How can we prepare ourselves for crises like the one in which we currently find ourselves? The key lies in “micro-adversities,” says mindset coach and speaker Marcus Aurelius Anderson, author of the book, The Gift of Adversity: Overcoming Paralysis and Pain to Find Purpose.
“The reality is most people that are fearful right now (due to the COVID-19), they’re not really scared….they’re not prepared,” Anderson told Freedom Media Network founder Curt Mercadante (view video above).
Anderson spent a year paralyzed from the neck down after a severe spinal injury that occurred while training to deploy with the U.S. Army. After dying on the operating table twice, the surgeons saved his life, but told him he'd never walk again. Anderson remained paralyzed for a year, and over that time began to see his adversity not as a curse — but as a gift.
Today, after making a miraculous recovery, he is a speaker, mindset coach, author, and host of the “Conscious Millionaire Epic Achiever” podcast.
Anderson also is a black belt in four martial arts, and it is in that context that he and Mercadante discussed the importance of preparing oneself to deal with major crises.
“If you know that you're getting into the ring and you know somebody else is training to get in the ring to knock your head off, there is no better motivation in the world than to understand that, ‘If I don't do my roadwork or if I don't work on my head movement, I'm going to get knocked out and get hurt,’” said Anderson.
So how can we prepare ourselves for the unexpected “punches” that come in times of crisis?
“A lot of people don't see these things coming. This is why I've always sort of preached the gospel of finding micro-adversities every day,” explained Anderson. “Cold showers, Tabata training, diet, exercise, giving yourself these things that force you to open into another area.”
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These “micro-adversities,” he said, can train us to better deal with the anxiety triggered by the “fight, flight, or freeze” response in times of crisis.
“The definition of anxiety is choosing not to choose, and so what you were saying about cortisol and about adrenaline, our society today does not know the difference between a true threat and a perceived threat,” said Anderson. “They don't know the difference between a person who's mad at you or gives you the stink-eye at the store, compared to a person who really is coming at you with something difficult.”
He said the best course is to start taking action to break out of the “freeze” stage.
“Take action in some way, shape, or form. It may not be the best action, but it may be that you want to get from here to here and you have to take these small actions leading up to that,” he said.
“Adversity,” said Anderson, “if we look at it properly, will strengthen us.”
“If you’re in a position where you can help people, this is what you should be doing. You should be reaching out, checking on your friend, checking on your family, checking on that person down the road,” he said. “If you've ever been through adversity, real adversity in your life, if you learn the lesson, your empathy will grow immensely. Because if you've ever fallen down and needed somebody to help you and somebody reached out and gave you that hand, you will never forget who that person was. You will never forget how good you felt having that. So now it's up to us to continue to do that, especially in times like this.”
Watch Anderson’s full interview with Mercadante by clicking here.