Photo: Author supplied

In the most challenging of situations, if you’re open and willing, you can tap into your superpower of creativity and make a magic bullet that could be the solution to someone else’s problem while providing a sense of meaning and purpose.

Mum is currently transcribing my Grandmother’s memoirs, Granny had the sharpest memory, she could remember days, dates and details like no one I’ve ever met.  She not only recorded her own story; she has told my Grandfather’s and some of my Father’s.

This story is an edited excerpt from Granny’s memoirs of Grandad’s time in World War II.

My Grandfather, Tom Eliot was a highly respected tradesman as a Fitter and Turner. He served in World War II and was the Sergeant of his Unit, Grandad’s Unit had a couple of recovery sections, their job was to follow the battle and bring in any parts of rifles, machine guns, tanks, pieces of planes and whatever they could find then take it back to the workshop. Grandad and the men in the workshop used the pieces to build more rifles, guns or anything they could get back into action.

A challenge that the smoker’s faced was they couldn’t keep their matches dry enough to light their cigarettes.

Grandad had a creative mind; in the last six months of the war the idea came to him to make cigarette lighters out of 303 bullets, or Japanese bullets if they could get them. Grandad and his mate started making these cigarette lighters in their spare time to relieve boredom (this was one of their many challenges).  “They charged ten shillings (about a dollar) to their own men and 30 shillings to the Yanks. He made over 600 pounds and wished he had thought of it when he first went over there.” Granny was instructed to buy flints and send them over to Grandad as it was the only thing they couldn’t get. Inside the lighters they used aeroplane fuel. 

As we approach a unique way of honouring our Anzacs’ amid the chaos that COVID–19 has brought, there are poignant messages in my Grandfather’s story on creative and helpful ways we can combat boredom during lockdown. Here are four tips to help you:

Allow yourself to get still so you can get focused

As the great Marcus Aurelius quoted “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

Often, we are too close, too immersed, too busy or maybe in the COVID crisis too bored or stressed to see our way into, or out of something. By allowing yourself quiet time to get still and focussed the incessant mental chatter finally quietens and you’re able to listen to the whispers of wisdom within.

So, find yourself a quiet and comfortable position that is free from distractions, grab yourself a cuppa, a pen and some paper.

Now you’re sitting quietly and starting to focus…

What are your unique skills?

One of the best ways to get out of your head and into your heart is by offering a helping hand and providing a solution to a problem.

Each of us have a unique set of skills, these are often overlooked as we’re usually too caught up in feelings of not being good enough. Tell your inner critic “thanks, I’ve got this” and set your timer for 15 minutes.  It’s time to gather your empty shells and get ready to ignite your flame.

Write a list of all the things you love doing and are good at. Try not to over think it just allow your mind to free flow so everything and anything comes up.

What challenges are being experienced?

Now you’ve created a list of what you love doing and what you’re good at make a list of the challenges people are currently experiencing.

You may also like to think of the challenges you’re currently experiencing, many great ideas are born from a need to solve a personal problem.

Once this list is finalised circle the challenges and the skills that make a good match.

What magic bullet can you create to combat a challenge?

The next step is putting all the pieces together to make your own magic bullet, if you’re still feeling a little stuck here’s a few ideas that may be the flint to your flame.

  • Offer to volunteer, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer while maintaining a physical distance
  • If you enjoy art and craft what can you create to brighten the world with your work?
  • If you have a café or restaurant, think of ways to get your produce into the homes of others
  • Create online workshops that are unique to your skills
  • If you’re handy on the tools, what can you make or teach that will help others?
  • If you have a beauty salon, create packs for your clients with DIY instructions
  • If you enjoy writing, write articles
  • Video conference someone who is experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • What challenges have you overcome? Chances are others are experiencing something similar. Your solution may just be the magic bullet in helping another in need

Many great ideas and innovations come from times of extreme challenge, by looking for opportunities amid the challenge it opens the door to possibility and purpose.

What can you start creating today to bring hope for tomorrow?

“Be your own magic bullet, create a solution to another’s challenge, listen to the wisdom within”  –  Rebecca Hannan

Rebecca Hannan is known as The Momentum Maker.

Your workplace wellness expert. Specialising in working with organisations and whole communities to take back control of your life so you can live and work WELL.

Rebeca’s passion and enthusiasm for living and working well is infectious. Her mission is to educate, inspire and empower you to take back control of your life so you can live and lead a life of wellness.

She is the author of The 30 Day Momentum Maker Challenge workbook. A book crafted with love to help you get out of your funk and into your flow.

Wife, mother, entrepreneur, runner, yoga lover, salad queen, chaos buster………The Momentum Maker