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Opportunity Waits in the Time of Uncertainty

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Wow, what happened to the world in the past week?

I’m writing to you from my sanitized desk in an underground bunker … well, it’s not quite like that. But what a difference a few days makes.

All of a sudden, millions of people have found themselves working remotely or not working at all, unexpectedly arranging childcare because the schools have closed, and running over neighbors in the toilet paper aisle at Costco.

Well, guess what: I’m not going to say “life goes on” (even though it will) and I won’t claim this isn’t a big deal (it is). We should take COVID-19 seriously and do what we can to stay safe.

That said, there’s only so much you can control. Sure, you should wash your hands more often, but ultimately what happens next is out of those same hands.

If there’s any good news, it’s this: with uncertainty comes opportunity.

I’m not saying there’s a silver lining to a tragedy. I just mean that when everything around you changes, you have a chance to make changes as well.

They say that resistance is futile, but it all depends on what you’re resisting. Often a good approach is: stay the course (your vision) but change the plan (your strategy).

For example, I have a book coming out in twenty-one days. I was supposed to go on a big tour: hundreds of people have signed up, we have venues booked, plane tickets and hotels, etc. But since planet earth is effectively shutting down for a while, the tour is being postponed as well. (I do still hope to make it out there eventually. You can add your name to a city list and we’ll keep you posted.)

The thing is, I love meeting readers. But I also don’t want to put people at risk, so I understand that some plans will have to change.

My real objective is to get the book to as many people as I can. It’s not me that people need—but they do need to hear about the power of self-reliance in a time of trial, which is what the new book is all about.

So now I’m thinking differently. How can I reach tens of thousands of people, one-by-one if necessary, without going from city to city and speaking to 150 of them at a time every evening?

I don’t have all the answers, but that’s what I’m working on. I’ll share more with you soon, and if you have any ideas, let me know.

As for you—look on the bright side. You can’t control what a virus wil do, any more than you can control what another person will do. But within yourself, there is opportunity in the midst of uncertainty.

World-changing businesses are started during recessions. Layoffs lead to new careers, sometimes ones that people never before considered but that end up becoming far more fulfilling than what they were doing before.

If you’ve always wanted to work remotely and your boss has always said no, now you have the chance.

If you’re self-quarantining somewhere, how can you emerge in two weeks with a new book, podcast, album, work of art, or just a big idea?

It’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Good things will happen in the midst of the chaos.

Last but not least, know this: there is a place for you during this time. We’ll get through it together. Be aware, but don’t be afraid.

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About Anas Alaoui

Anas Alaoui

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