We have lived and are living in uncertain times. And one thing I have learned that some times are more uncertain than others, it’s all relative.
The United States was coming out of a recession when I graduated from college. There was much uncertainty. There was high inflation, the Cold War was still there, interest rates were so high it was difficult to get a mortgage under 15%, and there was more labor than jobs. My life was filled with uncertainty.
One of the first things my mentor recommended I do was to make a long-term plan: 20 years, ten years, and one year. I did that and detailed out my long-range plans. But in 2023, the problem with doing that is that we live in a time of unpredictable change.
What happened in 1983 was like what happened on January 15, 2009. As I said that evening on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, shortly after surviving the Miracle on the Hudson, it was “controlled chaos.”
When I speak, I share what I call ” history or geography lesson time” to put some background and perspective on certain parts of what happened that day with those who may be of a younger generation or have never had the opportunity to travel. I believe that if you know your history and have a global and/or geographic perspective, you can build your resiliency as you will have references on how others have built theirs.
It’s vital to have a long-term vision. But now my goals are based not on 20 years but around ten years decades goals, which means I have a focus for goals for a decade, such as a decade focused on philanthropy or financial freedom etc. As I wrote in my blog on May 15, 2023, “139,” my goal is to live to 139 years old. If someone is going to live that long, you better have a long-term vision.
And now with that perspective on how I approach goals, I have to think strategically and have a future state dream. But now, with all the uncertainty in the world, I have learned that you must have a mindset of strategic flexibility so that you can anticipate fast, pivot fast, and act fast.
If you have heard my updated keynote, I share the most often asked question I get every week.
“How did you get back on a plane after you survived a plane crash?”
What people are really asking me is, “How did you build your resiliency after all the uncertainty you faced during that time?
I share six strategies I employed to “bounce back” and build that resiliency, and though, what it really comes down to is I had a mindset of strategic flexibility.
The idea of this mindset was and is to keep my family, my friends, my business associates, and team tuned into the way I see the world ( my worldview) and be proactive in adapting or pivoting ( my life conditions).
How I have done this is to acknowledge that there is constant uncertainty in my personal and business lives with those whom I am close to or work with. I and we are more proactive and agile I and we will build the resilience we need to grow.
What I learned during the uncertainty of COVID was that the people who had built their resiliency, during those chaotic times became an opportunity to gain their competitive advantage and emerged stronger on the other side.
When I wrote my book ” From Turmoil to Triumph,” it was a way for me to share twelve of those strategies my mentor and subsequent mentors taught me and how I used them to survive a plane crash and grow and impact others.
Since we released the book, what I have learned the lessons I share in the book were about lessons I learned that helped me build my resiliency, which not only prepared me for my life, business, and growth out of a plane crash but also how to create opportunities out of uncertain times.
I learned that what Bill, Tony, and others taught me, and I developed was a mindset of strategic flexibility so that could anticipate fast, pivot fast, and act fast.
This upcoming week, focus on anticipating quickly and being agile to start building your resilience muscles. Anticipation, Agility, and Resilience are more urgent during uncertain times.
In my upcoming book, ” The Limitless Life,” I share fifteen strategies on how I built those resiliency muscles after the Miracle on the Hudson. These are the exact strategies I used to return to the Hudson River and swim with Navy Seals and recently with Special Operations in Coronado Bay, San Diego.
You can do the same. It starts with finding your “whos for your hows.” A mentor and coaches who can compress the decades it usually takes to get your outcomes into days.
We all have “surprises” pop up, and if we learned anything from the pandemic, is uncertain times are a fertile time for those who want to create opportunity out of uncertainty.
And when you do that, that will be the point in time that changes everything and you start creating your own flight plan for your future.