At the time of this post, I am on day fourteen into my fortnight of self-isolation after returning from the States to Toronto.
My father passed away on March 11th. For those that have sent messages, I thank you for that. I’m still processing it. I haven’t really dug too deep into it. I get caught a few times a day, on Dad not being here anymore. Then you throw in COVID-19 and it’s been an amazingly crazy few weeks. I know many of you are going through your own personal journeys and your own personal losses and it’s a difficult time for many.
The key thing to remind ourselves, in times like this, is that we can take this opportunity to slow down a little bit and get fine-tuned on what we want in life. If anyone has paid any attention to what I talk about, too many of us are burning out and stressed and working too many hours and now many of us are working remotely and we’re not putting in the same amount of hours as we did before—at least I hope that’s the case.
You need to be able to shut down the laptop at some point during your day and set boundaries around your work schedule. Don’t let your bosses take advantage of the situation and make you work more hours than you normally do. And if you’re a boss, don’t be a jackass and do that to your employees. It’s just rude.
You should take this opportunity to really get fine tuned on what you want out of life. This is a good time to reflect and, for many of us, it could be scary and I know that it can be intimidating to reflect on what’s next. Too many of us are concerned about the future and we don’t know what will happen after all of this is.
Will we have jobs to go back to? Could it be a longer economic recession? We’re not that far away from the last recession from 2008-10. Personally speaking, that one wasn’t a lot of fun. I certainly hope that none of us have to go through anything like that again; but if we do, the key thing is to get through it. Don’t linger around. Don’t play the victim.
Seek guidance from others. There are so many people in the world like myself who are out there helping people navigate through different things in life, and that’s important. Find that person or that group that can help you go through this.
Yes, we should laugh. We should cry. We should do all the things that we need to do to help us get through this together.
As many government leaders have indicated, keep your ass at home if at all possible. If you work in the service industry and you need to be out there, THANK YOU! If you’re helping the homeless or in supportive housing and you have to go into work, then thank you for doing that.
Take precautions. Wash your hands. If you use public transit, obviously be careful about what you touch. Don’t touch your face. For many of us, including myself, you never realize how often you touch your face until you’re told not to. Again, it’s an adjustment period for all of us, but we can take this as an opportunity to make our lives better.
I’m taking it as an opportunity to make my life better so I can make the lives of other people that are in my life better, and help those that seek my guidance and advice and make their lives better. My hope is that after this, we come out of this a little bit happier, a little bit more peaceful, a little bit more human. Too often we have been going, going and going, going, going, going, going, going and going—and now things have come to an abrupt halt.
Regroup, dust yourselves off. Let’s figure out where we are. Let’s figure out where we want to be. Map it out and take the steps you need to take.
If you need help, go to breakfastleadership.com/bucket to get your bucket-list template, in which which you basically take everything you’d like to do and then you write down the last time you did it. That’s a good exercise for you right now.
There’s a lot of things unfortunately that we can’t do right now because of isolation and things that are closed. It’s quiet. Start writing those things down that you want to do. So when things open up again, and they will, then you can prioritize what’s important and what you want to do and get to them and enjoy them. I think that’s going to be a big, big thing for all of us: to really embrace the things that we love to do and really experience them.
Be in the moment because too often we go through life on autopilot and then things are taken away from us, whether it’s a loved one, an opportunity to go to the bar or the restaurant that we love, the movies to just being out at a concert or a sporting event.
Damn, I miss sports and I know many of you do too, and the concerts and going out with friends and all of those things. These are things that are important. These are things that in many cases, money can’t buy and it’s frustrating for all of us. Chin up. Figure out what you want to do when all of this is behind us and figure out a way to live your life a little bit better than you did before.