It’s hard to imagine that just three months ago, I was traveling internationally to train at global conferences and speak in a room full of people (without masks). For so many of us in the speaking and training industry, it would appear as if our entire business models have collapsed from one moment to another. Yet, I can see how I have gained so much more than the appearance of what I’ve lost since this current global pandemic. For many years I’ve given talks about resilience and trained people on how to maintain a resilient mind and heart. Now, I get to use what I teach. It’s the perfect moment to exercise what I know. After all, practice makes perfect.
I would have never thought that walking into a grocery store meant prepping in my car for sanitizer and securing a mask on my face before I went in a store, or that not wearing a mask would make me an outcast. If I’d listen to my last fortune cookie, I would have been better prepared. However, one cannot prepare for everything. We can only prepare for some things. One of those things is preparing our minds and heart to remain stable, healthy, and resilient during difficult times.
Just a few days before the pandemic broke-out, the neighbor’s dog attacked my little pomchi dog of 12 years. That dog attacked my dog like it was a washing cloth and threw her against a tree. I was devastated. My thirteen-year-old was inconsolable. The vet did everything she could but no luck. Our little pomchi “Sinommon” died just a few days later, right before this pandemic hit.
I was hit with a double-decker bus, instantly (just an expression). My pet was now gone; my teenager had lost his best friend. Our little Sinommon was now in a cute small box full of ashes in the middle of our living room with a picture of her tiny doggie face. My business had now ceased to be a business. I no longer had events to attend, events to plan, or clients to help unless, of course, this could all be done online. It took me about two weeks to restructure my revenue streams and thirty days to shift my mindset on how things would now be done. I told myself that in fact, things could be better than before. I had to adapt quickly, and so I did. I also realized that as I write this, so many people are still thinking about the “old normal.” At the same time, some of us are thinking that the “old normal” will never return. I also acknowledge that not everyone understands these massive shifts or can endure such drastic changes. It would appear that my situation just three months ago would have just collapsed me. Nevertheless, I felt prepared and stable. I felt at ease with all the changes because I saw three remarkably important things happening.
One, I recognized that in order for the world to get better, we must create “new models” or “new normal,” and this means that the “old normal” must fall. There is no way of achieving this unless drastic changes are made. These changes mean disruption at every level in government and community.
Two, I recognized that I would be ok and that although I felt overwhelmed by my financial responsibilities, this would pass. Not being able to get a lot of the money back from all I had invested in pulling together large events would give me a much-needed break. Honestly, I needed one even if that meant just letting projects go. The one gain was that I now had my “time” and, as we all know, “times” is money.
Three, I recognized that I’m super resilient and agile. I adapted quickly and have made more connections and have been more productive than ever before. It is as if the world has sped up, somehow not having to “travel” means I can get more done and see my family more. Double dipping on family and work, it’ all seems too good to be true.
All these three epiphanies have been a major blessing. I would have never known just how resilient and adaptable I really am, had I not been through all of this. I needed a new way of looking at my business, a new way of doing business. I have never felt so connected to my clients. It’s strange that I feel more productive, but I do. Now, this is not to say that my sorrows have left. This does not mean that my little dog Sinommon is no longer missed or that the “double-decker bus” didn’t leave any marks on my financial security, but I always say “we don’t’ get over things like this we just get through them.” For now, I know that because I have my daily “resilience” practice and I understand that my body is like a battery, I have taken advantage of my ability to jolt back up from this setback and for future ones. And, so, here I am doing the best I can with the resources I have. My wish for you is that you, too, can be resilient and that you may recognize that moments like these allow us to aim higher, deeper, and better than before.