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  • Antony Alex Irungu

Adapt or Perish: Adjusting and Thriving in the Midst of a Crisis.


Despite the overwhelming uncertainty, just like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes, you can still find hope, resilience, motivation, and courage to rebuild yourself one block at a time.

A few weeks ago, the “I bought eggs from a BMW, onions from a Mercedes, and milk from a Prado” spreading on the social media in Kenya aroused my curiosity. And then I came across this video by Tuko showing people selling fresh produce from their cars along the Northern Bypass near the Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club. What stood out is that these were professionals who had lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus epidemic. They had bills to pay hence the need to convert their vehicles into mobile market stalls. While some people laughed at them, they inspired me because there is no shame in engaging in a source of income others might consider “dirty or beneath you.” Pride has never paid any bills and when situations change, you must change accordingly or perish. In his book, Overcoming Crisis Expanded Edition: The Secrets to Thriving in Challenging Times, the late Dr, Myles Monroe says that you cannot control a crisis that has come upon you but you can control some of the details of your predicament. He adds that a crisis forces you to change. Here are some tips of how you can adjust and thrive in the midst of a crisis.


Let go off your Ego: Work has dignity. Whatever economic activity you are engaging in, as long as its legal and Godly, there is no shame. I have done “odd jobs” to eke a living and there is nothing wrong with that. Out there, many people have the potential to start small and become great but pride won’t allow them.

Repurpose: This simply means using an item for a different purpose. Upon losing their jobs, the professionals turned their personal cars into mini markets on wheels.


Practice Self-Control: No one really knows how long a crisis can stay and its prudent you carefully control the resources in your possession. Avoid wastage.

Place Basic Needs First: These are the things you can’t do without and they are food, shelter, and clothing. If you have to dispose your luxury items to afford the needs, that is alright.


Choose Values Over Fear: Nick Tasler, an organizational psychologist, author, and speaker says that you should focus on your values instead of your fears. Focusing on what matters most like your family and your faith can really alleviate the crisis-induced stresses.


Don’t Neglect Your Personal Life: John Hall writes that your body needs more care during a crisis. Invest in yourself by paying attention to your wellness in terms of diet, sleep, fitness, and spirituality among others.


Be Resilient & Hopeful: Tough times do not last. Remain hopeful that once the conditions are favorable, you will rise again. Remain calm, be positive, believe in yourself, and accept what is.


Unlearn, Learn, and Relearn: Unlearn what has always worked for and learn new ways befitting your current situation.


Monetize a Hobby/Talent/Skill: If you have an activity you are passionate about and has mastered, you can turn it into a source of income. For example, photography, music, writing, and website design among others.


Know that you are not Alone: During a national crisis, many people might be going through similar hardship situations. Understanding that you are not the only one gives you the motivation to pull yourself from the mess.


Lean on Social Capital: The interpersonal relationships you have build and nurtured with others might come to your rescue in terms of encouragement and financial support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family members and your circle of close friends.


References

Hall, J. (2018, February 25). How To Survive (And Thrive) In A Time Of Crisis. Retrieved May 30, 2020, from Forbes Magazine: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2018/02/25/how-to-survive-and-thrive-in-a-time-of-crisis/#4d4ff3023fd0


Munroe, M. (2015). Overcoming Crisis Expanded Edition: The Secrets to Thriving in Challenging Times (Expanded ed.). Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, USA: Destiny Image Publishers Inc.


Muyela , R. (2020, May 26). Sleek BMW, Mercedes, Prado Owners Throw Pride Aside, Sell Groceries to Make Ends Meet as COVID-19 Bites . Retrieved June 4, 2020, from Tuko: https://www.tuko.co.ke/359019-sleek-bmw-mercedes-prado-owners-throw-pride-sell-groceries-vehicles-covid-19-bites.html


Tasler, N. (2016, September 21). How to Get Better at Dealing with Change. Retrieved May 30, 2020, from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2016/09/how-to-get-better-at-dealing-with-change

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