Here’s my most critical question today; “Are you feeling blessed or cursed?”

Frankly, I’ve been completely fascinated by this pandemic’s effect on people’s mindset because I’ve made a career as a motivational speaker and while my talks focus on my personal story, I believe my  true impact is I’m holding up a “metaphorical mirror” for my audience to examine how they see their own circumstances and what that looks like. It’s also absolute “human nature” to take things for granted. I believe that has shifted. How about you?

I do not believe this pandemic is a planned “Test From Above”, or whatever deity you look to for guidance. But make no mistake…this is a “Test”. And it’s the biggest one ever for the entire planet. So I choose to focus not on the 7,591,000,000 people who live here, but the “1”…YOU!

I know everyone reacts to turmoil in their own way and it truly is whatever works for you. But I also believe we have reached a level of fear we have never seen and while I hate to say…”I told you so”, I’m using my extra time to craft a new book with a working title…”Insecurity”! I see it as an all encompassing global human frailty and we are frail right now!

So how do we “Gain Security”? By Doing! I’m really not trying to be one of those “annoying happy and optimistic” people because that’s engrained in my psyche. I’m suggesting this is the perfect time to experiment with tasks we aren’t confident about. Here are some suggestions.

Gaining Security

While I’m proud of my son delivering food to people’s homes to make a few bucks (see my last blog for more about this #LINK#), why not experiment with cooking and baking your own meals? Try some “Do It Yourself” home improvements. I painted the stairs at our cottage a couple of years ago and I still break out in a smile when I look at what “I Did”!  My wife is a Feng Shui Master and decluttering expert so she would suggest this a perfect time to purge things like your wardrobe! I have seen several portable garbage bins parked in driveways all around the neighbourhood and they’re almost full! Remember, a decluttered space is a decluttered mind!

How often have said…”If I only had the time?”, well kids! Be careful what you wish for, huh?

Go for more walks. I know this isn’t “original”, but pets are a beneficiary of the new truth and if I may add, we’ve had rescue dogs and cats for almost 30 years and our four year old dog, Murphy, is literally an untrained emotional support pet! He knows human energy and changes the “feel” of our home. Bigger bonus, we must focus our attention and care for a defenceless being and that alone can be a great boost to our mental health. Is there anything better than a cuddle with a pet?

Speaking of mental health, do you volunteer? There are so many folks in need. Millions of shut-in elderly people who would love a “virtual visit”. One of my focal points in my material is the quote…”Be A Giver, Not A Taker!”. Also remember to balance your time “Giving” and save some of it “for you”!

Do you play an instrument? Did you always want to? I’m still warming to online shopping but any of the sites with instruments can be delivered and here’s a key…instruments need to be played, not stored.

Read! I love to read, and by the way, you don’t have to immerse yourself in “self help” books, though they are a great source of inspiration right now. My wife, Darlene, loves to read everything, but I notice, some of her choices are the derogatory description of “Chick Lit”! Excellent. Not everything has to be “educational” or “inspirational”. Nothing wrong with a little “escape”! My brother-in-law, Ron, is retired from the Canadian military and his hobby is fishing! It’s his escape and by the way, it’s the same for his wife Evelyn, because…Ron goes fishing; Woohoo!

In other words, what is occurring shouldn’t feel like a “prison sentence” even though it may feel like “solitary confinement”!

And one last observation. If you have any young ones at home, I feel for you. I’ve spoken to hundreds of thousands of teachers in my career and a line I sometimes use that raises an eyebrow on occasion is my description of our schools being respite care for parents! Honestly! If you don’t believe me, how does it feel at the end of Summer Vacation when they finally go back to class. Not to make this worse, but Summer Vacation is on the horizon and most parents are praying for the social distancing to ease and I hear that. Frankly, this whole saga would be tolerable if they could at least play with their friends, right? How’s that “home schooling” feel? So another exercise: put yourself in their shoes! Not to be a “Dr. Phil” here, but a profound exercise may be refocusing on how “they” feel and why you had children in the first place! We must, and I mean “must” practice patience, tolerance and mind our tempers!

My son knows all too well how much I’ve improved over that one, heh Vance!