There are universal principles of success that can be applied in every situation. For almost two decades, I have been studying, hypothesizing, writing, and speaking about the principles of success. Although every situation is different, what’s not different are the principles. The principles of growing a company are the same as dealing with a disability. The same principles of raising kids are the same as losing a few pounds.
We have a brand new challenge. Success is partly defined by the application of these principles. I want to give you a framework to apply some of the principles to deal with the coronavirus.
Working with Reality
There are two parts of reality itself and there is your reaction to reality. Success comes with the positive reaction to reality. The reality that we are in this amazing and tough situation. To be honest, it really sucks. If you fight reality, you will lose. Accepting reality is very important in any kind of situation. If you don’t accept reality, then your reaction to it will be tainted.
Goals and Processes
To get through any challenge takes clarity, defined goals, and processes. In my mind, the goals are clear when it comes to the coronavirus. First, contain the spread of the virus. Second, limit the fatalities or treat the ill. Third, limit the impact of the virus on lifestyle. Whether that’s economic or socially. We have to find a way to get back to life the way it once was. We all want that. With regards to the process, we all have to do our part to stay safe and the consensus is that we have to practice social distancing. We also have to define what getting back to normal means and what we need to do in order to do so. As a bonus, we have the opportunity to look at work and productivity to see where we can improve.
Habits are the engine that fuels the process. Once you define a goal and the process, what are the actions that you need to take on a daily basis to fuel your goals? This can be not leaving the house, coughing in your sleeve, or using hand sanitizer. Some people are going to be hit very hard economically. In this case, these people have to adjust their spending habits. As a bonus, people have more time to develop positive habits, such as meditation or journaling.
A big part of success is developing and creating meaningful relationships. Even though we have to practice social distancing, this does not mean that we cannot video conference. We have the opportunity to strengthen relationships and connect with others in a more authentic way.
Dealing with Challenges
A big part of life is dealing with challenges. We have unprecedented challenges. The challenge of dealing with this crisis, the strain on the economy, the strain on our healthcare system, the sheer disruption of life are all examples of amazing challenges that we have to deal with. One of the hearts of getting through this is the way we collectively deal with challenges.
Gratitude is a strategy for amazing success. It’s also not about being grateful for everything in life, but rather realizing the silver lining in situations and understanding how to benefit from the silver lining in order to achieve success. The silver lining is bright and thick. However, seeing the beauty of that silver lining takes looking through that clouds. First, the coronavirus has a relatively low death rate. Imagine if catching the coronavirus was an automatic death sentence. Secondly, although in the US we are hit economically, there are mechanisms in our economy that prevent a free fall. If those safe guards we are not there, it would be disastrous. We learned and applied many lessons from the 2008 recession. Third, technology has exploded in the last fifteen years. The technology that we used to be a little more productive or a little more entertained or brought us convenience is now used to get through this time. The conferencing software that I use in my business is now the same software that students use for distance learning. My boys, Andrew and Tyler, who are six and five respectively, use Zoom to communicate with their teacher and even take karate lessons. The same delivery services such as Amazon, DoorDash, InstaCart, and other companies that are meant to make a lives easier are providing customers with needed goods, while also allowing them to maintain their safety. Streaming services that were meant for convenience and entertainment are now promoting social distancing. Lastly, we are seeing the best in people. We are seeing the best in companies. Delta Airlines is offering free tickets to healthcare workers.
The human spirit is shining.
We base our reactions on the information we get and how we interpret that information. It’s easy to look at all the distractions that this virus has caused. Like I said, there is a silver lining that we can look at. One of the most rewarding actions that you can take is counterbalancing the narrative with a positive one. Limit the negative information that you look at. Only engage in reliable sources. Engage with positive people. Don’t be a victim.
These are unprecedented times and the goals are to get through this, preserve our way of life, and come out stronger once it is over. This process is easier when you lean in to the principles of success. Unfortunately, people lean away from these principles. Instead of engaging people, they retreat in words. Instead of staying positive and grateful, they think of the worst case scenario. Throughout this time, I have temporarily abandoned these principles. However, I tried to get back to them as quickly as possible. We will get through this.
During this complex time, it is important to adapt success principles to keep moving forward on your road to amazing success.