Let’s look at the Coronavirus Outbreak through the Story Triangle. If life is about solving problems then I can’t think of a better time to try to see how we might use this strategy:
If you have been following the news, you’ve seen stories from all around the world. We’ve even seen our highest Medical Officials in direct disagreement with, at least, the tone of the President. There have been some incidents of racism and discrimination towards Asians. Stores have sold out of certain goods and, in particular, masks have been bought out almost everywhere. Panic, anxiety, and fear over one’s own safety can cause our imaginations to run wild and allow us to convince ourselves that it’s okay to be unreasonable. But what’s actually true?
Ownership / Fundamentals – What’s true?
- We are a global economy. We are incredibly interconnected as humans inhabiting the earth. The moment we become bigoted towards others is the moment we change our everyday dealings. In America, our farming/produce is driven heavily by immigrant labor (legal and illegal). Enjoy your meals and be grateful for the foreign hands that may have harvested it under strenuous circumstances.
- As someone who has worked in hospitals, when every healthy person reaches for a mask it means you don’t have any left for those who are sick. These means that when the sick person coughs or sneezes they release their potentially infected droplets into the air. If you’re healthy, keep doing things that promote health like a good diet, exercise, meditation, etc. – all of which can be done while observing social distancing, hand washing, small gatherings, disinfecting etc. Versus… running to the store, to buy a product that someone else needs, and increasing your unnecessary exposure to strangers.
- People have died from this and that’s devastating. It’s probably a good time to focus on personal responsibility (Ownership) for our own health habits while showing kindness and empathy towards others.
- More Ownership – People are going to lose hours at work and businesses will be closed permanently. Cash flow is what keeps a business alive. Except for the most essential goods and services, cash flow is coming to a halt for many businesses. Whether by force or by order from an employer, people are going to have time on their hands. That time can be spent worrying about income or that time can be spent figuring out how to gain a new income. It can also be spent getting in better physical shape, cleaning the house, learning some new skills, reading, having some good conversations with other members of your household, calling people you haven’t talked to in a while, and on and on… Simply being afraid solves nothing. Take Ownership of the problems that this scenario has created and remember that Fundamentals win Fights.
As I mentioned in the last two bullet points above, people are losing their jobs and people are dying. Two months ago things were fine for many of the people experiencing massive upheaval right now. This is precisely what I am talking about when I say that sometimes the story we have for life doesn’t map to the reality we are experiencing. Even our government wasn’t prepared for this in the way they wanted to be. As I’m writing this, the guidance on the whole situation has been changing day by day. Many people are struggling with not knowing what the next two weeks is going to look like. I think many of our officials are struggling to simply say ‘I don’t know…’ . There are events in life that we can not control that expose all of our faulty assumptions. This is one of those times and I am going to encourage you to embrace it.
- When listening to the media do your best to focus on factual statements and safety recommendations.
- When talking with others try to focus on communicating truth rather than being ‘right’. Also, be kind to those close to you who are more prone to be on edge but also communicate to them that it isn’t your responsibility to carry their anxiety, fear, or panic.
- Remember, it’s your choice in how you experience this moment. We can chose to take forward some solid lessons learned or we can spend the next several months living in fear.
As an Example…
Currently, most Mixed Martial Arts gyms are closed… I’m taking this time to work on solo drills and continuing to maintain my strength and conditioning program which is based on exercise that can all be done in my small apartment.
There are events that have been canceled and could be canceled that I was scheduled to present for. This time has been the impetus for me to really start brainstorming what an online curriculum for personal development might look like. I’ve already had discussions with teachers (who are having to figure out distance learning as well) on tools they might like for helping develop personal character in students.
Doing my best to observe the recommendations for social distancing. I don’t get freaked out by these things because I’m a mentally and physically strong person in his 30’s. I had to check myself and remember that I can transmit the virus to someone who is not as strong. That means I have to think beyond myself. That’s a good thing.
Real Talk People… No excuses… Adapt and Overcome.