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NOW: BV (Before Virus) & AV (After Virus)

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 07 April 2020 05:30

During a war, there is normally little that individuals of all ages and backgrounds can do by themselves to significantly change the outcome of that war.

Times have changed dramatically.

The strategic frontline for the war against the COVID-19 virus and for the fight to keep people healthy is our homes. We are all living on this frontline, therefore we can all make a significant difference in determining how this war plays out and ends.

Simply, STAY HOME!!

That’s how the war will be won…first in your home, then around the country, then globally. By staying home to curb virus spread, you’ll remain healthy and out of the overburdened healthcare system. Through this civic service, you are buying time for the hard-working global medical community to save the infected, discover drugs which will increase their survival, and create vaccines to protect against the virus and, therefore, to end this.

Personal 6-foot distancing and staying physically separate, especially when combined with frequent, effective handwashing and—if you must go out—wearing a mask, reduce the risk of catching the virus through inhaling an infected person’s air-born respiratory droplets and, if you have the virus or carry it, of spreading the virus.

Whether home is a house, a high-rise unit, or something in between, home may never have played a more important role in your life and in society. Staying home is at the top of the “We must win out over this virus” list, therefore make a difference and shelter in place.

At the same time, reach out online or by phone to help:

• those who are isolated, under-housed, or in abusive relationships, or
• those whose work is directed at helping these people as well as recently laid-off or homeless individuals and families.

Uncertainty Is Certain

So many thought they had job security, but it turns out that was false security. Now you see why. Hopefully, your learning curve will be flattened by support from your employer, community, the government, and from yourself.

Discovering how to live comfortably with uncertainty—that’s living with constructive uncertainty—may be your greatest challenge and, eventually, your most powerful super power:

• Start by acknowledging that you’ve always lived with uncertainty, you just rarely admitted that to yourself.
• Then, invest your energy and creativity in action and learning opportunities that build your resilience and flexibility on all levels. Apply the resulting resourcefulness to empower you into creating and moulding the future of your choice, not settling by default.
• Cope with continued change by repeatedly practicing constructive uncertainty until it is a new habit. Life may never be the same again, but what if that becomes a good thing? How can you contribute to a better outcome?

NOW thinking starts NOW

1. No going back, only forward!
2. Only you stop you!
3. Why not take action while the world is on pause?

Shift your perspective to make a painless, quick transition to NOW Thinking:

1. No going back, only forward!

There’s no BACK and there’s certainly no NORMAL!

Before Virus (BV): With all the talk of returning to “normal” or going back to normal living, few people are willing to acknowledge there is no going back. There never was a “going back” nor a “normal.” We were just programmed to believe there was.

After Virus (AV): Life is like a river. In a river, it’s impossible to step into the water and then return later and step in exactly the same spot in that river. The same is true in life. If you revisit a person, place, or memory, you have changed and so have they or it. The unobservant and distracted don’t see these differences. They also miss the subtlety of opportunity. Accept the fact that there is no going back and that we are all moving forward whether we acknowledge this or not. Then AV, you’ll see previously-missed opportunities.

2. Only you stop you!   

You don’t need enemies or barriers to stop you. We’ve each had a lifetime to become good at self-sabotage.

BV: Each of us is the real obstacle we face. We limit our own goal achievement and future. For instance, are you letting fear steer your course now even though you’re not exactly sure what you’re afraid of and how realistic this is?

AV: Awareness of how you undermine yourself can help you change patterns in the future. Adopt a positive perspective on every set-back to regain ground and move forward quickly. To empower yourself, replace fear of what you might lose with gratitude for what you have and who you share your life with. Are you here to follow someone else or to be yourself AV?

3. Why not take action while the world is on pause?

BV: Did you feel you had not accomplished all you expected to in life and then the virus hit and now you have been thrown completely off track?

AV: Bad things are happening, but good will come of the world’s unprecedented banding together to conquer this common invisible enemy. Lean on the positive side of this global crisis and you may come out in a better place.

Not “never,” but when…

If you’re bored, it’s because you’re boring. You’ve not even engaged with yourself. Get curious. Be interested in more than virus statistics and streaming to “kill time.” Concentrate on helping, learning, being productive, contributing…and suddenly you may find fulfilling hours have passed. We’re living in a new world, so adopt a pioneer’s strength of will and resourcefulness. Eventually, this purposeful, self-directed approach will become your signature stance on life’s current and AV challenges.

The work day still ends when it ends. Employers who are driving remote-working employees to labor beyond their regular 8 hours are not improving productivity, making friends, or building credibility.

Home-based employees and entrepreneurs with stay-at-home children work two careers: 

1. Theirs—without many of the conveniences of the normal workplace, and

2. A new untutored, fill-in education role cobbled from the careers of missing     teachers, principals, lunchroom people, recess monitors...the children’s     entire school education team.

“Working from home” is not merely doing the same job, the same way, at home. Self-isolation and quarantine have driven more than the employee into the home full-time. The pressures of sharing limited space with family, roommates, children, pets, or other generations can create a uber-distracting environment.

Employers, independent contractors, and employees benefit from re-thinking how workers are expected to fit their job into often-complex home life while simultaneously achieving equivalent, if not higher, rates of productivity. Employers who pressure, threaten, or stress workers are using old-fashioned BV habits, not forward-thinking AV leadership.

• Restorative sleep is the vital goal. Resilience is essential for homefront fighters in the war against COVID-19. That means restorative sleep is essential for good health, clear decision-making, and sharp thinking. Cut sugar, caffeine, and drugs to aim for calm and relaxation. Discover how controlled breathing, stretching, yoga, smiling, laughing, and other proven mind-body practices can manage stress while refreshing and strengthening. For instance, relaxation is as simple as slowly inhaling and exhaling through your nose to the slow count of four, each way. Pay attention to your breathing and quiet your mind.

Or, turn to music. Participate. Don’t just listen. Take up the anti-virus challenge Jon Bon Jovi has extended. Help him write a song of perseverance based on “if you can’t do what you want, you do what you can.” 

The strategic frontline for staying healthy is home. If you go out and catch the virus, the healthcare system becomes the battleground where you fight for your life. 

Stay healthy to protect yourself and others!

This too shall pass.

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PJ Wade —       Decisions & Communities

Futurist and Achievement Strategist PJ WADE is “The Catalyst”—intent on Challenging The Best to Become Even Better. A dynamic problem solver and author of 8 books and more than 2200 published articles, PJ concentrates on the knowledge, insight, communication prowess, and special decision-making skills essential for professionals and their clients who are determined to thrive in the 21st-Century vortex of change.

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