There is no doubt the Covid 19 crisis will live long in the memory. Few of us in the developed world will have faced anything of this scale in our lives. Fear and concern for our health, our families, our jobs or businesses, are the natural reaction to a crisis of this magnitude.

Our current situation brought me back to that last significant crisis the economic crash of 2008 which in the grand scheme of things doesn’t seem that significant now. I recall an experienced corporate client saying something I found curious. He told me that we should “never waste a crisis.” I hadn’t thought too much about what that meant at the time but more recently I have been reflecting on what it could mean for us right now.

Observing the current discourse is interesting. While many conversations are dominated by fear and concern, there are other conversations happening as well. Conversations about some of the things that are good about these times. From the day to day stuff such as working from home and not having to endure the rush hour traffic. Or appreciating the things we took for granted like being able to visit our friends and family, living life at different pace or being part of a greater sense of community.

This crisis will pass though it may take some time and there is no doubt there will be many things will probably never be the same. Many businesses will have to revise their business models in light of the sudden change in consumer behaviour and unforeseen environmental requirements.

Many individuals will also be asking themselves some searching questions. The dramatic change to our lives over the last few months may even prompt us to consider what is it that we really want for ourselves.

While painful and traumatic, a crisis can do a few things.

A crisis can teach us a lot about ourselves. We may have surprised ourselves with our ability to adapt, solve problems or deal with change. We may have discovered that we are more resilient than we thought.

A crisis can also be an opportunity. An opportunity to take stock, reset and rebuild something new. Perhaps something new and better.

Two quotes that are worth considering.

Socrates stated that “the secret of change is not fighting the past but building the new.” There is no doubt the Covid 19 crisis will create a lot that is new. What will be new for you?

Stephen Covey once said, “I am not a product of my circumstances; I am a product of my choices” What choices will you make coming out of this crisis?

Here are three questions that might be worth reflecting on.

1 What about the current crisis would I like to keep?Perhaps it is the work flexibility that the situation has been forced on you. Perhaps it is the new ways of running your business that you have suddenly had to adapt to. Maybe it is the new friendships you have made. Perhaps it is the joy of helping others or being part of something bigger. Perhaps it is the knowledge that you and your business need to be more prepared for unexpected situations.

2 What do I want my new normal to be? In your career, in your business, in your health, your fitness, your relationships, your finances, your skills. Do you want to go back to what it was before, or do you want to reset and rebuild something new?

3 How can I make these changes a reality? Every change no matter how big and small start with a plan that is supported by a change of habit. What do you need to ditch and what do you need to add to your everyday habits to take the steps to build your new and exciting normal. Where we focus our time and our energy tends to get results. Where do you want to focus on now?

A crisis can be an opportunity if we choose to look at it as such. It can be a line in the sand. Having been forced to deal with challenging situation may give us the courage to do the thing that we really wanted to.

“Never waste a crisis” means learning from this situation and using it as an opportunity to forge something new and better.

Never waste a crisis…how will you use yours?