We are still less than two weeks into the craziness that is the Coronavirus lockdown. In just the past ten days, one of my best friends had to lay off 120 employees, another close friend that is a small builder lost four build jobs and has to file for bankruptcy, and over a dozen of my friends are out of a job. Personally, the value of my stock portfolio has gone down by about 40%, I just had my first renter call and said they wouldn’t be able to pay rent, and I haven’t had a request to show a home in over a week.
This thing is just getting started.
Yet I sit here at my desk, and I haven’t felt this at peace in a long time. Yesterday I woke up, and I journaled, meditated, did some breathing exercises, worked out, made a fantastic breakfast, read parts of a book, and read my affirmations out loud. I did all of this before I thought about what my day ahead of me was going to bring. For the first time in a long time, I’m not running around. I’m not traveling all over trying to fit work in between my flights and vacations. I’m merely here, quarantined to my home and my city, trying to learn to accept this new life that March 2020 has brought us.
This past week I made it a point to call at least 30 people each day and just check in on them. No sales pitch, no asking them if they know anyone looking to buy or sell a home.
Just making sure they are doing ok with so much uncertainty around us. As I started to say goodbye, one friend responded to me, “Wait, were you just calling to check up on me? That is so cool, man.”
My favorite quote, the one that sits above my desk at work, says the following:
“The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.”
There are a million different ways to respond to the pandemic that is happening right now. Fear, anxiety, hate, self-pity, and sorrow are all negative energies. Peace, love, hope, humility, and kindness are all positive energies. I take much peace in knowing that it is 100% up to us which of these we decide to focus on. It is our choice to look at this as the worst thing ever to happen, or we can look for all the gifts in this.
I have started asking each of these friends that I call the following questions on each call:
What are you celebrating today?
What are you excited about right now?
What are you grateful for in this moment?
The reason this is so powerful is that our minds are trained to keep us alive.
That’s it. Think about it; every person alive today has DNA passed down from somebody that lived on the frontier or in the caveman days. Back then, all you had to do was find food and shelter and avoid dangers to stay alive. This is how tribes formed to protect each other. It’s how the human brain becomes a machine to detect anything that is out of place.
The problem with this is that we are no longer living in a society of constant dangers, yet our mind operates the same way.
That’s why it always looks for what is wrong. This is why couples fight, and kid’s parents don’t feel gratitude from their kids.
It’s why the news is so popular and why fear marketing is such a powerful force.
The fun in all of this is that you can retrain your mind using those three questions, so instead of looking for what is wrong, it starts to look for what is right. In these times, it is so important to do this.
You get to decide each day how you want your day to go. Do you want to live in fear and anxiety, or do you want to take this time to focus on love and family and to appreciate that life has slowed down enough to focus back on what is most important?
Those that get through this and find ways to contribute and give back to others will gain relationship equity that would typically take a decade to create. You will have raving fans in and for your business. You will have investment opportunities that we never thought would be possible again.
We all need to realize that this is all happening for you and not to you. Worst case, just take the time to relax and do a detox from the world. After all, I think that is the universe is doing from us.