Other than technology, what do Microsoft, General Motors and Uber all have in common?
They were founded during times of crisis.
Microsoft was founded in April 1975 during the oil embargo recession, which caused the stock market to crash and saw GDP decline by 3.4 per cent, and unemployment rise to 9 per cent.
General Motors was founded in 1908, during a US recession which was triggered by a San Francisco earthquake. Now it’s valued at US$32 billion with 164,000 full-time employees.
Ride-sharing app Uber was founded during the 2008 global financial crisis, when GDP fell 4.3 per cent and unemployment surged to 10 per cent.
And if you play your Covid-19 cards right, there’s no reason you couldn’t be the next billionaire founder, Chicken Soup For The Soul author and NY Time best-selling author Jack Canfield told Yahoo Finance.
Surround yourself with positivity
It’s easy to get caught in the humdrum of lockdown, consuming negative news and moping around in your pyjamas all day.
“People are being bombarded by the media, which is often sensational, and it’s pretty much the same old - more people dying, more people getting sick, the second wave is coming and so forth,” he said.
But rather than fall into a downward spiral, people should surround themselves with the kind of people, words, books, online seminars or podcasts that would inspire them, Canfield said.
“You can go to YouTube and watch TED Talks, and hear speakers like myself or Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Les Brown talk for 18 to 20 minutes.
“It can literally raise your spirits up.”
If you’re unsure where to start, Canfield recommended podcasts by Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss and the TED Radio Hour.
He also suggested Dave Ramsay, Entrepreneur on Fire and The Good Life Project.
“You can go online, type in 100 motivational podcasts, and you’ll find plenty to listen to to replace the negative focus most people have right now with happiness.
Stop creating a negative future
Your next step is to stop imagining a negative future, Canfield said.
“One of the things that creates fear, sadness, depression and anxiety is imaging a negative future,” he said.
“I was working with a nurse who worked with cancer patients, and the people who had a really positive future in their mind were the ones who often survived.”
The patients who didn’t have a clear vision of a positive future would, by and large, not survive, Canfield said.
“So we have to use the power of our imagination in service of ourselves and our dreams and our vision.
“And, unfortunately, what a lot of people are doing right now is visualising a negative future.”
Doing so programs the mind with images of what you don’t want, which directs energy towards our amygdala and the hippocampus - the area of our brains where fear and stored memories of negative things live, according to Canfield.
“You are therefore hijacking energy from the prefrontal cortex of your brain where rational and creative thinking takes place, where intuition and spiritual thinking takes place.”
Build your vision
A morning routine involving exercise, meditation and learning can help your mind build its vision.
“I call it the morning ‘hour of power’,” Canfield said.
“It involves 20 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of vigorous exercising and then 20 minutes of reading - something uplifting, inspiring or informational that gives you a new mindset or a new skill set.”
Canfield himself meditates for 20 minutes in the morning and for 10 minutes before he goes to bed, calling the practice a “de-stressor”.
“There's something called a relaxation response that occurs,” he said. “You can feel your shoulders relaxing, but also you start to see some of the stupid things you keep thinking over and over and you start to see why you freak yourself out.”
If you’re not a morning person, exercise at any time is a key ingredient to getting the mind out of a negative state, he said.
“People aren’t sleeping, they’re not moving their bloodstream, they’re not drinking enough water,” he said.
“Get into physical activity - whether it’s running on a treadmill, cycling, walking around the block.”
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