Crazy times we’re living in right now! On more than one occasion I woke up this week thinking I’m living in the twilight zone. But I’m not. We’re not. This is really happening.
Like it or not, my life, our lives are turned upside down and will remain so into the unforeseeable future.
So, it’s about survival, or is it?
The Gloria Gayner song, “I Will Survive” has been the anthem of emancipation for many a woman scorned. The lyrics speak of overcoming, no matter what.
“It took all the strength I had not to fall apart
Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
And I spent oh-so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
I used to cry, But now I hold my head up high”
A lover of words, I looked up the definition of survive and here’s the first entry: “the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.”1 Sounds noble and right and true doesn’t it? Having gone through some dreadful, horrific ordeal that turns you, flips you around and around to find yourself standing upright. What’s not to be applauded, heralded? It’s not only good, it’s outstanding.
The second entry: “An object or practice that has continued to exist from an earlier time.”2 On the surface it seems equally commendable. Withstanding the test of time, what’s not to be admired about that?
Back in my days as a personal trainer I spent a ton of time at the gym. Great people watching. One guy in particular, amazed me. He came in daily, like clockwork with his set routine; heavy, upper body. Pumping it out hard he’d hit arms, shoulders, chest, back. Day in day out, rain or shine same thing. It wasn’t that his workout was spectacular it wasn’t. I admired his tenacity. In he’d come, up the elevator from the lobby to the second level to hit the machines and bust out his work out.
Most members took the stairs to the second floor and considered it part of their work out, but not him. He always took the elevator. Understandably so, he was wheelchair bound.
If anyone ever had a legit excuse not to work out, it’s this guy. Think about it, he had to maneuver himself from his house to his car, to the gym, up to the second floor then to each of the machines all without the use of his legs.
An example of someone who is not merely continuing to live or exist despite the accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstance, here is the poster child for someone who is thriving.
Dictionary time. First entry definition for thrive: “grow or develop well or vigorously.”3 Second entry: “prosper; flourish”4.
I believe we are meant to thrive, not merely survive. We are meant to grow, develop vigorously, prosper and flourish regardless the circumstance.
Time is the great equalizer and the most precious currency on earth. No matter who we are, what we look like, where we live, our level of education or financial achievement, we all get twenty-four hours.
Our current COVID-19 situation gives us an opportunity to reevaluate. How will you use this time?
Will you over purchase and hoard resources for your personal consumption? Or will you seek ways to give your time and abundance of resources for the benefit of others?
Will you hunker down in survival mode binge watching Netflix gorging on junk food? Or will you pick up a new hobby, take an online course or write a book?
When this pandemic is over will you go back to existing the same as before, or will you emerge a newer, better version of yourself?
Will you choose to merely survive, or will you thrive?
Yolanda Albergottie is the Director of Marketing and Downtown Expansion for WIN (Women In Networking) Cleveland and the Market Development Manager for BNI© (Business Network International)NE Ohio. Passionate about helping business owners grow through education and connections, she uses her company Local Network Connections LLC to provide mentoring, training and education. firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out her podcast: Five Easy Things the Podcast for more actionable tips and advice for how to live your best life.
Sources: 1-4, Lexico.com