Every adversity…carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Napoleon Hill

The Adversity

As soon as I mention adversity in this time of crisis you probably think of getting sick from the Corona or Chinese virus, as some refer to it. But let’s face it, most of us aren’t sick. So, what’s the adversity? The adversity that almost everyone is facing right now is being stuck at home because of a government policy or a quarantine. I’m not arguing against those policies, but just letting you know there could be an unexpected benefit.

If you are stuck at home you are probably struggling with the inconvenience of your life being disrupted. You might be experiencing a kind of social deprivation from not being around your friends at work. Then there is another deprivation you may be experiencing–monetary deprivation. With all this alone time what do you think about?  The fear of potentially losing your job, loss of value in your 401 K, and the possibility of actually contracting a disease? That is a lot of fear!

So, what is the greater benefit?

You can choose to wallow in fear or you can choose to do something productive in this time of crisis. Rather than sitting home and binge-watching Netflix, or even worse, the news, I challenge you to take some time to be still and think. I call it a challenge because most of us will go out of our way to not be still. Silencing the noise from TV, radio, the internet, and even music might result in a great benefit to you in this time of “crisis.”

As the psalmist wrote, “Be still and know I am God.”  This is a great time to be still. God hasn’t fallen of the throne, and He still wants the best for you. Let me explain.

Chinese Virus or Chinese Opportunity

I find it interesting that the current crisis is taking on the name Chinese virus because there is a common myth surrounding the Chinese word for crisis. The myth is that the Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word “crisis.” One brush stroke for danger; the other for opportunity.

Actually, the Chinese word “crisis” (wēijī) consists of two syllables that are written with the two characters, wēi and jī. Wēijī does mean “crisis”, but while the wēi syllable of wēijī conveys the notion of danger, the jī of wēijī, actually means something like a crucial point or when something begins or changes.

Obviously, I am playing on words, using the Chinese word for crisis because this is becoming known as the Chinese virus. The point is that while this “crisis” does represent a danger it can also present an opportunity in the form of a change or new beginning for you.

What if…

What if you used this time to make some decisions you have been putting off, or even ignoring. Decisions about the direction of your life or career.

There are times in our lives when we all expect to have to make big, life-defining, decisions. Like when you are a junior or senior in high school, deciding to go to work or which college to attend. In college, deciding your career field. Sometimes we decide to make a mid-career correction, going to graduate school or changing jobs. Then there are the decisions surrounding retirement.

Other times of major decision-making are centered on life events. Events such as getting married or having children are times of decision-making. So are times of tragedy, like the loss of a loved one, losing your job, or a debilitating illness.

We have been conditioned to expect those kinds of decisions. There are systems in place and coaches and counsellors available to help you make good choices for the times we expect to need to make decisions. But what about now? Are you going to drift through this time in history or are you going to use it as a potential opportunity? Are you going to let the news and fear mongers counsel you or are going to make an effort to make good decisions? What if this really was a crucial point in your life and you took advantage of it?

Unprecedented Opportunities

Prior to our current crisis, prior to all the fear and panic, our nation was on a hot streak. Businesses were growing, unemployment was practically non-existent, and incomes were rising. This China virus will eventually cease and I believe unprecedented opportunities will follow. When it does, how do you want your life to look?

What do you want? Do you want to back to the way your life was or do you want more? What are your options? What do you possess that can make a difference? What is your Special GIFT?

How could you capitalize on the coming opportunities? How do you choose? What if you could realize your dream? What if you took some time to get answers to these questions?


John Maxwell said, “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” If you choose to use this time to make a major decision in your life, what are your options and what are the best ways to make good decisions? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Eliminate distractions- Right now, this means minimizing the amount of fear (spelled NEWS) you take in.
  2. Know who you are – Do you really know yourself? I’ll bet you don’t. Spend some time thinking about who you really are and take a personality assessment. You will be pleasantly surprised to learn just how awesome the real you is.
  3. Know your GIFT – Did you know you have a Special GIFT? A singular talent that can be developed into greatness and a completely unique way of thinking? Well, you do and it is the master key to your success.
  4. What can you do? – Instead of just going along with the status quo, what things can you do? What would you really like to do?
  5. What can’t you do? – Part of the decision-making process is to eliminate the things you cannot do or don’t want to do. Only then can you weigh the pros and cons to make an accurate decision.
  6. Advisors/counsellors – Who do you go to for advice and counsel? Unfortunately, the masses are glued to the news channels right now. That may not be the best source of counselling. Do you have a mentor, someone you trust to bounce ideas and thoughts off of that has your best interest in mind? If you really take the “Be still and know that I am God” advice to heart, you might discover that God really does love you and has something great in store for you. That is why one of his tiles is Counsellor.
  7. Move – Take action. Research your choices and then take a step in the direction you have chosen.
  8. Correct – You won’t know what to correct, or that you need to correct, if you aren’t moving. If your first step wasn’t a good one, no big deal, just correct.
  9. Move – Continue moving and correcting. If you are using your GIFT this will be exciting and probably fun.

Taker of Giver

Ultimately you can choose to be a taker or you can choose to be a giver. Takers rely on whatever they believe is available to take, usually from an employer or from the Government. Takers are limited by whatever is available to get from their employer or whatever the Government decides to give them. If during this period of turmoil, your thoughts tend to whatever benefits you can rely on or whatever handouts the Government may send your way, then I suggest you are a taker.

On the other hand, if you use this time to determine how you can use your GIFT in order to make a difference in your life and the lives of others, then you are a giver. You may have heard it said that it is better to give than to receive. That is because givers get the joy of giving their GIFT and receiving income as a result. There is no limit. The more you give the more you will receive.

Your choices really do matter. I suggest you use this time to find your GIFT and employ it in making a difference. This crucial point in your life just might be an awesome opportunity.

For more information on choice – see Employ Your GIFT, the secret to living your purpose

For more information on making a difference – see The Purpose Master Key, the 7 steps to making a difference by finding your purpose.

Categories: Blog