As we start to unlock, we are all going to have to show some personal COURAGE. The COVID-19 crisis has made us aware of our mortality, and despite 'Track and Trace' apps helping to close down the virus, it is still out there in the community we live in, and we can't see it.
Despite this horrible threat, the lockdown may have allowed you to pause and look at yourself warts and all and perhaps let you reflect and reassess your life, your health, your relationships and your work.
The last time the world endured such a significant threat was the Second World War. Just over 75 years ago, our grandparents and great grandparents, who showed enormous courage and resilience during the war, were finally, after 5-years of fighting, able to celebrate Victory in Europe Day and have a chance to unlock from the grips of war.
Time to leave barracks
We are now facing a different threat to that of our grandparents. We have been confined to lockdown in our 'barracks' for weeks and at times seems like months, that despite the boredom and endless 'groundhog days', we have felt safe. The enemy we are fighting is not only the virus, but also our fears — fear and scarcity fuel a Viking or victim mentality.
Thinking back to my military times
It reminds me of my time on military operations as a young man aged 20 in charge of 30 men. I had to show courage, even though in the first few weeks on operations, I was terrified that I was going to die every time I stepped out of barracks.
Very quickly, I accepted that if my number came up and I was dealt the 'card of death' then that was it. On the other, I knew that if we followed the drills we had been taught, we were reducing the risks of being killed.
Follow the drills
To stack the odds in our favour, when on operations and facing an unknown and unseen enemy, we had to remember that the enemy only had to get it right once. We had to get it right 100% of the time.
So what all soldiers are taught throughout all the endless training is 'Stay Alert' and 'Follow The Drills".
You are going to need courage in the next few weeks and months, as you head out from the security of your homes, to travel to work on public transport and work in 'open-plan' offices.
You will need to 'Stay Alert' and 'Follow The Drills', but you can also do a few other useful things:
- Build up your immune systems in your bodies, so they are ready in case of a second spike and you catch it.
- Respect peoples personal space and not make them fearful.
- Live perhaps a lifeless wanting, instead focus on family, love and friendship.
- Acknowledge the issues:
- The possibility of catching the virus
- Loosing your job
- Being paid less
- Some parts of life and work never returning to the old 'normal'
- Seek help and support when needed.
- Improve your nutrition.
- Better sleeping habits.
- Increase your movement - get and stay fit.
- Proper light exposure or use red light photobiomodulation.
- Regular alignment of your body - so it can function correctly.
- Seek psychological help, if you need it.
You want to be able to thrive not just survive after the lockdown. You are going to need COURAGE if you are fearful.
The most powerful moments of our lives happen when we string together lights created by courage, compassion and connection and see them shine in the face of our struggles.
As a soldier and officer, I was always trained to move towards the threat and so in the last few weeks signed up as a volunteer for Team Rubicon and Op RE:ACT, which is using volunteer veterans to help support the NHS fight the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK. In just six weeks Op RE:ACT has achieved an astonishing amount. Currently, they have around 30 live tasks up and down the country; they have delivered over a million items of PPE, over 100,000 meals to NHS staff and vulnerable communities, and recruited over 5,000 spontaneous veteran volunteers.
As our great leader Winston Churchill said, " Fear is a reaction, Courage is a decision".
Don’t waste a crisis. Be courageous