turning crisis into opportunity

5 Ways to Turn Crisis into Opportunity

Are you turning crisis into opportunity? There is little so unsettling as watching fear create the exact experience people were anxious about in the first place. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy, like when we worry that we won’t be able to access toilet paper in a global crisis so we buy all the toilet paper, thereby making toilet paper impossible to find in stores.

Instead of being fearful, we could be turning crisis into opportunity.

But we have a choice. Instead of being fearful, we could be turning crisis into opportunity. Because good things can happen in hard times, too. Rather than being panicked and afraid, we and our families can get stronger in every way, despite the chaos around us. Here are 5 fast ways to do that.

Be a “glass half full” person.

Change is a constant and challenge is, too. So look at what you can do instead of at what you can’t do. Shift from reactive to proactive and from defensive to offensive. When a crisis looms, All Pro Dads are like firefighters or marines, who walk toward the problem instead of cowering away from it. (See 10 Leadership Lessons from George Washington.)

Learn to distinguish between wants and needs.

We could complain about the current crisis and what it means for most of us—we have to ration our toilet paper, wait until next year to watch the Olympics, and eat at home instead of at restaurants. But did we ever truly need the conveniences and sources of entertainment that we don’t have now? Instead, let’s use this as an opportunity to rest more while we can and to reset, reframe, and retool in prep for the future.

Cultivate a generous heart.

Your family needs you. Your community needs you. What can you do to serve them today? Now is the time to be more self-giving than before by being present to your wife and kids, by staying home if you’re sick, by giving a roll of toilet paper to the neighbor who ran out. Generosity can be contagious in the family and beyond and it is a far more effective long-term plan than “look out for number one.”

Build bridges.

Social distancing doesn’t have to mean isolation. Be proactive in your efforts to stay connected to your loved ones. Video chat with friends and neighbors you can’t meet up with like usual. Help your kids have virtual playdates. Call your loved ones who are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities and aren’t allowed to have visitors. This will only serve to enhance a sense of community after the immediate crisis passes.

Be grateful for the lessons learned.

The National Health Service in the UK reports that, as a group, English schoolchildren were healthier from 1939 through 1952 than in any other time in the 20th Century. The reason? Rationing. More fresh vegetables, food grown at home, less meat, less candy. Our opportunity in crisis is to look for what’s good in the midst of it—the slower pace, the additional family time, the less full schedule—and plan to apply it to our lives when the crisis ends.

Sound off: In what ways are you turning crisis into opportunity lately?

Huddle up with your family and ask, “What can we do to help others if things get difficult?”