Did you know that the provenance of ‘crisis’ is from the Greek word for turning point, ‘krisis’? It was commonly used in a medical context to describe the height of a patient’s illness – A defining point of whether they would recover or succumb to its effects. Over time, its useability evolved to suit other situations during crucial junctures where ultimatums had to be made. As these decisions would significantly impact the subsequent course of events, ‘krisis’ hence started to mean the pivotal point of affairs.
To most of us, the idea of a crisis is a horrific catastrophe that demolishes everything we have worked hard to build, one that cannot be risen above. However, it seems that successful people prefer subscribing to its original definition of a turning point. A number of them may even go a step further and boldly proclaim that when the circumstance calls for it, a crisis is a good thing!
A crisis comes hand in hand with paradigm shifts. While it’s true that you might be working from scratch again with regards to your approaches and attitudes, you can use this chance to reset your expectations and reassess established practices. What do you feel is still relevant, what needs adjustment, and what has to be eradicated altogether? Think of it as an interlude where you get to Marie Kondo your plans such that they are streamlined to perfection and ready to maximise the benefits of whatever may soon come your way.
Also, by being hands-on and experiencing this, it is also a learning point especially if you’re someone who has a tendency for routines and rigidity. Being flexible is a huge advantage in the ever-changing global business landscape and it is best learned through these real-life trials. Someone dynamic and multifaceted can easily turn any kind of quandary into a powerful upswing that will boost him to greater heights.
In times of struggle, believing that a higher power is on your side, or simply that the process will turn out to be one that’s manageable, could just be what tips the scales to your favour. The short story below will illustrate this clearly.
There was once a traveller who was stranded in the desert. Although he was weary, feverish and parched beyond words, he continued trudging through the sweltering terrain in hopes of finding an exit. Sweat leaked from every pore, as though the unrelenting sun was hell bent on squeezing him dry. He could feel that he was severely dehydrated and his only lifeline was the last bottle of water in his backpack. It was incredibly tempting to give up and gulp all the water down his sore throat, but he knew that to get out of the huge stretch of heat and sand, he had to save it for when he absolutely could not go a step further, but for now, he had to keep moving forward.
The man kept walking. His clothes stuck to his skin as his feet blistered and ached. It was becoming very difficult to pay the discomfort no heed. Again, he wanted to reach into his backpack for the bottle, but he pushed the urge aside and soldiered on. A touch of delirium began to set in. When he squinted his eyes, he thought he saw hints of greenery on the horizon, yet he couldn’t be sure if it’s a trick of the mind. Regardless, he was impelled towards it.
To strengthen his resolve, he told himself that since liberation was near, he would only let himself drink when he succeeded in his exit.
He delved into his backpack and groped for the bottle. Lifting it up with a gasp, he realised that he had finished its contents much earlier and forgotten that he did!
But he was far from disappointed. As he chugged from a nearby water dispenser, he realised that if he did not hold on to the belief that he had that emergency bottle, he might have just given up the fight, let himself slip into unconsciousness and died there. It was only because he held on to the promise of a satisfying drink did he feel motivated to keep pushing on.
From here, we can draw parallels– when we feel mired in hardship, placing our trust in something significant would heighten our tolerance for suffering. We will then be able to endure it and emerge in one piece!
In short, a crisis is not a death knell. It is a form of feedback at the most authentic level, and is a teacher in so many ways, not just with regards to the project we are working on, but it extends to reinforcement of our internal support structures.