Bouncing forward from a crisis

Well known speaker and author of ‘The Resilient Farmer’ Doug Avery shares his thoughts about building a new future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday, 4 May 2020

COVID-19 has dealt a devasting blow to the human race. The so-called pillars of normal have been cut down and thrown aside and total disruption has spread across the globe.

Texas oil companies are paying customers to remove their product, whole industries are facing years of no business. Unthinkable a few weeks ago. Amongst all of this is the opportunity of a reset. A chance to change. A clean slate.

This is not a new situation to mankind, but a pandemic on this scale is new to all of us.

I’m feeling delighted that 20 years ago I made the call to build a more resilient mindset and to grow that into my personnel and business life.

I have learnt mind skills that have me searching for solutions in a crisis.

As the old saying goes, “never let a good crisis go to waste”.

My most valuable life lessons have come from my challenges; the bigger the challenge the bigger the gain and I have developed the mind set to “Bounce forward “from every set back. This means not rebuilding what was there, but making an improved version.

The biggest obstacle will come from a fear of change. The disruption of normal, whatever normal is. I remind myself FEAR has two meanings, Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. Well-being is the result of managed knowledge. It’s the result of doing what is right to best manage the situation, whatever that may be.

Well-being is the cumulation of four factors essential to us humans. These are love, connection, purpose and hope. Covid 19 has the ability to destroy all or any of these pillars. So, the strategy needed to win the war is to push back against this attack.

In my years of helping people, one common factor amongst broken people is that they have lost one or more of these four factors; lost love, lost connection, lost purpose or lost hope.

Most of us can manage with the loss of one, some can manage with the loss of two, but virtually no one can cope with the loss of three pillars of wellbeing.

The push back comes by us all being more loving, more empathic, reaching out to people who are short on connection by being more inclusive. Thousands face job losses or business failure and this creates a loss of purpose.

Collectively all those losses create the loss of hope.

I’m a company director, storyteller, author and once a farmer. I tell stories about my past; I tell stories about my current life and I tell stories of my future predictions. We are all story tellers; we all have a story to tell. In facing tomorrow ask yourself, what is your past story, what is your current story and most importantly, what is your future story? What realistically could you be doing in two months, six months and one year, that you don’t do now that would help build on your current situation?

Futurist Thomas Frey suggests, and I agree “The future creates the present”, when you can see where you want to be in the future, your mind will transfer back to the present. What can I do now, how do I take the best shot to make my future dream come true?

Focus on your ability to control what you can influence, rather than wasting energy on factors you cannot control.

At times such as these, being easy on yourself is a great place to start. Take small but directed steps on your journey. Keep the focus on the end goal – where do I want to be this time next year?

The human mind is capable of great things when it is calm and directed. Conversely if disrupted and left free to worry and run free, it can be equally as destructive.

So now is a good time to learn skills that can ease your mind. Practises like yoga, meditation, physical exercise, sport, mentoring and many other great activities.

We are all special individuals and we need to give ourselves credit for our individuality. Our methods of mind management will all be different, but the end game is the same. Emotional well- being is one of the greatest gifts of life.

Our so called normal is now a thing of the past, fragmented by the disruption of Covid 19. We can either see this as a problem or an opportunity.

I see it as my job to solve problems and turn them into opportunities. All great journeys start from challenges. The bigger the challenge the greater the reward.

I have never seen a greater challenge than what we are facing now with bigger opportunities to set a more resilient and sustainable future. We can do this. It’s time to “Bounce Forward”.