Learning in crisis

Seeing the wood for the trees… as hard as it may be.

Life happens.

Often we’ll go through times in life when things are just plain crazy and we’ll get so bogged down in the obstacles and issues we’re trying to fix, and miss the important things- the things that don’t need fixing. But rather learning.

Sometimes we’ll get overwhelmed by the problems we’re facing and struggle with answering the questions “How am I going to get out of this?” or “What are you going to do now?” When instead what we need is to take a moment. Pause. Reflect. Learn.

We should ask ourselves “What is the lesson here?” “What can I take away from this difficult situation?”.

It’s our human nature to want to fight back and get out from between the rock and the hard place, but we could be missing out on the really important life lessons we should be learning instead.

1. Take a moment.

Getting alone with our thoughts can be a good way to get perspective on the situation we’re in- whatever works for you. Coffee shop, a long run, headphones etc. It’s important to get perspective, to see the wood for the trees. So get out of the forest you’re rushing through and take a look from the outside.

2. Ask the right questions.

Once we’ve taken a moment away, we shouldn’t try and solve all the problems or think of the next solution to the current obstacle. Asking ourselves how things got to this point, or what contributed to the build up of challenges, or what did I miss that lead to this crisis, can help us understand the current situation better and help us see what we missed along the way.

3. Take action.

Now that we have assessed our situation, and understand how we got here, we can take action. Now a key to not continuing to feel overwhelmed is to not try and solve all the problems all at once. Pick a few and decide on a simple course of action for each that will improve the situation for each.

4. Rinse and repeat.

Now that we’re making small steps of progress, repeat the process. Take a moment. Ask the right questions. And finally, take action.

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