COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: A Time to Grow
Even unusual moments have their dividends. When you are constrained in your physical space, the mind usurps the freedom which defines your essence.” – Anonymous

It is no doubt that COVID-19 is causing friction to the pace at which we supposed to maintain pursuing our goals, because all over the globe, economies are being affected, plans are being shattered, progress is being altered, movement is being restricted and most importantly our mutual relationship is being confined to the four walls of our rooms. Yes, COVID-19 is a real threat! The same should not be felt as for COVID-19 lockdown.

But let me offer you a relief. As damaging as COVID-19 pandemic is to all spheres of human’s life, many people have been using it to advance their knowledge, explore their cause and expand their intellect.

COVID-19 lockdown has restricted their physical presence, but they have been deploying all they have to keep themselves in place and move with the pace of dynamics that accompany this trying time. As challenging as the moment we are, it holds opportunities to maintain momentum.

I want you to ask yourself this question: Where do you fall in these categories of men – optimist or pessimist? You know where you falls and if you are an optimist, that means you are in position to charge yourself to become better during this trying time.

You believe in yourself, your aspirations and your dream. But to be an optimist is not enough to maximise your potential and utilise your gifts, it demands you taking actions that fuels the optimism in you to manifest. This means the optimists have potential to use this trying time for their vantage.

How about the pessimists? To them COVID-19 lockdown is the worst they have ever encountered. They won’t see any good in it, all the promises inherent in this moment are too coded for them to discern.

If you want to be proud of yourself in life, don’t be a pessimist. Robin Sharma aptly captured it in one of his words when he says “The difference between optimists and pessimists is that the former look for and find the good in everything. A pessimist always sees and remembers the bad.”

It is real that we are facing lockdowns, that we are experiencing shutdowns; but the question is how ready are we to turn those “downs” to “ups” and the trials to triumphs? It is what we all fear and now that our fear has become a reality, it forces us to act and face the scourge without any doubt.

In the epic movie “The Admiral,” while Admiral Yi Pin was facing the enemies on the sea, he asserted that “Once fear manifests courage, it will inspire even more courage.”

Be courageous to use the little things you have in this trying time to redefine yourself. You may be physically restricted and distanced, but you are not virtually restricted and distanced.

Don’t waste this moment staying idle. Turn this era of social distancing to your side, use it to explore, find the strategy to make it work for you.

Remember the words of Muhammadu Buhari that “Strategy is barren if it is not wedded to a purpose.”

This trying time also has its purpose to serve and I don’t want you to be disappointed with how you will find yourself when this moment passed. It was the purpose of trying time that Mahatma Gandhi uncovered to set the Indians free.

It was the purpose of trying time that Lee Kwan Yew unearthed to lay the foundation of modern Singapore – an economic viable and prosperous nation – and it was the purpose of trying time of World War II that made the American Research Agency to evolve the Internet.

Don’t go through this trying time without adding anything to yourself. Enroll in courses, talk to your mentors, extend your networks, read books and listen to audio tapes, attend webinars, initiate intellectual discourse and do anything that can renew you and makes you productive.

Let this time brings modification to how you use your twenty-four hours. The people you admires are allotted the same hours in a day as yours. Do you know what differentiates them? They have discovered that every moment holds its definition. But how they approach that moment will define the impacts of that moment on them, which props in them the andrenalin to bring out the best in every moment.

When the lockdowns and shutdowns end, will it be a new beginning of your struggles or it will mark a new dawn of feats, stepping stones, accolades and cameo in your life? With what you are doing now, you can easily depict the the path you treads with this trying time.

Sulyman Sodeeq Abdulakeem is a writer who co-authored the book Responsible Living: Live to Fulfill Your Potential.”

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