Aren’t you sick of talking about this topic?
The truth is this is how to thrive during any change, downturn, or tough time, not just to survive the COVID 4th wave. Compared to world wars, various famines, or say, the bubonic plague which killed a third of Europe during the Middle Ages, COVID is amateur hour. Not that it’s nothing, but it’s nothing compared to what our ancestors regularly faced.
So, take a breath and decide that you’re going to thrive, not just survive during the next few months.
Turn down the volume on the doom loop
I’ve been a news junkie for as long as I can remember. I watched the TV evening news with my dad during high school.
I subscribed to Time and Newsweek and the Economist. And for years I started every day by reading the news. Until recently.
I just got sick of it, and decided to stop reading, say for the past five months. You know what I’ve missed? Nothing.
Not the fall of Afghanistan, not new COVID rules, not the election. I hear about everything that’s important from other people. What I don’t hear is all the negative, exaggerated stories about every possible bad event/outcome that could possibly happen in the world.
Media folks aren’t evil people (I presume). Probably some are, like in any profession. But I would imagine that most are decent people just trying to make a living during a tough time.
They can’t figure out their new online business model, and they’ve discovered that ‘scaring their base’ is good business because it gets more clicks, and I’m just not playing anymore.
You do you, but I’m happier without the stress and anxiety, and I think you will be too. Plus it will help you survive the COVID 4th wave without the optional self-inflicted misery.
Spend 15-30 minutes/day taking in good news
I’m talking here about deliberate action to build something into your mind. Your mind is like a computer, and what you program it with determines the results you get out of it. So, if you’re filling it with great stuff, you’ll see an immediate difference.
- Read something building every day. I always have a book going. Right now, I’m reading ‘1984,’ the postwar dystopian classic we all read in high school. But I read business, history, and novels too. Personally, I also read the Bible daily. Pick whatever floats your boat, but make it something that challenges you, gives you wisdom, and/or teaches you a skill, or just how to be a better human.
- Or listen to something building every day. I have my list of podcasts that I enjoy listening to when I’m doing the dishes or working in the yard. Every book is also available on audible.
Make it a habit. 15-30 minutes every day. In two years, you’ll have done the equivalent reading (or listening) to what would be on your reading list if you were getting a master’s degree.
Get off your rear end
Do something good for your body/mental health every day.
Go for a walk, lift weights, garden, run, ride your bike, go swimming. Whatever. Just do something physical that makes you puff and ideally gets you outside every single day. Activity will help you survive the COVID 4th wave.
Find a mentor
We all need a business dad or mom who has seen it all and will offer us wisdom, encouragement, and challenge.
Who’s your mentor? Often an older person who is retiring or retired makes a perfect choice. They enjoy passing on wisdom and are often flattered to be asked.
Say something like this:
“My name is _________ and I’m from _________. Would you have 10 minutes over the phone to answer some questions I have about (your topic here)?”
When I was young, I was a member of leadership guru John Maxwell’s cassette tape (google it if you’re under 30) of the month club. I remember him relating a story of how he scheduled family vacations so he could sneak away for a morning and meet a new mentor to ask questions of. These included people like famed basketball coach John Wooden.
He prepared his questions, they were happy to meet with him, and he learned how to be a winner.
Find your mentor.
Put a plan together and gather momentum to survive the COVID 4th wave
Write down your plan. How are you going to go from A to B? People with written goals are much more likely to achieve them. Everyone should have a one-year plan. If you don’t have yours completed, you can take my short, free course on building your annual plan here
When you have momentum, you’re happy. You’re making progress and everything seems brighter. When you’re standing still or going backwards, you’re unhappy. Progress = happiness.
No race car driver wins by looking in the rear-view mirror.
Ban COVID talk from social engagements
Just my suggestion. We all know the details. We’ve talked our faces off about it already. Change the channel and talk about something else!
Aside from that, I have only one direct piece of COVID advice for you. It’s not about vaccination or company policy or masks or distancing or anything like that. You do you.
It’s just this:
In five years, no one will remember the details about COVID. We’ll remember it as a crazy time, long passed.
BUT. You will remember one thing, maybe for the rest of your life, and it’s simply this:
How people behaved during this time.
You’ll remember how your family treated you, how your neighbours treated you, and how your friends and coworkers acted when they felt under pressure.
So, are you treating everyone around you gently? Carefully? Are you watching your words, not saying (or writing) dumb things that you’ll cringe to read in five years and that you don’t even necessarily mean? And that will stay on social media to be dredged up… FOREVER!?
We’re in the relationship business, so take a breath, be gracious, and remember that love does conquer all. It soothes people’s emotions and calms people down.
If you do these things, you’ll thrive during the fourth wave of COVID and you’ll also thrive during whatever challenges come next!
The secret of getting ahead is getting started!
Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.” He is also co-founder and senior instructor at www.professionalleadershipinstitute.com.