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Get Back Up and Dare

"True hopefulness and optimism is what leads one to dare. It is also what lifts one back up to dare again after a failed attempt."– Brian May, Musician

As we enter the final stages of 2020, COVID-19 is raging, lockdowns are intensifying and governments are once again shutting things down. I personally know a few business owners that were doing fine...until. Indeed, this is a very hard time for many - I've even transitioned through 3 jobs this year. But with feeling, I told my friends, “Get back up and dare.”


Uncertainty Abounds


I imagine you are hearing more and more stories about friends who have or recently have had COVID. My parents caught it back in March and spent 2 weeks at home with a bad flu. Other people I know lost friends and relatives. Many argue Covid-19 is no worse than the flu. I see stats that it’s 3x worse but that is not comforting if it’s a loved one.


The silver lining is that vaccines are being deployed although there is still a great deal of skepticism surrounding the rushed release of these pharmaceuticals.


The most frequent questionsI hear amongst the locals these days are:

  • When will this pandemic end?

  • What will happen to my job?

  • When will the economy return to normal?

  • When will the lockdowns end for good?

  • When will we be able to return to a normal life?

In this context, it's normal to have feelings of uncertainty. The lockdowns (not the virus) have destroyed the livelihoods of millions of people. Here is one of the most representative images I've seen of late: the line at the Dallas Food Bank.

In Italy, government sources estimate that 33% of businesses risk closing down definitively. In Toronto, where I was born, one of my favorite childhood restaurants also shut it's doors due to lockdowns.


The question becomes: what can you & I do at a personal level to try and maintain our livelihood, keep our families safe and perhaps have a little extra to donate to the less fortunate?


Focus on What You Can Control


If we only focus on the negatives (if we read the newspapers, watch the news on TV, spend time on social media feeds...) we will always feel vulnerable and our minds will revert to "defense mode" where creativity, initiative and faith are all shut down in favour of the short-term survival instincts. Our minds cannot discern between a real threat or a hypothetical situation that we are only hypothesizing. By dwelling on the negative, we're conditioning ourselves for failure.


We can't control the economy.

We can't control the virus.

We can't control the government.


The only thing we can control is how we react to the situation. I've learned that what we experience in life is some kind of feedback loop:


  • all our experiences offer us information and messages;

  • when we don't listen to the messages, they become "lessons";

  • when we don't learn the lesson, we are faced with "problems";

  • when we don't deal with our problems, they can become a crisis.

This is why we must be strong and face reality, no matter how hard it is. Take responsibility for your results. Be accountable. There is always something that can be done to salvage a situation. You might have to move outside of your circle of comfort. You might have to ask for help or guidance initially, if you don't see a way out.


The bottom line is that you can become the miracle you need, if you will do what is necessary to accomplish that miracle. Don't stop and fret about the situation. Take action, keep moving on.


So right now, right where you are, try this little exercise out:

  • what is your main issue right now?

  • what is blocking you from solving it?

  • who can potentially help you find answers or solutions?

  • what steps do you need to take in order to get unstuck?

There is no ego. No condemnation. No regret. The past is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. There is only what needs to be done here & now.


Attitude of Gratitude


Another essential ingredient to solving life's issues and moving forward with courage is Gratitude. In a nutshell, gratitude means "wanting what you have" and not focusing on what you don't have.


The Bible says “In everything give thanks.” Notice it doesn’t say to give thanks “for” everything, it says “in” everything. No matter what circumstances you're in, choose to be grateful. Avoid focusing on what’s wrong. Instead identify the positives in your life and dwell on them. No matter what your situation, you will probably have something to be grateful for.


Too many people take for granted the 3 main necessities we all have:

  • warm food;

  • shelter;

  • warm clothes.

After that, you could add:

  • being healthy;

  • having a loving family;

  • having trusted friends.

We all face difficult situations in life. No one on earth is exempt from trials. But we have to discipline ourselves so that we don’t stay focused on the negative. That’s where the mind naturally wants to go.


Instead, we need to learn to gratitude as a source of joy and strength in the middle of life's storms.


Lessons from 2020


Family & Health First: without health, we can't do anything else with our lives. Also, a healthier body fights off infections and diseases more easily. So how'd you do this year? Did you work out? Did you eat healthy? Did you manage stress as best as possible, not letting it weigh on you? Did you honor you family? Did you cherish the extra time with your children?


Have Faith and Confidence: Confidence is the belief in one's ability to overcome life's challenges. Did you enter each day ready to figure things out, or did you tell yourself that you can't? Your answer to that single question probably set the reality and progress of your year. Reminder: Nothing "out there" gives you confidence. Confidence comes from within, from remembering your past victories and the attitude and habits that led you towards those victories.


Build when everyone else is worrying: A lot of people got to work this year while everyone else drowned in pools of pessimism. A lot of people kept building while everyone hid their fears by jumping into more seasons on Netflix. I launched Building a Trader in the midst of the pandemic and planted the seeds for another start-up that's coming in 2021. The law of sowing & reaping is alive and well: the seeds you sow today will determine the harvest tomorrow.


I Wish You a Prosperous 2021

I hope you find these thoughts helpful and encouraging. 2020 was one of the toughest years since the world wars. But we got through it. We're still here. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.


Here are some FREE resources to help you get on the path to consistency in 2021:


I encourage you to have a healthy, strong and corageous start to 2021.


Cheers,


Justin




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