purpose. This starts and ends with adding value. If you are not adding value to your customers, then why would you exist? This question is becoming more pertinent in a world of limited resources and growing inequality.
Companies and societies are in great need of leaders with the ability to refocus organisations on the task of creating and contributing wealth while adding value to society with meaningful, purposeful and inclusive business. We cannot control many of the external factors, but there is much that we can control – including how we approach the situation. We need to ask ourselves the difficult questions with curiosity, and be open to change. Tough times call for us to reinvent ourselves and adapt to the unexpected. Leaders of families, communities and organisations are challenged the most during tough times because they have others around them looking up to them for inspiration, motivation, guidance and direction. With the change management requirements, increased marketplace demands and intensifying competitive factors that surround us, leaders must have greater poise, agility and patience to minimize the impact of uncertainty. How leaders respond to these and other growing pressures is an indicator of their leadership preparedness, maturity and acumen. The 21st century leader should be able to see adversity through the lens of opportunity. Rather than panic, a leader with composure must take a step back and begin to connect the dots of opportunity within adverse circumstances. It is these types of leaders that can quickly detect the causes of adversity and solve them immediately.
How to Stay on Course
It is easy to lose composure during times of crisis and change if you let concern turn into worry and worry turn into fear. In this instalment we will share three possible things you can do to help you stay on course. The first is to Create Goals. Goals will help you to stay focused and motivated. It is important to choose goals that you can tackle easily in smaller segments of time. Secondly, we must take time to invest in healthy relationships that can serve as a robust safety net and emotional support network when we are at our wits end. It helps to have someone close within your circle who not only encourages you but helps you to appreciate the different perspectives of what you may be going through and how the situation could be growing you. Most importantly it is necessary that we take time to mind our health. When tough times stare us in the face it is very easy to neglect ourselves in pursuit of possible solutions that can get us out of our predicament. The challenges tend to worsen when our mental, physical and spiritual health is diminishing. A vibrant spiritual anchor with a mind and body full of vitality and vigour is able to keep you resilient during the toughest of life’s storms.