March 31, 2020



In my younger days I was an advent runner.  At my best I could run a 10K in 30 to 35 minutes.   I trained for the Chicago Marathon twice, but lack of preparation prevented me from completing either.  To successfully prepare for a marathon one must establish a daily schedule. Each day you must run a different distance, but never did I run the total distance until the day of the event.  The key was preparation and diligence. 


Our approach to the corona virus is like preparing for a marathon.  I make this comparison because at the end of this pandemic there will be many opportunities to enhance our lives.  One can either control one’s destiny or leave one’s future to chance.  Running a 10K became 2nd nature for me.  I could run a decent time with little or no preparation.  Laziness and complacency had robbed me of my competitive zeal.  The first marathon that I attempted I was not prepared.  I was overconfident and the result was embarrassing.  The second time I really attempted to prepare, but took shortcuts.  This coronavirus has created a new normal and with the new normal comes untold prospects for this country’s future.


The nature of these opportunities is difficult to quantify but opportunity is where chance and preparation intersect.  Many are using this social distancing period as a time to binge watch Netflix.  Waiting until we defeat the coronavirus, (and we will defeat the virus) to look for opportunities is like showing up on the day of the race with no preparation.  Time is a very valuable commodity.  To the wise among us, time is worth more than gold.  Take advantage of this respite! The first step is to put a stake in the ground.  What do you want to be doing on the other side of the pandemic?  Don’t just choose the first thing that comes to mind.  This will require a detailed self-assessment.

SWOT analysis is an effective tool to use during this examination.  Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats is an organizational development method that is also effective on an individual basis. SWOT analysis results are then converted into goals, which represent the most important of all personal improvement ideas. Goals give you a sense of purpose and direction, a process to keep score, and the confidence that only comes from knowing where you’re going.   “To have...you must become!” might aptly describe the number one reason that most people will never reap the rewards of hard work. If they never adequately invest in their goals, then they never have any real chance of attaining them.


Finally, goals are useless without an action plan.  What specific measures are required to operationalize your goals?  A well-designed action plan can make it easier for you to track and realize your goals. Whether you have a career, business or personal goal, you can use this document to create a clear path to success.  Remember: opportunity is when chance and preparation intersect.


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