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March 21st, 2020: What Now?

March 23, 2020

March 21st, 2020: What Now?

This has already been another mind-blowing experience for us—for the world, for this great country, for families, businesses, and individuals. My only points of reference for this unprecedented time ar9/11 and the global financial crisis of 2008.

9/11/2001Tuesday morning. I was on a sales call. A meeting with one of our great clients, working with them on a conveyor belt deal. Then that terrible news. Hard to understand what was happening. Our country came to a screeching halt. I also recall I was on the first flight to the UK when the airlines started flying again. Those weeks after were a special moment in time. We were still trying to understand what had happened, but it made us dig down to what we knew for sure: we had been through something, but somehow together. It made us act differently. I saw all the commitment people had to rebuild our country and spirit. That’s what comes back to me most when I think back now. 

Thinking back to the global financial crisis of 2008, it was like everything was cut in half. I remember going into my office to work with sales projections showing a 40–50 percent drop. Everyone said to me, “It’ll be okay when it gets back to normal.” Without hesitation, I said, “No. I’m planning on this being our new normal.” So we made the hard decision to scale our organization accordingly. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. But it turned out to set the stage for us to be able to celebrate our 100th year in business this year.

So now, as a husband, father, grandpa, friend, neighbor, business owner, entrepreneur, and business coach, a lot is going on with my thoughts. I think back to those times and I try to make sense of what’s happening now. I think about making the right choices for my loved ones, for our communities, for our businesses, our teams. I’m sure that you have the same concerns as me and similar thoughts about them. 

I’m trying to model the right actions, too, in all those roles. Maintaining a sense of calm and harmony is so important to strive for. Times like this are an important reminder—because there’s no way to avoid the reality—that we can only control what we can control. Right now, there is so much out of our control and so much that isn’t immediately clear. As we learn more and adjust each day, that’s where most of our discomfort comes from, in this situation as ever. Because of this, it’s important to have faith with and in all of our leaders and hope that this big crisis brings out the best in them. 

Whenever things are uncertain, I think of one of my favorite bits of wisdom: “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see a bit further.” With this virus, it seems it’s still hour-to-hour. Hopefully, it won’t be long before it will shifts to day-to-day and then week-to-week. Eventually, we’ll look up and realize it’s faded into the background with all the other threats we understand and plan for, live around and thrive around. I know you know it, even if you can’t feel it just now, but I’ll say it anyway: That day is coming like it always has before.

So here’s to calm and positive thinking and constructive attitudes, seeing the best in people and the opportunities in changes that weren’t your idea. Remembering these will make all the difference how you meet each new day and work through it. It will change the thoughts you think. I’m here to help in any way I can, but I certainly realize my limitations as it relates to professional therapy and consultation. It’s a perfectly reasonable time to reach out for that kind of help, and you shouldn’t hesitate. It's never been easier.  

“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see a bit further.” There will always be disappointment, discomfort, and concern with the thousands of decisions that our leaders make. My sense is they are making good ones on behalf of their citizens for their respective countries. I hope and pray for safety for all of us. And I pray we come out on the other side of this huge challenge with opportunities to thrive. One thing I know for sure is that all of us will feel the touch of the beautiful, powerful, life-changing awareness of what matters most and how fragile life is.