These past couple of days, we have talked about the value in personal resiliency, and we used the workplace as an example. Today, let’s take what we have been talking about, and transfer it to succeeding through natural disasters.
Every year, the world sees its share of natural disasters, from earthquakes and landslides, to tornados, monsoons and floods. In each instance, the aftermath has been almost unbearable to watch. What happened was outside immediate human control. Nothing we can do – at least at this point in time – can prevent natural disasters like these. All we can do is be as prepared as possible for the unknown.
For most cities, counties, states and nations, we prepare for the practical response. Here in Seattle, where we sit on the Pacific Ocean’s “Rim of Fire,” we prepare for earthquakes, severe weather and flooding – and the occasional volcanic eruption. Seattle’s “3 Days, 3 Ways” program helps us prepare to take care of ourselves – to survive – for three days.
And while the practical approach takes care of the body’s need to survive, we also need to take care of how our minds approach coping with disaster. Bouncing back from disaster takes a conscious effort to control our self-talk in order to remain positive. Looking beyond ourselves, engaging our compassion and empathy by helping others, is a great assist in aiding our own positive self-talk. Making the effort to visualize what our worlds will look like, once the current situation is fixed, provides a path to follow. And reinforcing that vision with positive affirmations goes a long way towards avoiding the pitfalls of a downward spiral.
And one more thing: Let others help you, as you help others. The sense of a community working together to solve a problem is a powerful thing. We are stronger together than we are alone, no matter where we are, who we are, and no matter what the obstacle.