The COVID-19 crisis is here. It’s a weird and quite paradoxical situation, to say the least. We are all together in this fight, yet not together as we stay indoors to ensure our safety. We’re amidst a war that we can only win when we stay isolated.
While this is the extreme form of “feeling stuck” in the real world, in a way, we are all stuck in one way or another in our lives. Some in terms of their emotional maturity, some in a workplace situation, and some with regard to their financial life.
Yes, there’s an ongoing global pandemic going on right now and you’re imprisoned physically but that doesn’t mean you can veg out in the living room and binge-watch shows and movies for endless hours. Not improving, not growing, not developing yourself is falling behind. And you can’t afford to do that in this tough economy and these uncertain times. You have to prepare yourself for the world when this thing is over, and also for any other adverse occurrences in the future. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
External circumstances are not in our control, but we still have absolute control over things on the inside, whether at work or in our personal lives. Being stuck is not an excuse to kill time and do nothing. We must expand ourselves, we must explore ourselves. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop, I’m sure you would have heard of this age-old adage. So, roll up your sleeves and start moving forward, whether you’re working from home or not. As Cato the Elder instructed the farmers in stormy weather, “You must try to find something to do indoors. Clean up, rather than be idle. Remember that even though work stops, expenses run on nonetheless.”
Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The impediment to action advances action. The obstacle in the way becomes the way.” It’s up to us to transform this roadblock into an opportunity. Many people throughout history have used their “dead time” as an avenue to achieve success and greatness.
William Shakespeare wrote King Lear when we was confined due to the plague. Isaac Newton utilized the time when Cambridge was closed — again because of the plague — to perform some groundbreaking research. Viktor Frankl used his concentration camp time to work on his manuscript. Nelson Mandela educated and refined himself in prison at Robben Island, and transformed himself from a young rebel to a noble leader and activist that his country and the world needed.
Our imprisonment can most definitely forge our road to freedom. Like a Karma Yogi, we must focus on performing our best actions every day no matter what situation we’re in, we must continue our pursuit of becoming a better person in every respect. Because the world needs us to step up and be a force for good right now. Humanity needs more love, connection, hope, positivity and selflessness right now than ever and it’s our responsibility as a global citizen to show up in the best way we can to serve and contribute to our fellow beings.
Here we are, locked up in our homes, but we are still free to choose how we use our time. To use it to nourish and develop ourselves, or to squander it away.
Remember, time is a non-renewable resource, and our attention is priceless. The silver lining of this crisis is that you have an ample reserve of time in your hand. And if you use it well, it can be a defining moment, an awakening of sorts for you if you tap into the right resources. Keep in mind that you may never get such a wonderful opportunity to work hard on yourself again, so act wisely.
In the end, like always, it all comes down to a choice. A choice to use your time well or not. A choice that only you can make.
This global crisis that we are all going through is an ideal time to strengthen ourselves. To elevate our interior empires and focus on becoming better every day. It’s time that we choose not only to go through this adversity, but also grow through this adversity. So, get back in the game and focus on sharpening your axe until these uncertain times subside.
I’ve set up the Karma Yogi “Sharpen Your Axe” Challenge to help you just do that. To bring a positive transformation in yourself and your life. To help you embrace personal expansion and start looking at things from a whole new perspective. To help you become a better version of yourself. To help you have more “alive time.” And to turn this obstacle into an opportunity, and this negative experience of self-quarantine into a positive one.
I have been working hard on creating this challenge for the past few days. Its duration is 14 days — the length of the suggested quarantine period — and comprises of actionable insights and exercises that will help you grow and navigate these uncertain times while helping others.
What’s more important is that 20% of all proceeds will be given to first-responder charities such as Feeding America who are doing important work right now. By performing this challenge, we’ll create a win-win situation, both for ourselves and the people on the front lines helping the needy and fighting to keep us safe.
Join me on this journey, sign up today.
Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash