Sunday, May 17, 2020
As more places open around the world and we return to normalcy we have to make the most of our time. This one-time never-event will probably never happen again in our lifetimes: I’m talking about the stay at home orders / quarantine. Some of us fared better and some of us fared worse. The people that saw the writing on the wall and “prepared for winter” and were lucky enough to have family and friends to help see them through this time are going to do much better than those that didn’t. Never in human history has inequality been revealed more readily than times of famine, tribulation and hardships. Staying at home is not the problem. It’s a blessing for many people because even for a brief period of time people had their heads above water. They were getting relief and reprieve from their daily bill paying and rents and were also given government checks in the mail in the U.S. while it is uncertain what aid was provided to others in other countries unless you actually lived in that region and were there.
Some workers deemed essential also are able to still receive pay and while others that had experience with periodic shutdowns and furloughs were likely prepared. There’s an old saying that like the seasons, you come to expect the autumn and winter after spring and summer. The world is such that a smart savvy person will not eat their whole harvest and crop and burn through their whole paycheck and then end up with nothing a few weeks later. This is called feast or famine mentality and unfortunately the Western society due to the way it’s brought up has a competitive nature that doesn’t always encourage communal sharing or assistance. Social aid is often viewed as embarrassing or something to be ashamed of while Eastern cultures know that pushing a child before they are mentally mature or financially able to afford for themselves, even if the are legally an adult, can cause undue hardship and also cause an undue burden on society. The root cause of this and its solution may be that many have to work together to be successful in society. And we can’t “eat our young” or push too hard or in the wrong way. It’s a delicate balance as many unhelpful societal beliefs compartmentalize ALL individuals as developmentally the same. This simply is not true as kids develop at different rates and have different methods of learning. Just as you see teens with different heights, styles, and sizes and shapes, we have to accept that assistance is a natural part of life.
We are born into the world needing help feeding, bathing, dressing and certain cultures emphasize independence so much to the detriment that we forget that some people have development disabilities or even just “haven’t learned that life skill yet”. And that’s fine. We, I’ve been guilty in real life also of misjudging people thinking they should know better, but we’re starting to learn to show “More mercy” as the commercials say. We want to be able to do things on our own because of personal responsibility and ego and pride. But why is it that at each stage of our life we sometimes balk at doing so? We didn’t have as much of this blind belief of self-doing-itis when we were young. But as we hit teens to mid life it rages hard until late in life where we still feel we should do things until our body starts to deteoriate and we need help via nurse or assistance with the potty. Perhaps in the latter case its out of pride and fear of admission of helplessness and onset of death. And it’s a callout to vitality still in the middle of life and a certain fearless rebelliousness that we in our teens and prime of our life have nothing to worry about nor have to fear death. And we also fear being perceived as ignorant or a burden to others.
Our life should be such that we should be able to live and thrive, not just survive. But we need not let shame color our life. I’ve seen many people come into work and some for example when they are in debt will not admit to defeat or need for assistance. They have pride, yet are in debt and will not ask family or friends for help. Though we would be surprised who and where we can get help from if we only asked or if somehow we could connect individuals and organizations together. That’s perhaps a project someone can come up with to connect people in need with those willing to help.
As we get back to some semblance of normalcy. We all need to take a period of introspection. Most likely we have naturally while sitting at home or lying in bed at night during these months. For many, it’s unemployment. Some people it’s food banks. Others seek help from their local churches and community groups. And we all have to come to acceptance that we have all been hit hard. Our banks have been drained, our friends are in a bad way, some who already were in a tight situation perhaps face bankruptcy. And shops, restaurants and businesses that we all knew and loved patronizing will likely never open and not be the same again.
It’s okay to admit that you might need help or assistance. Or a grant or loan or additional time. Many people will find themselves in a position they have never been in or having to move in with family or friends. Every business and individual is going through some change and that’s just the current reality. Until society starts chugging along and working through things it’s going to be tough for a long time. It’s going to be many difficult months. And unfortunately someone has to say it, may be years before a recovery of significant proportion for some. But it is possible and gradual.
We do need to maintain normalcy as much as possible and a readily healthy regime and routine. Make sure if you have an exercise routine to start up again and try to maintain it. If you haven’t been eating well or healthy, get that going. And if you haven’t been sleeping well then get the gears moving again. Get in your creature comforts occasionally or sporadically as needed and your little pick-me-up rewards.
In order to achieve the full potential that life gives us we have to balance the need for self-sufficiency, planning, and execution of action as well as getting help and necessary assistance. If that means help, delegation of duties, or augmenting knowledge then so be it. This will be a struggle but without effort in life we’re just going through the motions.
Even as we fight and struggle our way back to the top we have to work on our end game in midgame. The rules have changed and we have to adapt, pivot and scrap and claw to the top when backed in the ring. This means that while you might be down, you’re not out and have a chance to change the rules of the game. In 2008 and 2001 the world saw a financial disaster and also the stock markets burst and bust. Many people were devastated and saw their 401k’s plunge and life savings also get wiped out or worse. This boom and bust cycle is only part of life. And the only way to keep chugging along in the game of life is to prepare for this now.
I like to say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and the best time to plant a tree was yesterday but today is just as good. Use today to plan what’s going to happen 1 month from now, 6 months from now, 1 year from now, 5 years from now, 10 years from now. I’ve learned from web gurus and just smart people in general that they break things down to simple tasks. The best speech makers break concepts and ideas so that anybody rich or old or educated or ignorant can understand them. They can take something plain or yucky and opposite what you thought into and idea you can eat and understand. The simplest concept with financial gurus or sports coaches or math problems, whether you want something bigger is to just break it down.
Getting the results you want:
1) Start now or get ready to start.
2) Learn what you need and acquire the knowledge.
3) Break down the task into the most simplest component and break it down even further till you can’t break it down any more.
4) Start and do, and refine along the way.
5) Check on your progress periodically.
There’s your roadmap for anything whether it’s to make a lot of money. Become good at whatever skill. You might want to save $10,000. And break it down into $100 over a period of months and break that up even further into weeks to gauge your progress. Or perhaps you want to write a book and so you split it up into chapters and write a chapter a month or a paragraph a day. As long as you put yourself in the position where it becomes second nature and you’re path intersects without major resistance then you’re hit the direction of where you’re headed. If you are bound for California for example and you just start driving in that direction you’re get pretty close sooner or later.
Like I said, many things in life are beyond our control as we came into our life naked, especially and even now, but we can definitely put in place the seeds and infrastructure in place. We might need help. We might need assistance, and that’s okay. I remember a saying that goes: Knowing how to do things requires skill; knowing when to ask for help requires intelligence … and a little humble pie.