Categories
Self-Help

Why You Should Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste

Why you should never let a good crisis go to waste

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to never let a good crisis go to waste. This article is my attempt to offer you some pointers on how to do just that.  Life is a journey, sometimes the road is nice and pleasant and other times it is rocky, arduous, dangerous and most unpleasant. 

No one voluntarily chooses to go down the unpleasant road, except that sometimes there is nowhere to go but down that road. Picture yourself being on Route 2020 (which looks a lot like the year 2020). Route 2020 is one of those roads that gives you the chills when you are on it, danger lurks at every corner, there is no good visibility, it is isolated, rugged, with many up and down hills and unexpected turns. Since the beginning of this year, we have been driving down that road, it has been rough.

A lot of things are happening this year are outside our control. Instead of worrying about things we can’t change, it is better to focus instead on the things that we can control. There is always a silver lining on the horizon, even if we can’t see it yet. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Some roads are rugged, difficult, dangerous – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity” –

John F Kennedy

The whole premise of this article is that you should never let a good crisis go to waste because they could be an opportunity in every crisis. John F Kennedy and the Chinese understood that concept quite well. Once you are aware of the danger, y acknowledge it, calm your nerve and then do something about it preferably that turn things around to your advantage. One way to achieve this is to focus your energy on a purpose, a mission, a passion, something that keeps you in a state of flow. And this is how you find your opportunity, your silver lining.

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Find your passion

Life can be hectic and it always feels like there is so much that needs to be done. Your to-do list is filled with essential items requiring your attention, (thanks for adding check out Joanne Reed’s blog on your list of essential things to do today. I appreciate it very much.) The problem is that non-essential activities rarely make it onto that list, and if they do, these low-priority items will only be completed if there is time left. The problem is that there is never enough time left.

Time is of the essence. Make time. – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Except that this year, it is different. Suddenly all of us find ourselves with a lot of new-found-time because the government has ordered their people to stay at home, to work remotely, to do online schooling, to only go out for essential trips to the grocery store (there is nowhere else to go anyway, everything is shut)? Make the most of it. Never let a good crisis go to waste and don’t spoil it by turning yourself into a couch potato.

Instead of laying on the couch in a state of semi-torpor binge-watching TV, fill your to-do-list with activities you never had time to do before the crisis, such as cooking, getting fit, gardening, singing, painting, writing, becoming a YouTuber… whatever lights-up your spirit and get you in a state of flow.

How do I find my passion?

For some people finding their passion is easy, they were born knowing what it was; what is less easy is to get started and to do it consistently. For others, finding their passion is not so obvious. The problem is that a lot of people believe that their passion is hiding somewhere, maybe behind a tree or underneath a rock. The truth is that our passion comes first from doing things, and then doing them right.  We should get into the habit of injecting passion into all the things that we do. If we do this consistently, a time will come when something will stand out above all the other things, and that is the very thing that we should devote more time to doing passionately. That’s all there is to it, just do it .

Find your passion . Make your Life a work of art – Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

It is possible to have a passion and still feel demotivated and deflated because you can’t see any results. The problem these days is that people are impatient, they expect instantaneous results. That’s not how things work. Being successful at something requires hard work, sweat, tears, discipline, and patience. Don’t focus on the outcome, focus on the work itself. Pursue the things you love doing and devote yourself to hone your craft on a daily basis. Eventually, people will not be able to take their eyes off you.

If you still feel dispassionate and have no passion to create anything, listen to the philosopher Carl Jung who may give you some ideas.

“If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art.”

Carl Jung

What about turning yourself into a work of art? Maybe the healthiest person you could be? Or maybe a deep philosophical thinker? And when you got it, flaunt it.

“Consider making your life a work of art. You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be who you are, even though you may be quite content with who and what you are; it will not be hard for you to think of something greater than you might become; it need not be something spectacular or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kind of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of.” Make your life a work of art!

Richard Taylor

Be an artist, create, innovate

Each creation showcases my own personal journey. My worries, dreams and ambitions. Everything I love and everything I fearPhoto by @freepik via freepik.com
  • I am an artist
  • I am a creator of ideas
  • Swimming in a sparkling see of imagination
  • A magician of sorts, turning thoughts of
  • Wonderment into pieces of originality
  • Each creation showcases
  • My own personal journey
  • My worries, dreams and ambitions,
  • Everything I love and everything I fear
  • All that I was yesterday and all that I’ll be tomorrow
  • Is neatly contained in my glorious creations
  • When you glance over my work, you are catching
  • A glimpse of my soul,
  • For a part of me is each piece I create
  • I march to my own beat, and wildly dance to my own rhythm
  • Passion runs through my veins,
  • As emotions are fuel for my craft
  • Certain pieces I protect and keep to myself
  • While others I’ll share with the world
  • I am a creative beacon shining my light brightly
  • For all the universe to see.

The Artist

And this, my dear companion, is your Quest: think – create – innovate – from dawn till dusk every day.

