Now Is Not The Time To Be Afraid of Change
It’s possible to grow personally during a crisis by adapting the “ant philosophy” to daily life.
28 April 2020
Change is unavoidable. Change is inevitable. Change is inescapable. Sometimes it is within our control, but most often it is not. That is when we need to adjust. While some changes are small and easy to adapt to others can be large and, more importantly, difficult to process but either way, we need to learn how to anticipate them. We need to be proactive rather than reactive.
I would like to share with you a simple but very powerful concept that entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn devised called "the ant philosophy." This view identified four key lessons from the behavior of ants that can help us lead better lives and improve daily:
1. Ants never quit
If ants are heading somewhere and you try to stop them; they will always take a different direction. They will climb over, under or around but will never give up.
They do not worry about whether a task is tough or cannot be done, they just go and do it. Ants follow what is called the “ant trail.” They do not get lost as long as they follow the line. Even if sometimes, an obstacle obstructs their way and loses their trail they look around to find it again.
What a sleek attitude to apply in life. No matter who we are or where we come from, we all experience tough times and tend to lose our paths; whether it is in our career, within our families or friendships "when the going gets tough, the tough get going," but it doesn't mean we should lose faith and give up automatically. Do not quit until you find it.
We are all in this lockdown together for the foreseeable future. Although we may experience a wealth of challenges and setbacks more than usual, it is important to embrace the situation calmly and learn to cope by remaining positive. Keep looking around. The trails cannot be that far.
The truth of the matter is life throws us challenges and curves balls we sometimes believe are insurmountable and at times it may seem easier to give up especially when we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. The question of why do some people seem to be destined to succeed at whatever they do, where others are prone to underachieve and fail? The answer is all about mindset. Grit enables us to dig deeper than we ever have before to push ourselves further than we ever thought we could. So, do not feel discouraged or defeated. Hold your head high, dig deep to find your inner strength and realize you have more grit than you ever thought you had.
2. Ants think winter all summer
Ants are realistic. By gathering their food in the middle of summer, they are preparing and storing up for winter. Although it would be nice to experience summer all year round, it is crucial to think ahead and implement solid contingency plans, so we have time to prepare and deal with challenges better. Even the best-laid plans run into roadblocks at times destroying contentment and security. The solution is to adapt as best as we can. Just like during lockdown, in the face of difficulties, several businesses have adapted to the situation and changed the way they operate to respond to newer needs. For instance, although pubs and restaurants have shut down, instead of going to our local for a family meal on a Sunday we are now having it delivered straight to our home.
Dig deep to find that ant within you. It will enable you to take action, embrace your responsibility, control your responses and become proactive.
3. Ants think summer all winter
During the winter months, the ants remind themselves that the cold will not last long, and they will be out in no time. On the first warm day, you can be sure to see them march along with one another. It is a great analogy, as the cold represents the social distancing during this lockdown and enable us to reflect; testing times teaches us resilience and remind us that tough times always come to an end eventually.
An opportunity to pause and refocus on our lives. Enjoying every precious moment while reconnecting with our families, learning new skills, for instance, I have signed up for a photography course, something I would not have normally done.
Take the time to talk to your colleagues whether it is on the phone or video calls; it will give you a sense of normality to your day and strengthen the relationships so when you eventually return to the office you will feel like you have not missed out as much. It is a wonderful opportunity to reset and reshape.
So as difficult as it can be, enjoy the present moment in making each day meaningful and express gratitude for all the small and simple things we take for granted, like our health and the people around us.
4. Ants think “all-you-possibly-can”
An ant will gather “all it possibly can" during the summer to prepare for the winter. Ants do not have quotas philosophies. If an ant can do more, it will. Ants are the workhouse insects that we do not think much about, but they work for the benefit of their community looking after and caring for one another.
During this lockdown time, we seem to have been acting like ants ourselves taking more time for one another. Our human skills have resurfaced, and we see the importance of taking on more responsibilities to help one another simply by picking up groceries for an isolated neighbor, having a chat with a concerned friend or lending a hand for someone in need.
Both ants and humans are not that much different. They are both invincible. We set off on our mission and do whatever it takes to accomplish our goals. We both persevere in thinking we can do anything that is in our power and beyond. Any leader of any tribe believes in their team, they will stand by them and protect them that what makes them invincible.
No matter the project, both ants and humans will always reach the summit as grit will never let either of us down.
That is when the impossible becomes possible.
Change may be unavoidable, inevitable, and inescapable but it is crucial in everyday life as it helps us to grow personally and professionally. In our work environment, it encourages us to explore new ideas as well as increase commitment.
While on a personal basis we discover new insights, it enables us to add a new human skill on our personal C.V feeling successful for overcoming what felt impossible right at the start.
So, if you want to succeed, dig deep to find that ant within you. It will enable you to take action, embrace your responsibility, control your responses and become proactive. Expect things not to go to plan; there is so much that is not in our control. The only thing we can control is our outlook on life. So, let’s take it one day at a time and keep putting one foot in front of the other.