As I glance at my phone, I see the time which states my call has been in progress now for 2:17. That’s two hours and seventeen minutes. I have a call into my mortgage company to see what kind of offers they have for me, one of the tens (maybe hundreds) of millions of Americans who are worried, confused, stressed, and unsure of what the next few weeks, months, and maybe even years may have in store.
One thing is for sure: We WILL prevail. How do I know this? Well, as a species and civilization going back to the beginning of time, we’re undefeated. That’s one bet I like right now.
They say history repeats itself. This is no exception. Civilization for millennia has faced planet-enveloping catastrophic challenges before. I don’t need to name all of them but asteroids, plagues, world wars, financial meltdowns, and even usage of nuclear weapons come to mind first.
I’m 54 years old. Right on the cusp of being a Baby Boomer and Gen Xer. I do certainly have qualities of both. My generation has largely avoided any major catastrophes. My parents came within an eyelash of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crises and thousands died or were crippled by polio before a cure was found. My grandparents dealt with the Great Depression and WWII and their parents with the Spanish Flu and WWI.
Now I think my generation is next in line.
But with this current crisis, whether you feel it’s economic-related or health-related or both, we shall prevail too. I know this with 100% certainty.
Many of you know me as a motivational speaker. I have personally met many of you who are reading this blog right now. Others may have read my books, blogs, come to my workshops, or have seen me on my morning gig with Denver FOX 31 Good Day Colorado.
Now, I have to “eat my own dog food” as they say. I have to be my own personal motivational speaker on my own behalf, which right now, kind of feels like standing right next to a raging bonfire and trying not to focus on the heat from the flames.
Still, we—as we’re all in this together—must stay focused on the things we can control and affect.
Admittedly, to a certain degree, I do feel out of control. But slowly and methodically, I’m trying to take the bitter spoonful of cod liver oil, one sip at a time, which is to stay positive in the ugly face of adversity, and right now, of reality as we know it.
The Law of Control says we feel as good about ourselves and our life to the degree in which we have control over it. In other words, if you’re the captain of your own ship, does your vessel have a motor, rudder, and manifest or are you sailing in circles, or worse, bouncing off of rocks, reefs, and unable to avoid the likely waterfall at the end of your journey?
I choose control, and you need to also. What can we control during these current challenging and perhaps life-changing times? Let’s start with a short list:
1- Your Physical Health: This should be #1. Exercise(!), proper diet, supplements and vitamins, good sleep, avoiding bad habits, and heeding cautions about social distancing and avoiding crowds and unnecessary contact and interaction—are all paramount.
2- Your Mental Health: Staying in virtual contact with friends and loved ones, working on a goal or hobby, spending time with a beloved pet or even purchasing a pet.
3- Your Financial Health: If you feel unsure of which way the markets will swing, eject and stay on the sidelines for a while until you’re ready to jump back in. Work with all creditors and see what they have available for you in terms of deferments and leniency. Most all firms are offering assistance right now.
4- Stay Informed: Know what is happening and don’t unplug. But, stay away from clickbait which can include highly-charged negative stories about a looming End of Days to the Chicken Littles screaming the sky is falling. Try to remain objective and get your information and news from various sources as to gain a “common denominator” perspective.
5- Do Your Part: Giving back releases endorphins and makes you feel good about yourself. Maybe you can help an elderly neighbor via phone call or text and pick up some items if you go to the grocery store or even order online. Support local small businesses especially restaurants. Many are offering deals and free delivery right now.
(On hold now for 2:48:17)
One thing I’ve come to realize in my ripe old age is that life comes with trade-offs. For every action, there is a reaction. Where there’s a top, there’s a bottom. For every decision, there is a chain reaction of events and affects that follow, some good, some bad. Nothing in life is ever 0%/100%.
Did or do you earn a lot of money in a key position? If so, maybe it came at the expense of your health, time spent with loved ones, and elimination of you pursuing your hobbies and interests. So what was your actual cost of climbing the corporate ladder, making big bucks, and playing trains, planes, and automobiles the past few decades? If that is or was your choice, I’m not knocking it. That’s just one example. I’m sure you see my point.
When we do prevail through this challenging time, and as mentioned we most certainly will at some point, we will come out of it stronger–guaranteed.
What will be the silver lining? Here are a few thoughts:
- We, individually and as a country, will be far more prepared for the next, maybe even more severe, catastrophe. Be it war, another virus, natural disaster, or something else, the lessons learned now will pay large dividends in our future preparation. We will not get caught flat-footed again.
- We will have devised methods for fast-tracking approval of key drugs and vaccines, and retooling industry to mass produce mission-critical products (protective medical gear, medical equipment, or other disaster-related goods).
- There will be a greater emphasis on community, relationships, and religion. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I know the “shelter at home” order I’m under right now has made me think a lot about the relationships I’ve built, maintained, nurtured, and also the ones I’ve let slip away. I know I’ll have a different perspective once we get through this challenge period. Church attendance almost doubled in the months and years after WWII. I sense it will pick up quite a bit after this predicament passes too.
(At 3:04:54, the on-hold music stops, I hear a “click” and then a dial tone. After waiting for 3+ hours, I’ve been cut off. Thank you Caliber Home Loans. Time to “eat my own dog food” again, right? 😊)
- Many companies will realize that allowing employees to regularly work from home actually reduces bottom-line costs and overhead, allows workers flexibility, and results in a more productive and happier workforce. This will also reduce automobile traffic, congestion, pollution, and even job stress. The face of work as we know it now will be forever changed.
- Attitudes about pursuing wealth, status, and materialistic gain will likely shift—for the better. The definition of success will evolve. Today, most people measure success in dollar signs. There’s also a saying that goes you don’t want to be the richest guy (or woman) in the graveyard. I predict there will be an attitudinal shift to more fulfilling work as opposed to high-stress, high-status (and probably higher-paying) positions, as people step back, fly up to 50,000’ and focus on what’s really important in their life.
I want to thank the men and women who are sacrificing their health and working incredibly hard and long hours: the doctors, nurses, and other supporting medical staff that are giving us their all right now. They are the true warriors and heroes in this cause and fight.
Right now, we are outnumbered, outgunned, and currently, we’re losing some ground. Those are simply the untarnished facts of the case.
But we are a resolute and unyielding group. For the most part, we’re all “mutts” from different backgrounds and ethnicity and have come together over the centuries to assemble the greatest country on earth, and it wasn’t by dumb luck or accident. If it needs to get done, we do it. We don’t quit or give up or give in. We improvise. We collaborate. We create. We invent. We make it happen and always find a way.
I know we will this time, too.
Be safe, well, and mindful until we meet again, my friend.
Don | 877-212-3310 | [email protected]