Now is a time for hope, not fear

Has your world been turned upside down during the lockdown?

Having been through the 2008 economic crash, I can assure you that there is hope on the other side if you choose hope and not despair.

Now is the time to rise to the challenge.

Keep in mind that every day of every year throughout human history individuals and families have had to encounter devastating circumstances; an accident, illness or failure. It’s nothing new, although it may be new to you.

Others have overcome and so can you.

However, in times like these, millions of individuals and families are encountering devastating circumstances at the same time and on an unprecedented global scale.

In a sense, we are all in the same boat. Maybe we can find comfort in that thought.

“And what if our way out of this mess lies in us working together as one human race?”

Before you think that I am theorising about some hypothetical scenario, please allow me a few moments to share my story; how I made the transition from despair to hope after the 2008 crash; in a sense I was given a foretaste of the crisis to come and an opportunity to prepare for it.

My preparation may help you.

In 2008 I was almost five years into a property development project that had been beset by bureaucratic delays. By mid-2008 I was paralysed by fear as I watched the storm clouds gathering and, when Lehman Brothers folded in September 2008, I knew that I was headed for a crash. If you have ever rolled a car, you will know the feeling when you realise that the car is out of control; time stands still and everything seems to happen in slow motion.

Heading into the 2008 crash, as the storm clouds gathers, I did everything I knew possible to minimise the damage but the global economic crisis was beyond my control; as it is today.

After six months of paralysing fear I realised a few things;

  • I could not fix the global economy, I could only fix my own economy.
  • The property development was in ruins and could take years to recover.
  • I needed a new game plan to get back on my feet and rebuild my financial life; especially my retirement plan that lay in ruins.

Although fifty-four years old is not a good time to lose all one’s savings, I had faith that I would eventually overcome these challenges … if I kept persisting. And although barely a thread of faith, that thread turned out to be unbreakable, high-tensile steel that would be tested to the limit.

2010 was my low-point.

When I first did the Positivity Ratio test in February 2010, my ratio was 1:1, depressed.

The book “Positivity” by Dr Barbara Friedrickson gave me the tools I needed to identify the thoughts, habits, actions and people that were hindering my recovery. And, having clearly identified my obstacles, I was able to develop the skills needed to take effective action to overcome them.

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit. (Napoleon Hill)

It's true! I discovered that ‘seed of greater benefit’ in June 2009; in fact, a whole basket-full of seeds. As things turned out, I would need a lot of those seeds as I embarked on a steep learning curve, lurching from one failure to the next.

I took encouragement from Winston Churchill’s definition of success;

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."

And some of those benefits were life-changing. For example, I had been plagued by a terrible stutter since I was seven years old. The stress of the 2008 crash made the stutter even worse. In 2010 I decided to address it head on and quickly realised that stuttering wasn't a speech problem at all, it was an emotional, self-image problem. That insight was liberating. I didn't need a speech therapist (none had helped me before), I simply needed a better self-image and emotional management system. Being a problem solver, I worked out a plan and within a few months I was free of an enemy that had undermined me for most of my life. If that was the only benefit from the adversity, it would have been worth it but many more benefits were to follow.

I will leave the ten-year saga from 2010 to 2020 for another time and an audience interested in my personal journey … except to say that mine wasn’t the “crash and quick recovery” I often read about; it’s been a ten year journey (and that may help you do it much quicker).

Ten years after my 2010 low-point, I was both mentally and emotionally prepared for the 2020 economic crash; for most people, the economic fall out will probably be far worse than the pandemic that triggered it.

Enough about me, today the focus is on you.

Can my learning help you to make the transition from despair to hope?

Can I help you to become more resilient as you navigate your new realities?

Remember, have faith that you will eventually overcome if you choose hope, not fear.

Now is a time for HOPE, not fear.

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Over the next 100 weeks

I hope that I can accomplish at least one of the following three things;

1. Empower you to be hopeful and resilient.

So that you can make choices that reflect your hopes and not your fears. So that you can turn your obstacles into stepping stones to your future success.

Five weeks ago I started a new Bucket List project called “100 Things I Want to Share Before I Die”, sharing one new “Thing” per week for the next 100 weeks.

I invite you to share the journey.

Many of these ‘Things” are courses and tools that I have developed during more than forty years as an activist, a small business owner and as a coach and consultant. These “Things” may be able to help you so I’ve started setting them up as free courses on my website (the first will be available this week, being the last week of August 2020).

I would love to help you to turn your obstacles into stepping stones to your success, hoping that you too can become a beacon of hope and encouragement to others.

2. Empower you to share your new-found hope with others.

So that you can become a beacon of hope and light to the world around you.

You could simply share these “Things” with your friends and colleagues or you could actively use them to help others. To this end I will be offering free weekly webinars to help you develop the skills needed to effectively help and encourage others (you gotta be sensitive to where people are in their life’s journey).

You could even turn ‘helping others’ into a new and rewarding career? Imagine that!

3. Empower you to build a new career helping others to be hopeful and resilient.

If you love teaching, inspiring and empowering others, opportunity may be knocking!

I have designed a three-level training system to enable anyone who loves teaching, inspiring and empowering others to get started with the least cost and risk; a way for you to ‘earn while you learn’so that you can afford to keep learning and developing your skills.

I call it an Education-Opportunity or Ed-Op for short. If interested to know more, check out the Ed-Op overview here (link will be added soon).

Together we can transform our world by being the change we want to see in the world.

Now is the time for HOPE, not fear!

Hope is a choice so let’s choose ...

  • Hope over fear
  • Positivity over negativity
  • Love over hate
  • Compassion over indifference
  • Harmony over discord
  • Kindness over cruelty
  • Calm over turbulence
  • Forgiveness over resentment
  • Dialogue over dispute
  • Confidence over timidity
  • Courage over cowardice
  • Consideration over selfishness
  • Unity over division

Whatever is good and wholesome, let’s learn to choose that.

It could be that the only way we get through this crisis, is by getting through it together.

If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
(African proverb)

Prepare for a marathon, this crisis isn’t going to be over any time soon.

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