The country will reopen. It will. I am proud to be in Tennessee which begins next week. While it will vary from place to place, eventually, we will be out of quarantine, businesses will reopen, toilet paper will be well stocked. And while there’s a lot of uncertainty and fear – we don’t really know what that will look like or how long it will take. The reality is, it is beginning.
I am not going to get into the past of who, what, when and why about this crisis. Suffice it to say we do not know what we do not know. Most of the experts and models that were followed to make decisions were wrong. It is tragic that people died and I believe in an effort to “do the right thing” we underestimated the Law of Unintended Consequences when we shut the country down the same way everywhere. Many questions need to be answered.
Here are some of the things I believe to be true.
While a lot of things are changing, a lot will still be the same. I remember Jim Rohn was asked about the future. He said, “Things will pretty much be like they have always been.”
How we set ourselves up now while the world “hit the pause button” will matter greatly to how we adjust to it being open.
Mindset. attitude and energy is everything and can truly impact how you see the world.
The first time I went white water rafting, our guide told us that if you get thrown out of the raft, try to get a good breath and keep your feet up. Then he said something I will never forget;
“In case of an emergency, you must take an active role in your own rescue.”
I know that coronavirus and the quarantine has affected you in some way. I wish it was simply an inconvenience, but realistically it has had major consequences – perhaps a lost job or business, a friend or family member ill, conflict with those around you.
Whatever it is, I understand the personal and often painful toll this virus is causing individuals and our country as a whole. As an entrepreneur whose main job is to present at live events for corporate America – it has made a huge impact on my business. Like EVERYTHING cancelled. Yikes! The good news is I believe that many will reschedule….eventually.
I wish I could always say that I’m totally okay with it, I know this will pass and we will come out better than ever. On the good days, this is what I do tell myself, and often what I truly believe.
But I’m human. There are bad days, fear, uncertainty and doubt. I think about many of my current and past clients struggling, friends at the airlines/restaurants/hotels around the country, 20 million newly unemployed and Lord knows how many entrepreneurs who saved and dreamed to start their business and it is now destroyed or on the brink. The mental anguish and depression inflicted. That’s real.
That’s when I go back to my rafting guide’s advice – you must take an active role in your own rescue. I can wallow in self-pity over cancelled events and loss of business, or I can look to the future with hope. I set myself up for success with well-planned, precise and strategic steps to come out of this better than when I went in.
So here is some advice on how to position yourself for a successful reopening of the country, and of yourself.
1. Turn Obstructions Into Opportunities
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – a streak starts with one. Long-term change only happens when you’re committed, never when you’re interested. Think back to the excuses you’ve used in the past when you didn’t meet a goal. I bet for at least one of them, the “barrier to entry” was time. Well – for many of us, we suddenly have a lot more time on our hands. So think of something you’d like to accomplish. What new habits could you adopt now? What bad habits must you stop now? What would have obstructed you from achieving your goal? What opportunities do you currently have that can support you?
Once you’ve made a true decision and eliminated all the barriers, you commit. Use the opportunity of time, of a change of schedule to start a new streak. Commit to maintaining that streak for a set amount of time.
Write it down and check it off daily. Our attitude dictates the quality of our experiences in life. So whatever you’re working on, think of it as I get to, not I’ve got to. One letter makes all the difference.
2. Sometimes You Need to Start Fresh. Go Back to the Basics.
Here are some questions:
Prior to this crisis, what little things did you do to get you where you are today?
What fueled your fire when you were first starting out?
How did you become what you are?
In business, in personal life, both. You had to start somewhere – where was that?
We’re never too old to learn. Never too experienced to be humbled. Never too established to grow. With less external sources guiding our life, this time is a great opportunity to turn inward and reflect.
What do you need to be doing differently? There are many entrepreneurs and businesses who have had to reinvent how they do business with great success over the last 6 weeks.
3. Dream Big.
If you think something is impossible – you’re probably not going to accomplish it. What are you looking back on? Too often people beat themselves because they think their past equals their future. Think about the past and let it drive you forward. You’re not limited to what you are or even what you think you are.
Look back at who you were, forward to who you want to be and then turn to now and make a plan as to how you’ll get there. Think of it this way – if the world does come out of this different, then there’s nothing that needs to hold you back from your dreams. Coming out of this with new habits and small successes will help create momentum. It will give you not only a purpose to keep pushing now, but energy and enthusiasm to execute on those plans as things open back up.
I have listened to and watched Jim Rohn for over 30 years now. Here is a classic video with “evergreen” advice…it is not what happens to you, it is what you do about it!