“This is not the moment of your life, but it is a moment in your life. How will you use it?” – Ryan Holiday
In this time of uncertainty and the COVID-19 pandemic, remember you cannot control all the happens in life, but you do control how you respond to it. If there has ever been a moment in time that accentuates this teaching – it is today. Yet, we also know that this is not the first time it has happened – just the first time this century.
Back in the 1790, yellow fever hit Philadelphia before terrorizing the US for the next century. In 1918, just following the ‘war to end all wars’, the Spanish flu ravished the world with over 500 million cases and 50 million deaths estimated. Wars, Floods, fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornados often lay waste to the world that we know. It often seems like the world is trying to kill us. And yet…
We recover. We rebuild. And we return stronger than before.
The Struggle Is Real
Today is a struggle, I will give you that. I am fighting my way through trying to keep an eye on the kids school work while staying focused in my job, just hoping that it stays around. I am worried about the health of friends and family, if not my own.
For many of us, cabin fever is also starting to set in. The same walls, the same rooms … and the same people, day after day. We are social creatures and feed off those social interactions and we are distancing ourselves. We need activity and sunlight. It all feeds our body, mind, and soul – and it has been lacking.
Now to make matters worse, the reality of recession is once again upon us. This time faster and more treacherous than ever before. It was like we were all standing on the porch watching a tornado in the distance, discussing our preparations and the potential path, when the ground shook from a massive earthquake. All the supports we were trusting are now at risk – if not gone.
We are starting this week with over 10 million people freshly filed for unemployment and more on their way. This is historic. This is different. Yet, we are resilient and adaptable. We will weather this as we have before.
Control your opportunity
What is complaining or getting upset going to do? How does endlessly watching the news updates help you? Of course, some of it will, but be cautious and mindful about what you are absorbing. Be careful not to get caught up in the fear that it intended to grab your attention. Instead, use the information to understand, plan, and continue to adjust your life.
It is a perfect time to change up your routines, which were likely getting old and stale. While the internet is spitting out millions of suggestions of how to spend your time, how to build quality time, and what to do with your free time – it is most important to look inside yourself. Look for those activities that make you happy, but also those that will make you proud in the long term.
This is a great time to star that home workout routine. Complete that yard work that has been put off months. Start that side-hustle itch that you have been wanting to scratch. Or, just sit down and play some board games. Last week, my boys and I played several network games of StarCraft 2 – it had been a while and it was such a blast. We have enjoyed a backyard fire and s’mores. That quality time with family and loved ones is all around us too. On my dog walk this morning, I saw one Dad exploring his front yard with his son and another teach his two kids to skate board.
That time would otherwise have been lost to the commute or life chore. And time not lost to extra sleeping or lost to useless tv watching. Yes, it also means they are not at work when they should be – that is not lost on me at all. However, in the shadow of pain look for the light, for it is there. It is our choice in how we frame this time – is it an opportunity or is it all a loss? Also remember the quote from Jim Rohn, “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. The views of your friends are the views the influence you, be mindful and remember the words of Ryan Holiday, “this may not be the moment of your life, it is a moment in your life.”
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay happy.