A few years ago, I landed at King Shaka International airport in Durban for a business trip. I hired a rental car, and as I drove out of the airport that evening the rain started pouring. I was driving on the N2 highway through heavy rainfall while navigating my way to the hotel.
It was dark, foggy and I could only see a few metres ahead of me while avoiding bright lights from the other cars on the road.
There was no place to stop and my only option was to continue driving slowly and turn down the volume on the radio, so I could focus on the road ahead. After all, how many know that we see better when we lower the volume?!
I eventually made it to my destination and the storm had calmed down by then. In that moment of despair, what kept me going was faith and assuring myself that I was getting closer, even though I could not see the end in sight. It was comforting to know that there were other cars on the road also trying to find their way and ultimately in the same boat as me.
Was it easy? No! It would have been great to have a companion along the way, or better yet if it were in an area I was familiar with, but I knew that going back was not an option. There are no U-turns on highways!
Have you ever found yourself in unfamiliar territories where you feared the unknown and preferred to go back to your safe zone?
It might seem safer to go back and wait for the perfect conditions than taking that giant leap of faith, but experience shows that nothing grows or changes in comfortable spaces.
Change operates outside of your comfort zone. It can be unpleasantly painful, risky at times and stretches you, however, it is necessary for growth. The growth zone is the place of discovery, creativity, learning something new and stepping into unknown territories but discovering hidden treasures. The unknown soon becomes known and what you feared in the unknown diminishes as you keep moving ahead.
We’ve been in lockdown for over 50 days and while we may be in the comfort of our own homes, there’s a level of discomfort happening internally. The question is not whether we are changing but, are we changing for the better?
The world as we know it has changed and we’ve quickly had to adapt to the new normal, however, how has your mind along with your thought patterns transformed? Are you still the same person you were before the lockdown, or have you had a fresh perspective over the last few weeks? Have you thought about the person you strive to become in the post-pandemic world and how you plan on making it happen? What action steps have you taken so far to ensure that you are using this time productively?
Time is a precious commodity and each day you are presented with the choice to turn off the TV, spend less time in bed and do something that will improve the quality of your life.
You have the choice to learn a new skill that you can apply in your career or business. The choice to read articles and books that will help you stay abreast on current affairs and expand your knowledge. You have the option to spend endless hours watching series and scrolling through social media or start doing the things you have always wanted to do.
Find ways to turn your passion into profit, or think about how you can supplement your income during this time. There are many videos and articles on how to turn your skill into a business, despite the economic turmoil we find ourselves in.
I understand that some of us may be pressed for time, however, I believe in most instances there are so many distractions and futile activities that keep us from doing things that really matter.
A few months from now you will look back and wonder what you did with the time you had in your hands. Try your best to use this extra time proactively and your future self with thank you for it.
You always have a choice, decide to change for the better.