Survivor Mentality

“Sometimes when you are transitioning in life, you go into survival mode. Survival mode is not the same as excellence mentality. Survival mode is, ‘Let me take what’s here, let me do the bare minimum to survive,’ versus thinking strategically and playing the long game.” – Brendon Buchard

We all want to stay alive. At least most of us if not all. For this matter whenever faced with trying times we are quick to say we’ll survive. We believe in our ability to weather the tough times, to find our way across to the other end. Most often we hold on some hope, some positivity and the belief that something better is bound to come after the tough times. Such hope and belief is good because it serves its purpose, to keep us grounded. However, for some when we get into the survival mode we do the bare minimum as we wait for the circumstances to be right to pick ourselves up and get going. What if things don’t get back to the normal you hoped for?

As I have alluded to consecutively in the last three or so articles that I am in the process of reading the book, Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, it’s in this book again that I got a spark to write this article. Unfortunately, I haven’t been going out much so my books become my refuge and when that happens, they spark my memory if I’m lucky. Otherwise, I’ll have to seek people to talk to and hopefully a story comes to mind. I did call my sister so I already have a story for tomorrow but then whether it gets written will depend on how my day turns out. In the book Obama talks about Americans believing they are not subject to blind impersonal forces. That they can shape their individual and collective destinies. He goes further that this is dependent on them discovering their traditional virtues of hard work, patriotism, personal responsibility, optimism and faith.

I find it in me to have an inclination to this line of thought being we all have the power to shape our lives. Not in deciding our circumstances but shaping our responses and how we deal with them. In the current circumstances when we are faced with COVID-19 which led to massive layoffs, pay cuts and business losses a number of us resorted to survive. In this survival considering we all hope to get past the circumstances, the question is whether when the right opportunities come you’ll be able to take advantage or miss them. This is a question of living your life in the reality of the vision and hope you have for the better future so that it comes to manifest. On the contrary if you resort to sit back and wait you may never have another chance at seeing that future you so hope for. The normalcy you hold so dear may be an illusion.

I have been and at times I am tempted to resort to the survival mentality, taking count of what I have to go by the prevailing circumstances which is okay. However, the question on what next after the situation changes in some way have always pushed me to do something in the moment. In most circumstances, the extra effort I put in when the circumstances were not right gave me a chance when an opportunity presented itself. I have been and still a fanatic of professional development. I believe you are only as good as you want and for you to be good you must want it as much. In this case studying and applying my knowledge was the way to validate my professional growth. In some way it has paid off in the opportunities that came my way from scholarships, travel grants and project grants. If I hadn’t done the extra bit most probably the circumstances would have been different and that’s what makes the cut.

I don’t know what your interests or passions are but for sure you have one. There is something you wish you could do even in the midst of tough situations like the ones we are going through. By amassing yourself in it, you are setting stage for your next breakthrough. It’s a matter of seeing possibilities and opportunities where there seems to be non. I also acknowledge that not all of us have the same ability to see opportunities in hardships, however at the same time there are those who do. Enjoy the company of those who do because when it happens, luckily enough you might be the one who has the know-how to bring it to life and just like that you’ll have changed your circumstances.

“Don’t resign yourself to fate. Fate may or may not favor you. Either way you can try to play with the stakes of it turning out in your favor.”

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