„It is not death that a man should fear,
but he should fear never beginning to live.“
- Marcus Aurelius -
It's not over yet. At least for now. But what can you learn from the whole situation? What lessons does a COVID-19 bring with it, that can be used in years to come? It's not the virus that teaches us anything, instead it's the situation of a crisis. No matter where you are in the world, there are a few things we should remember forever, such as washing our hands thoroughly. This has nothing to do with a pandemic, instead it should be done by everyone with care forever. This article won't be about hygiene measures, instead it'll be about real insights for life. Here are 5 conclusions that can be drawn from the crisis period of 2020.
1. A job is only temporary
In the past, it was common practice to do an apprenticeship in one company or business and then stay there until retirement. This is now only very rarely the case. Employers always try to force employees to stay in employment and to bind them to the company. You may know sentences like: "We are more than a team. We are a family" etc. You then feel obliged to sacrifice your last shirt for a job or at least to work overtime without ever receiving anything in return, just because that's what is expected of you.
Every job is different, of course, but very often you unfortunately encounter situations like this. First of all they plead for friendship, a sense of community, the ability to work in a team, etc. and then, when the company no longer needs it, they put you out on the street like a filthy wet tomcat. And unfortunately, many people had to make this negative experience during the Corona crisis. Some were still allowed to work at home, while others had their hours cut and slipped into short-time work. This is all understandable to a certain level, but for some it went differently. Too little profit and the people were fired.
This not only affects small craft businesses, but also giants like Amazon or Virgin. Bankruptcy or not. It doesn't matter what the reasons are. When a bad time comes for the company, it is also a bad time for the employees. Companies try to bind their employees to themselves, but it can happen at any time that all the effort you put into it, doesn't come back. It certainly does not affect all employers, but for many of them, even those who could afford it, there is no compensation for the efforts of the employees.
So why sacrifice everything? Stress, overtime, no time off, bad pay, etc. just to make yourself popular with the boss. If you like a job, that's fine. It's about distinguishing what you like to do and what is demanded of you without anyone ever saying thank you. 30 years of service and at the end you get a "thank you" and a cake. Was it worth ignoring the important things in your life and spending most of your lifetime on a job? Most people on their deathbed regret the things they didn't do more than the things they did. Too much (frustrating) work is also a great regret.
If you have to "suffer" all the time, it's just not right. Of course you have a certain responsibility towards your work, if only out of respect for other colleagues and superiors, but it shouldn't be a sacrifice. If you don't see any sense in going to a team-building-camp for a whole week, then don't do it. In the worst case, the boss might be a little angry, but he is only your superior at work, not your boss in life.
You always come first. Sometimes a little selfishness can't hurt before you do things to yourself that aren't good for you. I guess when it comes to survival, you'll take any job. But otherwise, you should always look for something better or best of all, do something that can be combined with your passion. It is never too late to turn your dreams into reality.
2. Always save money
Money is often tight. Everyone has probably lived through this situation at some point, unless you were born to rich parents. And just then it's very difficult to put something aside, but it's immensely important. Especially in times like these, when jobs are uncertain, you need to have some reserves.
You can imagine this situation:
You get fired because of the crisis or any other reason / until you get state aid or other benefits, some time passes (or as in some countries, there is no such thing) / landlord still wants his rent / suddenly the washing machine stops working.
An absolute horror scenario. The refrigerator must be filled, the family needs food and everyday necessities. For this alone you need money on the side. There are infinitely many situations in which money can be useful. But how can you manage this if you earn very little?
There is the 10% rule for this: Save at least 10% of your income for bad times and investments.
You should have saved at least 3-4 months' salary for reserves alone. The more the better. The rest can be invested.
The rule works quite well, even if you earn very little. 10% is not much and with this 10th part you weren't richer either, so you probably won't be much poorer without it. Better make restrictions on other things e.g. car, smartphone, electronics etc. than not to put away this 10%. It will give you much more benefit in the long run. Even small amounts of money will make a big difference over time. So if you have always wondered how you manage not to live from paycheck to paycheck without ever having any money left, this is the solution. Even if 10% wouldn't be possible at all, then set a fixed amount that is manageable for you.
