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  • Writer's pictureMark Dickinson

Maintaining in Conflicting Times

How to maintain mental wellbeing, remain optimistic and grow your business in the current situation’.

Today is rather like watching a tragedy unfold in slow motion. We can see exactly what is happening and we can see that it is not going to end well. Everywhere we look we see negative news and see articles that just scare us. Finances have never been under so much pressure.

What comes next?

I know what comes next.

Greatness or nothing.

The outcome will depend entirely upon you. Yes. 100% upon you. There is no one to blame, there is nowhere to turn and shift the responsibility. You have to own this. Of course there is going to be assistance and there are help resources available to assist you in rebuilding, but what are you going to rebuild?

Are you an employee and now you do not have a job? What should you do now? Shock! You were living your life and doing your best and contributing to society. You were a great worker and you may even have been promoted. You had tenure.

And now your company is closed.

Or perhaps you are remote working and getting a small amount of income, nothing like where you used to be at. You are unable to move from your home and you are unsure who you can even talk to; after all, anyone could have the virus and you would not know. It is a nightmare and horror movie all rolled into one.

Where do I go from here? What should I do?

There are phases that everyone is going to have to go, and those that understand this will get through quickest.

It is vital for you to understand that you must work your way through this in your head. Everything happens in your head first. Getting your head right is the most important thing that you can do right now.

Before doing anything else you have to make a deal: Limit the news. Limit your exposure to the constant barrage of negative news, their readers and their negative questions and stories. Their stories are not your story.

We already know that the situation is bad, we know that we need every human to be a part of this and to pull together to help the world get through this. We know that you are going to face isolation, we know that you are going to have a lot of alone time. We know that you are going to have to create new ways of doing simple things.

You are also going to discover some new thoughts and feelings. You are going to realize that the size of your car, or your house, or your coolness is not quite as important as you once thought it was. You are going to discover that a nice word can quickly brighten up someone’s day. Your gratitude levels for those who hold society together in the medical world and take care of our security are going to soar.

Before things can improve we have to go through change.


This is the first reaction to almost anything that happens around us. We deny it. We try to create a false reality that everything is still ok and that things are not really changed, it’s a pause. Each person lives through denial in their own way. Until you embrace that the world is changed and will never be what it was, you cannot begin your new journey. The past is the past, be it yesterday or all of history, it is past. You cannot change it, no matter how hard you wish or dream or think or imagine. It is what it is. It is past. Let it go. Leave it there. If you throw out the trash, you don’t go back and dig through it again. It’s the same with the past. Let it go. You have to start thinking forward. What do I do now? Begin the next step.

Anger, frustration, bitterness

Naturally, as you begin to shift from denial you are going to start to blame. It’s normal. It will start with seemingly small things and escalate. You have to nip it in the bud. You have to get a handle on it immediately. You cannot let this grow. Your anger will only harm you. So let it go. Let go of the past, let go of the anger. Neither of them are going to help you get to where you need to be. Acknowledge that this is a tough time. Acknowledge that there people out there for whom this is worse than it is for you and be thankful. Be thankful that you are right where you are right now and for what you have. The fact that you are reading this is an indicator that you are in a good place.

I give up

This is normal in all change. You are faced with something so big that you throw up your hands and cry out, “What can I do about this?”

You must not give up. You must craft the next step. I need you to understand that what comes after this is the most important part of your life. It is your tomorrow. If you give up, there won’t be a tomorrow. So dump this idea. Let it go.


Here I am.

Now this is where things begin to change. And this is where you need to get to. And you need to get here as fast as possible. Finish with the denial, anger and ‘giving up’ and accept, this is a new world.

What awaits you in this new world?

It is a world of wonders. Do you remember way back when you had just gotten out of school and you did not really know what comes next? What was your emotion?

Write it down.

No seriously, write it down. Go back in your mind to your first job and write down how you felt when you just got started. What was your emotion? How did it feel? Write it down. Let me tell you: back then you did not know where you were going to end up.

