Quit the pity party and take responsibility

I make no apologies for drawing my inspiration for this blog from "Rocky Balboa". Specifically, the motivational speech he gives his son and the key takeaway of "It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward".

There is a lot of fear and self-pity going on as people's paradigms are exposed. And the simple truth is most people are afraid of change and lack a plan to respond to it, let alone make the most of it. A lot of people see themselves as helpless players on some cosmic chessboard.

Mike Tyson famously said 'Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.' (another boxing reference). The Covid-19 pandemic has punched us all in the mouth, and many have covered up, unable to counterpunch. It has harshly exposed the fragility of the world we've created over recent times.

But what we are failing to recognise when we're caught off guard in moments like this, is that change is constant. If we don't have a clear goal in mind and adjust to keep our course in the face of changing circumstances, we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

Each shift in circumstances brings a new lesson, and it can strengthen one's resolve to quickly assimilate the experience and press on, but only if you know where you're heading. Most, sadly, become confused and derailed, blaming circumstances beyond their control.

My point is that with a clear objective, an obstacle becomes an opportunity to reassess oneself and adjust the route accordingly. It should become something to negotiate and learn from, not to play victim to and blame.

For too long, we have failed to recognise change is continuous and that it comes at an ever more rapid pace. The Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and now the Information Age has led to a higher standard of living. They arguably led to our overreliance on paychecks and dulled our initiative.

So c'mon people, stopping staring at your belly buttons. Mother Nature has hit the pause button, and we should be grateful for that. If you are not a key worker (thank you very much if you are), then use this time wisely. Accept what you cannot change and be honest about the things you can.

There is much to take stock of our health, both physical and mental. What tiny habit could you take on to improve your health? What perhaps not-so-tiny habits are not serving you well?

How about learning? Have you looked to grow in this department recently? If you're not growing as a person through learning, then you are dying. You are wasting your time on the planet if you don't leave it a better place because of what you have added to it in value.

And if you are worried about your job and financial security - could you be doing something about it? Or, like so many, are you dependent on a third-party - a boss, an employer or a niche market? If so, the current circumstances have probably given you a rude awakening.

Life can hit pretty hard sometimes, but usually, it's when we've ignored or avoided underlying problems. See the current halt to 'normal life' as a blessing. Be grateful for the many good things in your life and be honest about the crap. It's there because of the choices you've made, but you can rectify matters.

Whatever the circumstances, be it business, sport or life itself, the key is how you react to that punch in the mouth. In other words, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

So be clear as to who you are and what you want from life. Say 'thank you' to the lessons you've been given so far. And get honest with yourself - identify where you are heading and what it is you want from life.

Go on - look yourself in the mirror and say "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

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