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Categories
Self-Help

“To Be or Not To Be “- Finding Meaning in your life

To be or not to be is one of the most famous line of Shakespeare’s [1] play Hamlet.  The main character, Hamlet, lives through a full-blown tragedy with no happy ending in sight; the play deals with questions about life and existence, sanity, love, death and betrayal.   Tragedies are part of our everyday life. The philosopher Henry David Thoreau [2] managed to encapsulate this concept in one sentence when he said: The mass of men leads lives of quiet desperation.  This feeling comes from the fact that for a lot of people they feel that they are stuck in the rat race  unable to make their own choices but forced instead to go through the motion of waking up every day, go to work to get a pay check which is necessary in order to afford all the necessities of life, pay all the bills, put some money aside (if possible) for a well-deserved vacation somewhere (to get away for just a little while) from the mundanity of everyday life and repeat the process year after year after year; but people are not born to just go to work, pay their bills and then die.  Surely, there is more to it than that.

Living a life of quiet desperation can affect everyone, young, old, poor and also the rich & famous.   For the majority of people, the ultimate measure of success is to become rich and if you can achieve fame at the same time – all the better; but sometimes notoriety and money alone is not enough to save people from a life of quiet desperation.

The most fundamental question that each one of us should ask ourselves is What is the meaning of life?  It is in essence a very philosophical question and as such we should seek the assistance of some of the most prestigious philosophers in order to help us gain some clarity on this subject; because philosophers are the ones who spend the majority of their time thinking about the most fundamental question i.e. how to live.  The art of living is at the center of what preoccupies most philosophers.

 Aristotle[3]spent a fair amount of time thinking about the concept of human well-being and what virtues are necessary to achieve a life well-lived; he wrote his findings and conclusions in Ethics. Aristotle reached the conclusion that what we need in order to live well, is a proper appreciation of the way in which friendship, pleasure, virtue, honor and wealth fit together as a whole.  The principle idea with which Aristotle begins is that there are differences of opinion about what is best for human beings.  Most people would agree that it is good to have friends, to experience pleasure, to be honored, and to have such virtues as courage, at least to some degree. The difficult and controversial question arise when we ask whether some of these are more desirable than others.

To answer this question Aristotle came up with two key principles to help us live a full and happy life, the first one is the use of reason and the second one is the use of virtue.  What separates humans from other species is our capacity to use reason.  In order to live well, we have to use reason well.  This means that when we face a choice between several options we have to choose the option that is most rational according to the current circumstance and the most virtuous

But not everyone has the capability or the willingness to travel through life exercising virtuous acts, now, then and always. So, if one is unable or unwilling to be virtuous, what does it make him or her? According to Aristotle, someone who is unable to resist pressure to go the opposite way of being virtuous can be describes as “incontinent.”  Someone who refuses to try to do what an ethically virtuous person would do, because he/she has been convinced that justice, temperance, generosity and the like are of little value, can be described as “evil.” Evil people are driven by the desire for domination and luxury.

And this is where the American Philosopher Richard Taylor [4] enters into the frame to add an additional layer to Aristotle’s concept by proposing to add another quality that is necessary in order to pursue virtuous acts; and that quality is creativity.  For him human excellence can be achieved through the fulfillment of our capacity for creativity.

Richard Taylor urges people:

Do something – Create something. To do otherwise is simply to waste your precious life, because if the only thing you do is eat, sleep, reproduce then die, for a person to do no better than that is in effect to lapse into a mere animal nature.

 What if I have no passion?  This time round we will ask the renown philosopher Carl Jung [5] to help us answer this question. According to Carl Jung: “If you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself. To give style to one’s character is a great and rare art”.

Furthermore, Richard Taylor tells us that:

Don’t suppose that a work of art must be something that all can behold – a poem, a painting, a book, a great building. Consider making of your own life a work of art.  You have yourself to begin with and a time of uncertain duration to work on it. You do not have to be what you are, and even though you may be quite content with who and what you are, it will not be hard for you to think of something greater that you might become. It need not be something spectacular, or even something that will attract any notice from others. What it will be is a kind of excellence that you project for yourself and then attain. Something you can then take a look at with honest self-appraisal and be proud of.

The answer to the most fundamental question of all time (i.e. what is the meaning of life and by extension how to be happy) can be found in the following words: The Use of Reason, Virtuous Acts, and Creativity. That is all there is to it. To be or not to be that is the question?!… Over to you.


[1] William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616): English poet, playwright and actor. Best known for his plays; Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing to only name a few.

[2] Henri David Thoreau (12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862): American essayist, Poet, Philosopher, Abolitionist, Historian. Best known for his book Walden – a reflection upon simple living and his essay “Civil Disobedience.”

[3] Aristotle (384-322 BC): Greek Philosopher, Scientist and Student of Plato. Best known for his contribution to the field of science, psychology, politics, history and arts.

[4] Richard Taylor (5 November 1919 – 30 October 2003): American Philosophe. Best known for his work and papers on the meaning of life.

[5] Carl Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961): Swiss psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and prolific writer. Best known for creating some of the best known psychological concepts such as synchronicity, extraversion and introversion, the collective unconscious.


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.