We live in a time of fear. Is this pandemic that grips the world ever going to go away? Yes, history has shown us it will. The Black Death, SARS, the Spanish Flu, the Asian flu, and Hong Kong pandemics all came, ragingly took a toll, and subsided. So will COVID-19. And if and when it does, what will be left in its wake? Devastation in the form of death, lost businesses, lost jobs, memories of events that never occurred, and so much more than we can’t even figure it out yet. The aftermath of each pandemic was loss, resilience, and a rebirth of the world more robust than ever existed before. So, how does fear creep in and take root and drive your flourishing life into the ground? This negative emotion takes root when you don’t fight back with wisdom, precaution, and consistency.
Letting the Negative In
The new adage, “if it bleeds it leads,” is as true now as it ever has been. Our brain scours the news for bad news, so its danger detector, the amygdala, can keep us safe. News agencies know this and make sure that our amygdala is incredibly well fed. When a news provider tried to supply its readers only good news for a day, it lost two-thirds of its readership. So, what pays stays. In this case, bad news. So remember what your media diet is all about and temper it. If you bombard your mind with only negative input, you can easily find your emotions crashing. No one wants to put their head in the sand about our situation, but seek out things that give you positive emotions. Find a way to laugh, appreciate beauty, and enjoy the goodness that occurs each day. We need a dose of positive emotions each day, and it’s there for the taking if we look.
A Million Inputs
The idea of multitasking is so appealing. We believe that if we do so many things at once, we’ll be great. It doesn’t work. We’re not wired that way. We’re wired to engage in thoughts so that we get into a state of flow, so our brain kicks in, and time disappears. If you’re constantly checking emails, texts, and posts that appear on your screen, or now your wrist, you can forget the idea of ever getting into the flow of engagement. And with the flow comes creativity, positivity, and new ideas. If you want to corral fear and enter flow, turn off a million distractions that are constantly bombarding you.
Downers Bring You Down
You may tire of hearing it, but you’re the average of the five people with which you spend the most time. If you surround yourself with people who bring you down, you can only slide down. Tend the garden of those you spend the most time with. Get the weeds out, so the real producers of good, positive results can grow in your life. These choices can be so severe, but the lack of making tough choices results in a fearful and mundane life. What has been your life pattern in the past doesn’t have to be its future path. Those who’ve been your friends don’t have to have a permanent status if they aren’t moving you forward.
It’s All About You
During this uncertain time, it’s easy to focus inward only. You feel a need to only care for yourself. If the world is this uncertain, why should you look to help others when you’re not even confident in your fate? If you get into a state where you think you’ll be happy by achieving your success and well being, you’re headed for a life of little meaning and no legacy. Your success defines so little about the footprint in history you will leave. How many people are better off because you existed is your accurate measure of value. There is a life beyond your world, and it’s one of wonder, gratitude, and fulfillment. Sample it regularly.
It’s a Losing Battle
On a typical day, you may lose more than win. Another day, you win more than you lose. Which do you count more? It’s a fact that one lousy comment about you counters scores of positive statements. But, do you even celebrate the wins as actively as the losses? Strive to get the wins each day. The big ones and the small ones. Celebrate them both. Don’t discard the little victories, for the multitude of the small wins, build to huge successes. In baseball, every pitcher wants to throw a perfect game. A game when no one reaches first base. How does that occur? One small victory, every single pitch, achieved after another. In your life, celebrate each pitch.
So, Who Wins?
Do you want to know how it comes out? Ask these five questions;
- Did the negative emotions carry the day, or did you nurture the positive ones as they occurred?
- Did you get so distracted with the multitude of inputs each day, or did you get a chance to shut it all down and get into flow?
- Did you control who entered your world, or did you let anyone enter?
- Did you make a difference to only your world, or did you lift someone else?
- Did you count only losses and misses, or did little successes matter just as much?
You control the score in this little game. Just as you control the fear, you have in life. We’ll get through this, and the next, and then the next one. We always do with wisdom, precautions, and consistency. See you at the finish line…