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Panic is a Waste, Silver Linings are a Solution

Though COVID-19 has brought difficult times for people and businesses, and it has brought about plenty of panic and hysteria, it’s the sliver linings people should be focused on. Of course, some people, those with a closed mindset, will immediately laugh at such an idea, but consider this: no good idea has ever come from panic and hysteria. When a person is panicked or hysterical, they aren’t thinking with a level head; they aren’t able to assess a situation completely, and they definitely aren’t able to give 100% attention to whatever they’re trying to focus on. And what has the media been doing to people? You guessed it…they’ve been panicking them! Why do they do this? That’s simple. They do this because of the old news adage of, “If it bleeds, it leads”. People are attracted to negativity, pain, and misery. Why? Because if they hear about negativity, pain, and misery on the news, they can compare it to their own lives, and realize they have it better. People always want to know that their own lives are better than someone else’s. Another thing panic does is turn people into villains. Panic makes people unnatural, and because they are scared, they aren’t themselves. Thus, they will lash out at people verbally, and sometimes physically. Their temper is not what it is when they are calm, and this is because of their internal defense system. So one quick solution to this is to turn off the news! The news has an agenda, and they are only going to report what meets that agenda. The quicker you can eliminate anything that can trigger panic and hysterics, the better.

Understanding The Scope of the Situation:

Though times are very difficult right now, as the old adage says, “Things could always be worse”, and it’s true! There have been worse viruses, there have been worse times, and there have been worse things. Everyone in this world faces problems, and everyone in this world faces difficulties. It’s how you handle those problems and difficult times that can truly build your character. Yes; some businesses are struggling mightily right now, and some might not even make it through this, but we have to believe the American spirit will shine through here. That American spirit has guided us through much worse in the past. And though a business closing might seem awful for someone today, it might create a brand new, amazing opportunity for them tomorrow. The most important thing to remember through this is that this was a situation that was out of our control. When things are out of a person’s control, it can be scary, and it can definitely create panic. It’s panic of change. It’s panic of the unknown. But in America, it’s about standing back up, dusting yourself off, holding your head up high, and asking, “Is that the best you’ve got?”. We’re a nation of some of the toughest people in the world, and we didn’t get to be the strongest nation by being scared of everything. We didn’t gain our independence, or become a nation of freedom by running and hiding or quitting. Yes; we are going through a challenge right now, but just as we look at sports, it’s a challenge we will stand up to and defeat. We will win this game. We will win this battle. And we will be stronger in the end for it. Yes; we will go through pain now; there’s no question about that. But without the pain…without the bad, how good would the good actually be? How good would the good actually feel? In order to succeed in life, you need to go through mistakes; you need to go through failure. Well; we didn’t create this failure, but we will defeat it…make no mistake about it. But the one thing we most desperately need is CONFIDENCE! Confidence is a difference maker. Confidence creates opportunity beyond dreams, and it’s what’s going to make our success through this possible.

The Silver Lining:

Out of these terrible times, there are going to be silver linings. And the growth mindset is a POWERFUL THING. From kids having less pressure through learning at home, to people innovating and finding new businesses to open, silver linings will be aplenty!

Start with kids now doing school at home. Sure, it’s driving you and your spouse absolutely insane right now, but let’s face it; in the second half of a school year, kids tend to learn everything that’s geared towards state testing, and less about what will help THEM grow. Now all state testing is gone, and it’s more about them. Additionally, if your kids are less than college age, this gives them a taste of the college life in that they now have a responsibility of completing the work. It’s their time to shine! And trust me, they want the work. Kids crave the structure! If we guide them and help them, they are going to truly earn their wings here, and gain a new sense of responsibility and confidence from this. What will that mean? It means they’re going to go into next year with that confidence, and they are going to shine! Additionally, with them being at home and driving their parents nuts, it gives us a new respect for their teachers…something that we have overlooked for years, if not decades. I’m a firm believer that confidence in life is more important than anything. It’s more important than grades, it’s more important than how well you can do on a test, it’s more important than anything you can learn in school. Confidence is what can drive a child to success in anything, and through the responsibility that has been handed to them right now, they have that opportunity!

