Challenges are gifts, opportunities to learn.” – Andy Andrews

If you are anything like me, you want this pandemic to end. Not only has it cost thousands of lives and put other’s health at risk, but it has also significantly hindered the quality of life of just about everyone, both individually and within the leadership world. But as the quote above suggests, challenges can be a disguised way to foster new perspectives and opportunities. So, as negative and unfavorable as this year has been, I want to shed some light on the situation as it stands and the amazing realizations that have surfaced as a result of it.

Now, I am by no means saying I am happy about this pandemic, but I am thankful for the profound inspirational lessons it has enlightened me with along the way that I have been able to grow from.

And here are five of them.

1. I Control Nothing

One of the first things I learned since March of 2020 was that I really am not in control. I control none of those external situations that arise, and as much as I would love for that not to be the case, I have come to accept that reality. The world is not perfect, nor will it ever be perfect, and I have let go of the idea that me, just being one person, can dictate it.

But this is not all bad, because with taking that burden off of my shoulders, I have been able to actually focus on the things that I can control in my own life to make it better and be a value to society. I learned that though I may not have the ability to control the world, I can control how I react to it, which has helped me cultivate a healthier well-being.

2. Health Is the Most Important Thing

There is an old saying by Augusten Burroughs that when you have your health, you have everything, and I now side by that claim more than ever before. Who we are as people, what we can achieve, and the dreams we strive for all are determined by our health and ability to perform the necessary tasks to get there. When your health is good, your mind can become limitless in developing inner strength and establishing a quality-driven life. You can test your body to reach new advancements and really see what you are made of.

There are so many people debilitated by COVID-19. And with health being the forefront of concern lately, I have learned just how fragile it really is, genuinely enticing me to never take it for granted.

3. Money Can’t Stop You from Getting A Virus

You can have all the money in the world, but the fact of the matter is that no one is immune to getting sick or contracting COVID-19. We are all human and we are all immortal, rich or not. Sure, money may be able to buy more precautionary services that perhaps allow you to leave your house less, but it only takes one germ, and a dollar bill cannot shield you from that.

Keep in mind that I am all for people gaining income and reaching financial goals. But I want to make it clear that this virus (or viruses in general) do not care about your net value, and you should be aware of that.

4. Family Is Extremely Valuable

Life can get busy. Between school, working, to balancing your life out, connecting with family might be on the lower end of your plans. Though social distancing and other precautionary measures are still in place, family and being close to my loved ones has transformed, and for the better. I have realized how precious family is, and I make time to stay as close as I can. They are my rooted unconditional support system, and what keeps me going.

Between the deaths and sickness going on, life is far too short and vulnerable not to tell your family you love them and make them a priority. Because as much as I hate to admit it, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

5. Having Great Leadership Is Key

Last but not least, I learned the power of leadership. Leadership is the pinnacle to persevering through such adverse times like this, and what has helped me learn the lessons that I have thus far. It allows you to illuminate your resilient, innovative nature and come out on the other side prospering. It helps demonstrate your vulnerabilities, and instead of letting them knock you down, you use them as motivation.

Taking the right educated steps, hosting courage, and leveraging humanity all derived from leadership. If you want to grow from this time pandemic period, both personally and professionally, seek to advance your leadership skills. Once you understand that leadership is the key, you will never turn back.

Conclusion – Challenges Can Lead to Profound Realizations

As you can see, you can make light out of a negative situation and truly reach new self-awareness from it. Would I have still traded a pandemic over not having one? Of course, but again, I cannot control what has happened. What I can do is reflect on it and make myself a better person so I can move through life stronger, having a clearer picture of my core values and goals. In the end, you can either learn from this pandemic, or you can let it push you down. For me, I choose growth, and I bet if you dig deep inside yourself, you will find you have some pretty amazing transformations as well.

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