Will the Pandemic Depress, Defeat, or Develop You? You Choose!

No doubt, this pandemic sucks BIG TIME!

With hundreds of thousands dead, tens of millions unemployed, schools drastically altered, and most sports seasons postponed, curtailed, or canceled, we are all enduring a seemingly unending Category 5 Hurricane of adversity, frustration, and disappointment unleashed by Covid-19.

There is no denying the devastating impact of this problematic, pervasive, and persistent virus.

 

HOWEVER...

Just as with everything in life, we do have a choice in how we view it, deal with it, respond to it, and lead ourselves and others through it.

Viktor Frankl, who had his father, mother, and brother killed by the Nazis in WW II and suffered through three excruciating years in a concentration camp where he was regularly beaten, starved, and tortured, came to realize this absolutely critical fact:

 


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's ATTITUDE in any given set of circumstances.”

 


 

Despite 36 grueling months of hellish and horrendous conditions, Frankl realized that a person’s ATTITUDE ultimately determines their success or failure, regardless of the situation.

Similarly, despite the plethora of problems the pandemic has dumped on society, schools, and sports over the past 6 months, you still have the ability to choose your attitude in how to respond to them.

Basically, you have three choices:
 

1. Choose to let it depress you

An easy choice is to let the pandemic depress you. You can focus on all the problems, inconveniences, and cancellations and let them bring you down. You can get caught up in what should have been and could have been – but currently isn’t. This depressing choice soon drowns you in swirling whirlpool of pity and despair.
 

2. Choose to let it defeat you

Further, you can choose to let the persistent and pervasive problems of the pandemic totally defeat you.

You can give up your goals and dreams and just believe they don’t matter anymore. You can stop working out, stop lifting, stop conditioning, stop hanging out with your teammates… stop making the effort.

Essentially, you just throw in the towel and walk off the field or court a defeated shell of a person.


 

3. Choose to let it develop you

Or, you can make the challenging yet critical choice to let this situation develop you.

You can transform the significant disappointment and disruption of the pandemic into something that stretches you and your capabilities.

You can reframe this seemingly sucky situation into a new found opportunity and challenge for you to grow and develop as an athlete and/or person.

  • You can use this “extra” time to add something new to your game
  • Take advantage of this time to get stronger physically
  • Develop your leadership skills to positively influence your teammates
  • Work on your mental game to develop more confidence, commitment, and composure
  • Connect with your teammates in a deeper way to get to know what motivates them
  • Upgrade and improve your diet so you can be more healthy
  • Get in better condition to outlast your opponents
  • Watch video of great athletes to learn their secrets of success
  • Explore your career interests within or outside of athletics
  • Talk with your coach to find out how you can best lead your team through this challenge

 

There are so many positive and productive things you can do with this extra time to develop yourself into a better athlete, student, and person. (This goes for coaches and administrators too!)

Of course, this is a difficult choice to make, but one that will make you better, stronger, wiser, etc., when you return. Because there will be a point of return.

This too shall pass...

Despite the ongoing nature of this pandemic, keep in mind that eventually this too shall pass.
Just as the 1918 Spanish Flu passed…
Just as the Great Depression passed…
Just as World War I and II passed…
Just as September 11th passed…
So too will this pandemic eventually pass…

(Hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Because it will pass, the athletes, coaches, teams, people, countries, etc., that will come out of this the best are the ones that choose to let it develop them.

I strongly encourage you to be one of those people!

Lead Yourself and Others Through This Adversity

Even more so, BE A LEADER who helps others who might be currently depressed or defeated…

Listen to and empathize with their pain and frustration. Support and help them shift their thinking and perspective into something more positive and productive. That’s what leaders do.

Leaders find hope in the middle of hardship.
Leaders find perspective in the middle of problems.
Leaders find optimism in the middle of obstacles.

Leaders choose to let adversity develop them and their teammates rather than depress or defeat them.


 

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