What about families? We all now, prior to COVID-19, America was always a work-first nation. It was almost like we forgot WHY we worked, and we worked way too much. We put our work ahead of everything! This forced us to slow things down. And this forced us to spend more time with family. While adults may remember this as being locked up and being miserable, kids can remember this as playing catch with a parent, playing boardgames with loved ones, laughing with loved ones, eating more home-cooked meals, and enjoying family time. It’s something we so desperately needed! This will make family units stronger, and this will serve as a reminder of what’s truly important in life!

What about health? You already know this forced us to slow things down, and for some of us this has caused additional stress, but remember; you can only stress out about things you can control. The word is called Stoicism. If we, as people, can remain stoic, we should be able to slow things down and stay calm during this. This should prove to be a healthier time for people (as long as we continue to exercise and not raid the pantry out of boredom).

What about our minds? This is a time that can be stressful on our minds, and depending on our personal circumstance, we’re all going to handle it differently, and there is a lot of respect for that, but all we can do is the best we can do, as people. And this is a time you can use to polish a résumé, learn a second or third language, take on a new hobby, or do a number of other things to hone your mind and skills. Right now you probably have more free time than normal, and it’s a good time to push yourself to do something more, if possible.

What about new opportunities? There’s no doubt there are businesses that won’t make it through this, which is awful. And there are people we will lose, and people whom will financially suffer a great deal. But with every bad thing that happens, we need to look to the good. We need to push forward and look ahead to better times. For every business that suffers, there will be those business owners that find new opportunities, and innovate new opportunities and items. For every person we lose, there will be births. For every person that suffers financially, there will be jobs when all of this is over. We will heal, and not just heal, but thrive in the future. Again; it’s about keeping a positive, growth mindset!

What about preparedness? In a lot of ways, this virus caught us off-guard. We were lost in our own worlds, and we felt untouchable. Well; we found out quickly that we weren’t untouchable. This has touched all of us in one way or another. But we already stated that we need to remain stoic because this was no fault of our own and obviously well out of our control, so what do we do? We can prepare. My motto is: “Worry about the future, and when it becomes the present, it’s already in the past.” Think about that for a second. Let it sink in. If you prepare things like finances (from a personal standpoint and a business standpoint), and you prepare by having non-perishable items in the house at all times, and you prepare for worst-case-scenarios at home and within your company, you will be better prepared IF something happens. I’m not saying there will always be something that happens, but think about how a child practices a fire drill at school. We don’t hear about a lot of fires at schools (thank goodness), but God-forbid one occurred, your child would be prepared because they practice. Many people don’t like to worry about things until they happen (“we’ll cross that bridge if and when we get there.” Sound familiar? If it does, you may want to change things up a bit. I’m not saying to drive yourself nuts, or to build yourself a bunker for protection, but I am saying that there are steps you can take to protect yourself in the future, and create less pain in the future. And what would less pain do for you in the future? It would create confidence, and it would create peace of mind.

What about friendliness? Every now and then, something happens in someone’s life that reminds them of their priorities. It reminds them of what’s truly important. It just so happens this is now happening to all of us…it’s happening to the world. My hope is that when all of this is done, we will unify. Politics, religion, skin color, job title, ethnicity, background, etc. just won’t matter anymore. People will realize that people are just people. People will appreciate one another, and won’t take life as seriously as they once did. I’m not saying they won’t work hard…you should always work hard and do and try your best, but it’s also healthiest to remember WHY you work, WHY you do the things you do everyday, and HOW you treat others. Too many times we overlook how we treat others, and it’s times like this that can serve as a reminder as to who we need to become. My hope is we become better people after all of this, and we realize just how precious and good life is. Because without the bad, the good wouldn’t be nearly as sweet.