Self-development in the face of crisis
I’d like to discuss the topic of self-development by being your better self in times of crisis. Usually I don’t make references to current world affairs in my articles as my interest revolves around generic principles, self-improvement and human nature. However, because the spread of the corona virus is so into our faces and omnipresent in the media right now, I should maybe give it a little mention.
Finding meaningfulness in crisis
Most responsible people around the world are now self-isolating. Many establishments have temporarily closed or restricted their opening hours. Public life is at its minimum and those who can work remotely. In times like these you can wonder how to spend your time in the best way possible. Now that you are less likely to hang out in a cafe, gym, restaurant or a club, the question arises: how are you going to occupy yourself? We’re used to having nice dinners, going to parties, drinking with friends and travel around the world whenever we want. Most of it is now either gone or strictly limited. Have we lost what we value in life most?
My point is, no, not at all. Perhaps this state of emergency can teach us something about ourselves. And what is it? It’s about what matters in life, a thing that we easily forget when living throughout the day, but something we can remember again in a time of crisis like this. That’s why let’s use the time of social self-isolation to turn our attention away from our superficial daily problems and towards a deeper exploration of real meaningfulness.
what self-development means
What matters in life is the self-development as individuals and improvement as society. On the individual level this means that we develop our emotional and mental capabilities throughout our life. The development of emotionality means moving towards noble feelings of compassion, kindness and patience, everything you value in human relations. The unfoldment of mentality implies moving towards truth, facts, logical thinking and rightful judgment, so everything you value in gaining knowledge.
It’s easy to disregard these things and just meddle through daily life because we’ve always been so busy. Now that we often have to face the walls in our room, it’s a good opportunity to dedicate ourselves to the issues of the heart and the mind and to see through our own nonsense. We should recognise that our addictions to the superficial pleasures will never give us any satisfaction in the long run.
How many times have you met people who were cool and funny on the outside, but so insecure and doubtful on the inside. Everyone knows that from experience. We all played that game of appearances in many situations. You can often feel that something is not right if you observe it in others carefully.
The point is to use this transitional time of crisis to focus on important things and become better human beings through self-development and personal growth. That’s how you can spend your time constructively and really own it, instead of worrying and feeling like a victim. How do we do that?
Express your better self
We can get in touch with our better self by the little acts of kindness. Little expressions matter a lot. They are the most important things in everyday life because the little smile here and the kind word there is often the only thing you can ever give to a stranger. Forget fighting about toilet paper and watching death statistics on TV every hour! It won’t help you and will only make you feel miserable. Focus on your life and be a candle of light to people around you by your little expressions of positivity, kindness, compassion, joy and reason. You develop emotionally and mentally through the practical expression of your best self you are capable of.
Just try it! Every attempt helps. You can really make someone’s day by just being nice to them in the moment. Ultimately, the goal of self-development is to become unselfish. It’s easy to be selfish and so much more difficult to be unselfish, but we are all able to do that and do it all the time to our friends and family. Now extend the circle of your beloved ones to your neighbours, city, country and the world and you'll end up with all of humanity as your family. Now treat them as such.
Treat the whole world as your family
What does it mean to treat everyone as if they were your family? It means that you won’t presume bad intentions with people you don’t know well. You’ll be nice to your neighbours, speak kindly and not spread negativity. Don’t say that the situation in the world is going to get worse. First of all, no one can know that for sure. Secondly, you don’t achieve anything with debasing talk and mainstream media is already confusing people with enough such talk. Instead, speak encouraging words of inspiration. Thirdly, don’t buy things you really don’t need. Unnecessary hoarding is an expression of selfishness. Whatever you take in excess, someone else could have used that for a better purpose.
There’s an unlimited number of things you can do (or stop doing) to express your solidarity with people in everyday life - not just during the times of emergency but also in normal times of stability.
Choose to Be a hero, not a victim
Remember, being a victim or being a hero is a decision you make, not something that you are born as. To make that decision you need to change your perception. Own the crises in your head. What matters is choosing the best thing to do under the limited circumstances and not waiting for the abundance of resources to receive. That rarely happens and people who work in project management know that. There’s always some restriction imposed on us in life and you need to work with what you have. Make the best use out of it.
If you walk the path of meaningfulness and self-development you’ll see that you’re evolving emotionally and mentally. Especially the emotional development is important right now because compassion, love and kindness are what the world needs first.
self-development through meaningful habits
Instead of training your muscles of pleasure try to train your emotional and intellectual muscles. Remember, compassion and logical thinking are a habit - a kind of a mental muscle you can learn and maintain. It takes effort to be good but if you do it you’ll be developing your character and in this way also improving yourself as a human being.
I’d like you to think about all that I mentioned and put to practice in these times of self-isolation but also beyond that. Everything is transitory and sooner or later this period of crisis will be over and we will be back to normal. How do you want to get out of this process? Do you want to become stronger or weaker? It’s a decision you make yourself and I invite you to choose the former.
I send all of you my best thoughts of courage. Stay safe, compassionate, knowledgeable and happy.
Peace to all mankind.