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Two More Years??

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020


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.
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  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    75 days ago
    His style is bold but there is truth there, no sugar coating it... it is the new normal... navigating it is the question.. cases are going up where I live,, and no one knows how your body will react to the virus.... i am an essential worker and probably have been exposed already... but don't know... oh the uncertainty!!
    75 days ago
    I'm a travel-nut who is mourning the loss of travel!
    Now I am learning to enjoy the sounds of home. Adjusting to my new normal which is so much (and perhaps a bit guiltily) better than that of many other people. I've taken the opportunity to hire some out of work people to complete projects for me. Ordered more food from our local pizza place than I've ever done which has stocked my freezer with tidbits.

    I also signed up to be a vaccine lab rat when it's tested on over 65 people. That's the science part of me contribution.

    Not looking for silver linings but slue sky ahead!
    75 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we could out all the people who didn’t want to wear a mask and didn’t want to social distance in their own state/province while the rest of us did what we know is working. We all know what the outcome would be and the rest of us could just get in with our lives.

    The hard reality is this is not going away any time soon. I think back when this started here in Canada last spring and we thought a few weeks of isolation would take care of things, Now even with everything we have done we can see no end in sight. I can do this but I wonder how our economy is going to survive.
    Not everyone’s skills adapt to working online
    75 days ago
    I was one of those folks who couldn’t make my way all the way through with the negativity of Siebold and fatlosers. Just couldn’t do it.
    My family is feeling our way through the disappointment of our cancelled family trip to Anguilla by looking at the big picture.
    We have made so many sacrifices in the last four months, and it’s working, in our area, anyway, and this last one is just one more, albeit a big one.
    Besides, do we really want to get on a plane with connections in NC or FL right now!?
    Who knows who would be getting on board that p,and with us!
    75 days ago
    Excellent points! 👍
    75 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Interesting points on the affects of the pandemic on us all. There are guidelines and new rules set up to control this foreign born flu. We have not spent so much energy on a "flu" as this in the past. See H1N1 , the swine flu. I do empathize with the older folks. Especially those in Washington and New York state where infected senior citizens were returned to their nursing homes, only to pass without family visiting and infecting others.
    Yes the birds are singing and flowers blooming for some of us. Hope we all get through this. The vaccination sounds like a great option. We have flatten the curve. Now lets not fear the flu.
    75 days ago
  • SUNSHINE99999
    Have a fantastic day! emoticon
    75 days ago
  • MUGABI123
    Have a great day!
    75 days ago
    It's interesting to me, this morning, seeing the upbeat blogs, and examining reactions and choices in writing... our moods vary, and writing can be an expression of them. But so can reading and commenting. While one writes and feels calm, not everyone responds with calm.

    I love that the birds are singing, the flowers blooming. Here, the rain is falling and I woke to rain on the roof after a wonderful restful night, which for me... generally means an upbeat morning!

    emoticon and we'll get through this, however many years it takes, practicing our Safe Six, wearing those masks, and being kind, one to another! emoticon
    75 days ago
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