Founder of The Entourage Jack Delosa shares five practical ways to use this time of crisis to create the life you’ve always wanted.
Challenges come to make us better. They invite us to develop parts of ourselves that are yet to be developed. Yet so often adversity doesn’t get a chance to bear all the fruits of its potential because we look to shortcut the difficulty. In doing so, we do not capture the growth of the wisdom the experience has to offer.
The most powerful individuals throughout history were those who encountered a great challenge and chose to rise as a result of it. In challenging times, what can we as individuals do, to not only benefit from the adversity, but to cultivate those parts of ourselves that are yearning to be developed?
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1. Create a vision for your life
Most people live under a hypnosis of disempowerment, believing that their life is not theirs to choose what they do and don’t want – preferring to leave key life decisions to their employer, parents, partner or societal expectations at large.
Building a meaningful life begins with truly connecting with how you want your life to be. Take the following areas, and journal on how you want your life to be in each of these categories, 10 years from now:
Lifestyle – What kind of lifestyle are you living 10 years from now?
Romantic relationships – What characteristics are in full bloom in your romantic relationship 10 years from now?
Family – What kind of relationship do you have with your immediate family 10 years from now?
Career – What are you doing in your career or your business 10 years from now?
Money – What is your financial position 10 years from now? Think income, investments, and savings.
Spirituality – How connected do you feel to Source, the earth and humanity 10 years from now?
2. Develop skills that align with where the world is going
In his book, Talent is Overrated, Geoff Colvin senior editor at large for Fortune Magazine highlights that sustained success has less to do with natural ability, and more to do with behaviours that we can all demonstrate. Colvin draws on the new scientific research around achievement to demonstrate that success comes not from natural talent, but from what the research calls, “deliberate practice” – engaging joyfully in the work of ongoing learning.
As you look to the future, ask yourself, “What is the world going to need?” and develop those capabilities in yourself.
The most powerful contributors to society, and indeed the most successful, are those who were able to find a marriage between what they love to do, and what the world needs.
3. Invest, even if it’s small amounts
Right now the global economy is depressed. Apart from the tragic human consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, the economic uncertainty it has caused will likely cost the global economy $1 trillion in 2020, the UN’s trade and development agency, UNCTAD.
As Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful investors, says, “Simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
Right now, in a world where fear is the new norm, prices of many asset classes like shares are very low. When the economic recovery does happen it will happen fast, meaning those who invested near the bottom, will experience a significant uplift in the value of their investments.
Even if it’s the smallest amount, now is the best time to begin investing.
4. Start doing something you love
Whether it’s a new career path, a new business, or a new passion project, how can you take advantage of this time to jump-start a new project that is meaningful to you?
One of the most common benefits we’re seeing during this pandemic is that people are reassessing what makes them happy and how they want to spend their time. Rather than waiting for things to go back to ‘normal’, how can you create a new normal in your life that is more extraordinary than what you previously knew?
5. Utilise ‘the happiness advantage’
Most people believe that success causes happiness, however, the latest research indicates that this way of thinking is backwards. Happiness actually causes success. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, famous Harvard Researcher Shawn Achor shows that when you are happy you get to your goals faster.
Your happiness shouldn’t be tied to your future goals, happiness should be rocket fuel to achieve your goals. For example, doctors put in a positive mood before making a diagnosis show almost three times more intelligence and creativity than doctors in a neutral state, and they make accurate diagnoses 19 per cent faster. Optimistic salespeople sell more than their pessimistic counterparts by 56 per cent. Students encouraged to feel happy before taking maths tests far outperform their peers who were in a neutral state.
The science today indicates that up until recently, we thought of happiness and success all wrong. Rather than tying your happiness to the future achievement of goals, choose to be happy now and you are much more likely to exhibit the behaviours that are correlated with success.
Jack Delosa is one of Australia’s top entrepreneurs and investors, founder of Australia’s largest training institution for entrepreneurs, The Entourage, and host of Foxtel series Entrepreneurs.