STAYING in the MOMENT: The CRITICAL RULE in CRISIS MANAGEMENT
My first advice for a dear coaching client during a counselling session was for her to always stay in the moment as the crisis last.She is going through so much emotional pain because of the accusing fingers of associates who in their ignorance lured her into a major error that has become a career threatening crisis. She is about to lose her job of over 11years with a potential to not only lose her gratuity but also suffer a devastating impact that could take her licence to practice away. I have been through so many crises myself and have walked very long crisis paths with clients, friends and family over the years. I have learnt that the first response in a crisis is to stay in the moment regardless of the pressure. It’s the first law of crisis management. See, over 90% of the people you know are never really in the moment; they are mostly in the past or in the future.
You see, everything occupying your mind is always happening in one, two or all of three variables. Your head is always working on three fields. One is the past; relieving things we messed up about. Wishing we could have something back that is gone or living in memories of good times past or being angry about things done to us. That’s the past. Two is the future. Worrying about what might happen, or that we might lose or be put to shame. The third is the present— what is happening right now, at this moment? What we are doing now? That’s the present. The entire content of your mind is working within these three blocks every time.
While there’s nothing really wrong with thinking of the past or the future, everything is wrong in predominantly doing so. A crisis always forces you to stay predominantly in the past and the future, but get you to skip the present. Meanwhile, the present is the only platform for exchange. The past and the future are intangibles existing only in your memory and your imagination. But the present is your reality. Somehow, people forget that yesterday is an experience, tomorrow is an idea, and today is the critical platform of exchange. In crisis management, your first responsibility is to always stay in the moment and keep things in perspective.
In a crisis, your duty is to engage the past by analyzing what happened, seeking to learn from it, and committing to moving on. Your next duty is to understand that the future is not practical and is not real. You have no reason to be afraid of what is not real. The future is an arrangement by God to manage your ignorance, your sense of the unknown, your fear, and your anxieties, to keep optimism alive, sustain enthusiasm and inspire hope. We know today because we are in it. But do you know anyone who knows the future like we know yesterday or today? Every time we get to the future, we call it today.
If we spend most of our time thinking about the past or future, we are missing life itself. It’s passing us by while we are elsewhere. You can’t get the most out of life unless you learn to focus on being present while things are happening. You have to learn to lose yourself in whatever you are doing. It’s called flow — that is, reaching that magical zone where you forget about the outside world and are completely doing what you have to do in the present.
Maybe you are like my troubled client, and you are in a big crisis right now, fingers are accusing you everywhere you turn, shame is staring at you straight to the face, maybe it’s even your fault that you are in this mess, trust me, whatever the solution is, it is not in the past; because if it was there, you won’t be in a crisis now. It’s not in the future either, because the contents of the future must be created by the interpretations and actions of today. The solution is always in the moment, stay there. Stay there long enough and you will find it. But don’t stay there alone. Get a general with scars. By general with scars i mean an experienced, non-judgmental crisis management guru. Get one to your side for guidance, accountability, and stratagem. This is what is missing in our many battles that create loss and defeat. People can help you with strategy; but in a crisis, you don’t need strategy, you need stratagem. I define stratagem as strategy that looks beyond the obvious with an unalloyed commitment to discerning the adversary and to defeat it, him, her or they. And that is not taught in schools, you earn it by surviving and thriving through many battles.
Stay in the moment, but stay there with a general with scars. Never forget, there’s rarely anything you can do that most people cannot do. What makes people exceptional and their results extraordinary are those seemingly inconsequential things that everyone may even know but won’t do. Being present in the moment is one of them. It’s a critical victory tool. This is the life! Let me get your feedback here. Go!