To do this, create a standing order in which you transfer a fixed amount to a savings account just like rent or other basic costs. This is the easiest method. "You always pay yourself first," as Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad would say. Make it a habit to save a small percentage of your income. Cause you're just gonna sleep better. It would be a nice feeling not to worry about the salary coming in on time, or to be afraid that a household appliance, the car or anything else would break down. Wouldn't it be great, if you didn't need to take a loan for every new device because you just saved up enough for such cases. The advantages are obvious! And not only in times of crisis, but always!
3. Recognizing the true values
The true values of life can be different for each person. However, during this crisis, one thing was very clear: You noticed
how unimportant some things and how important others have become. What you took for granted before, is now no longer common/available, and you miss it and vice versa. Therefore, even if
everything returns back to normal on earth, you should ask yourself what is really important to you. With what do you spend your time, with which people, activities etc.? Does it fulfill you? Or
do you just do it because you have nothing better to do?
A few things that may not seem important to you anymore:
- Social media
- Electronic devices
Jewelry / Accessories
That doesn't mean you shouldn't dress nice anymore. It's more about general consumption, which has been cut back by the crisis. When you sit in your home office,
you hardly need the car anymore. Why should you need the latest clothes or the latest smartphone? Why just hang out on Instagram, the people are all at home as well.
A few things that might seem more important to you now:
- Family members
- People in general
- Arrange your leisure time yourself
Follow your passion
No matter if they are relatives, your closest friends or just the nice lady at the bakery. Social contacts are incredibly important for us humans. So what more can I expect from the latest iPhone than a weekend with loved ones. Maybe you've also learned in this time to handle your free time better. Maybe you have started new hobbies or finally dared to pursue your passion.
Don't get me wrong. If you have enough money and don't need to cut back, then of course the weekend and the smartphone and even new shoes are in the budget. But still, you should give things their true value. Of course it was useful to have the latest Playstation during a time when you're at home a lot, but how important are such things compared to your life goals and values?
Just ask yourself the following questions once in a while:
- What is especially important to me in life?
- Do I spend most of my time with things that fulfill me or not?
- Why do I not do what is important to me?
- And how can I reach my goals?
4. Health is everything
Especially now you can clearly see that. The whole quarantine has only one purpose, and that is to protect people's health, and even more the health of risk groups. However, health is not only important, it is actually the most important thing. What good is the best job, the fastest car and a nice amount of money, if your health doesn't allow you to enjoy these things? For some, the corona virus has left permanent damage to their lungs and they will probably need a respirator for life.
Such a life is also worth living and you can find happiness in many other fulfilling things, but it's a big limitation. It's not just Corona. Health is the trump card. If you lose it, it automatically becomes the top priority. And that shouldn't be the case. Your spirit rests in your body and the two are inseparable. Without one, the other couldn't exist.
So take care of your health! Do regular check-ups and health checks. Eat mostly healthy food and do some exercise. Not everyone has to be a vegan or a super athlete. Just take sufficient care of your body and of course of your mental health. Talk well and encourage yourself. Learn to love and educate yourself. Health, mentally and physically, is one of the most important things in life. Understand this and act accordingly!
5. Life is short
It is! Very short even, if you have a lot planned. It's worth remembering that sometimes. So if you look at the upper points like job, money, values and health, it all comes together.
Make the best of the time you are given!
You just don't know when it's over or what's coming. You don't have to be a pessimist, but life always plays along differently than it should. How many had a lot of plans, projects and ideas for 2020. A tiny little virus, invisible to us, has changed everything. Holidays, working conditions,relationships, family, exit restrictions and and and and... Everything has changed and all plans have been ruined.
Of course, you must never think "This all makes no sense anyway". That would be really pessimistic. You should have your dreams and always try to realize them, but you also have to expect that many things can turn out differently than you would like. Just don't miss out on your life, instead make an effort to achieve the things that are important to you. You don't know yet what your meaning of life is? That in itself is not too bad. There are always things that give you joy and you should pursue them as long as you can.
To put everything off until later is an illusion. For LATER it could already be too LATE! Make plans and fulfill a life, at your discretion.
Sometimes you just have to remember that you're mortal. It brings you back into the moment, makes you feel alive. And we have to take advantage of that feeling. We have to take advantage of life and not be taken advantage of by manipulative bosses, jobs or other people in general. We always have the reins in our hands, we just have to steer the horse in the right direction. The direction that WE want.
In the following you will find relevant articles on the individual points that will help you to make your life better.
I hope the article was helpful for you. If so, please share it, so others like you can benefit from it. I wish you the best.
- LdR -
Relevant articles that might interest you:
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