The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one’s ‘own’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.
~C. S. Lewis
Taking disruption as a way of life prepares us to overcome the inherent challenges more vigorously. Do you know any person alive, or even deceased who never had any problems, obstacles, or interruptions in his or her life? I doubt it. No man ever lived that did not face any difficulty, whether self-served or perforce circumstances. Given the certainty of such events in everyone’s life, will it not make sense for us to learn to adapt? Yes, there are various degrees of severity surrounding such hardships. Still, there is an equal number, if not more, or exemplary individuals that managed to overcome each vicissitude thrown at them and came out winners. History is replete with many American Presidents that grew up under the harshest possible conditions in their childhood. James A. Garfield stands out among so many others, and so does Abraham Lincoln.
The point here is not about overcoming hardships alone, but to impress upon the significance of human spirit to survive and thrive in the face of the worst possible situations.
Nicky Minaj, Mark Wahlberg, Oprah Winfrey, 50 Cent, Drew Barrymore, and Johnny Depp are some of the other world-renowned personalities that overcame unimaginable hardships. Learning from these above examples, we can find comfort in the fact that the current pandemic is way too small an interruption vis-vis the difficulties the achievers named above handled.
Edward Abbey, the late American author, and essayist found opportunities in interruptions in his simplistic style. Here is a snapshot:
Baseball is a slow, sluggish game, with frequent and trivial interruptions, offering the spectator many opportunities to reflect at leisure upon the situation on the field: This is what a fan loves most about the game.
No doubt, he gave us such a remarkable lesson in adjustment with interruptions. He cited the game of baseball to impress his readers with the hidden opportunities for those willing to reflect and enjoy. In much the same way, life itself gives us an infinite reservoir of similar opportunities. We can use them to relax, reflect, and revisit the ongoing turmoil in our lives perforce any number of forced circumstances.
I would dare say with conviction that if anyone researched the power of circumstance-induced interruptions, Mario Andretti’s name would be somewhere at the top. In the envious position of one of the only two individuals to win every major motorsport event, including Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championships, as well as NASCAR, this Italian-born American, a former racing driver has seen it all in his illustrious career.
The sport where each passing moment is a death-call, your determination, powered by the winning spirit, helps you overcome every imaginable challenge. Accidents do happen on the race tracks, not just on the public roads. But, the race-track accidents are way more dangerous, and often prove deadly or life-altering for those involved. Unless you have a genuinely death-defying spirit, motorsports are a definite no-no. Yet, being fully aware of the severe interruptions about to hit your life, and in most cases, that of all the loved ones as well, man needs to take them on and keep moving. Still, they do it because each new day brings a brand-new hope, a yet unforeseen opportunity. They seek yet another chance to achieve higher glory and joy in all the lives they touch.
No wonder Mario gave us the following advice:
Circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, but never lose sight of your goal. Prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience to make the most of the opportunity when it occurs.
Samuel Johnson, the 18th-Century English Playwright, Essayist, and Poet, gave us the following explanation of the role interruptions play in our lives.
Life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments. The greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures. We are well or ill at ease, as the mainstream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled by small obstacles and frequent interruption.
Considering the significance of ‘small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures,’ most readers will be boiling with rage over my indirect comparison of the current situation to a trivial mishap in life. However, I shall be failing my moral obligation by surrendering to such narrow-mindedness under any circumstances. We all know the COVID-19 pandemic has no precedent, and also no end in sight. Still, I dare say it is nothing but a passing phase that holds in its bosom a lot more blessings than all the negative images we can ever conjure. In case you still wish to challenge this statement, please feel free to read my earlier articles related to the same subject, right here, on www.bizcatalyst360.com.
All said and done, let us find comfort in the following words of wisdom – again from C. S. Lewis:
You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.