I marvel at all the diversity in Dubai. There are people here from every part of the world. Every company thrives on diversity and there is an equality of humanity here that is unsurpassed. There is no racism, everyone is equal. The UAE is not our country, it is our host. We are all guests here. What a wonderful world. Everyone has the same opportunity. It is a land where dreams are made.

Do you remember that? Or did you forget?

You see, those feelings that you wrote down about how you felt when you got your first job are the same ones that propelled you forward to achieve your dreams. Your dreams are not dead. You are still here, so create new dreams.

In the creation of new dreams lies the path to your opportunities. Not silly dreams. Dreams of greatness.

To do this, we first need to take inventory. Right now, write down these things in a list;

What am I great at doing?

What is my primary skill?

What has been my greatest contribution in life?

What is my best quality as a person?

These are your personal assets. Write them down. Make a list and pin it to the wall, and keep on adding to it. Be honest about what you are great at. This is your moment. The slate has been wiped clean. You get to start all over again, but with a whole bunch of incredible skills that you have already picked up along the way. Amazing. This is a powerful mindset.

Now, supposing that you have these assets in your hand, where would you invest them? What would you do with them to produce a return?

If you have money you could invest it in many things. Where would you invest it? In a high return high risk fund? A low risk guaranteed return real estate deal? Would you go out there and try to invest on your own? Would you get advice?

Where will you invest your assets?. There is going to be an unparallelled labor market out there. The moment that companies begin to reopen there are going to be new rules. Businesses are going to change. They are not going to go back to the way they were. They are going to move forward.

And so must you.

Take your assets and assess them. Decide where you should invest them. Decide where you would get the best return on investment for them.

Create rituals for greatness.

In order for you to face the challenges ahead, there is no magic wand. You are going to have to work hard and the sooner you start, the better will be your opportunity. Do not wait until everyone is back to work to begin thinking about what you are going to do. Start now.

Ask questions. Ask your old boss what he or she has in mind. Ask questions to know what is going to be the plan for your company, for your job. Get clarity.

Be helpful. Be a helpful person. Be a nice person.

There are lots of people in companies who are mean, or spiteful or gossip. I know, I deal with this all the time when coaching people. Why? There is no space for selfishness in the new world. The competition is not inside the company, it is outside. It is in how much value you can add to the business.

You have to be the best version of you, right now. Here’s how:

Wake up early and get your day going long before everyone else. Sleep earlier so that you can get up early. This is critical to your growth. Amazing things happen in your life when you wake up early.

Walk. Take the simplest exercise known to humanity. Walk. When you walk, listen to something that inspires you. Great music, great speeches, whatever it is that gets you fired up.

Work out. Get your body to stretch. Move it. No matter how old you are, move your body. At least five minutes. It does miracles for your mind and for your confidence. You become what you think about, and when you work out, you begin to dream of great things. Give your body the chance to live your dreams.

Write down your gratitude. Seriously. Mental health comes back to gratitude. The more you are thankful the more power you have. Gratitude is positivity on fire. It is the ultimate weapon against all things. It fills you up with excitement and offers you unlimited possibilities. You cannot be grateful and angry at the same time. The more you are grateful the more you fill yourself up with goodness. The more goodness inside you the more value you have. The more value you have the more people want you to be with them.

Write your goals for today. Take a moment to write down a mission for today. Do it every day. Never skip. Each day that you set yourself a mission for the day, your whole life will conspire to make it happen. Give the orders and this wonderful person called “YOU” will respond.

Do these things every day and you will have powerful mental health. You will be strong in your mind and this will help you to reach out to others and help them to be strong too. You will create a wave of positivity that will inspire.

Your aspirations for the future will become clear if you just do this every day. As you do this in the morning hours so you will know calmness and a clear sense of your personal direction.

You will focus on your business and begin to figure out what your future business model is going to be.

Attack your life with the same zest that you did your first job. A little fear and a lot of excitement.

One thing is for sure, you are going to get through this.

Will life be the same again? No. Never.

Will it be better? Absolutely, if you get through to acceptance and own it. For you.

Photo by geralt

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