Remember Steve Siebold? The fatlosers.com guy? That website seems to be down for now, but many of us long-term Sparkies worked our way through his (then free) 24 day Mental Toughness approach to weight control. Once or even more than once.
Siebold was definitely an important way station for me along the path to finding my own way (weigh?) Although he himself joked that many people dropped out of fatlosers.com about day four or so. ("If you're fat it's your fault!" and all the stuff about how your clients and customers and colleagues really view you if you're over weight. Not to mention your spouse or partner!!) Gosh, he's tough.
And fatlosers was just a side gig for him: he's been focused for decades on making big bucks coaching corporate America by teaching critical thinking through motivational speaking for all the biggest companies, travelling all over the world. His Mental Toughness University is all about critical thinking, not positive thinking or negative thinking or delusional thinking. Facing squarely what "is".
And so you'd expect Siebold's got exactly the same attitude towards COVID-19. He says, we might not like it but realistically we can predict at least two more years of recurring lockdowns. The old normal is never coming back. The old jobs are never coming back. He's taken his own business completely on line. He says 90% of people will do nothing at all about this situation other than sitting back, complaining about it, and politicizing the crisis.
So: what mental toughness alternatives does he recommend?
1. Embracing the change, adapting to the new reality. We might wish it were different but it's not: so how can we make the best of it?
2. Asking ourselves what we can do in this new landscape . . . which for now at least is and will be largely on-line.
3. Devising a plan which takes into consideration what our ideal outcome would be. From a business perspective (his focus), he considers that the "new normal" requires 100% on-line delivery and availability 24/7.
Well, I did not intend yesterday's "Sobering News" blog to focus so much on the "sobering" stuff but rather more on the peace which is still very possible despite the current landscape. Even if that current landscape does continue for two more years. But from the responses, it appears Sparkies are feeling very sobered indeed -- and I see this morning that LA is strongly considering a return to full lockdown given the uptick in cases and deaths. Very much in line with Siebold's predictions.
What's the new reality? Lots of people won't socially distance. They won't mask. They won't accept a vaccination, if and when one is available. They will insist upon their "rights" and their "freedoms" and they will politicize this situation and yearn (fruitlessly) for a return to the old normal -- that old normal which actually did not work all that well for a lot of people. I might wish that were different, but so far the critical thinking evidence indicates: it's not.
How can I make the best of it, from a non-business perspective? I can stay home as much as possible. Sanitize. Mask and social distance when I must go out.
My ideal outcome? It's to sustain my physical and mental health at optimum level during this time, no matter how long it takes. Gentle exercise and good nutrition. Remaining intellectually and emotionally and socially connected in all the new ways. Noticing when I'm agitated with fears from the past or fears for the future and permitting those random thoughts to just flow on past. To focus on the present moment. Where nothing bad is happening. And where many good people are doing their very best to provide essential services and to create new social norms that are more just and more fair and more respectful of difference. To be part of that change when and as I can. Not sobering. Joyous.
The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming. I can trust that the world is still a beautiful place of abundance, contentment and calm. Always just one thought away.