Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during WWII said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
The purpose of planning
Most plans are rendered useless as soon as they are put to paper. But they serve a useful purpose: It defines our goal, which is critical to our eventual success. There are many ways to accomplish the goal but we must first clarify in our mind what it is we want to accomplish.
And if we know the end game, i.e., we know what we want to accomplish, then we have a chance to adapt our plans when obstacles get in the way. That is why planning is so important.
Our lives from this point forward will be divided into two distinct segments: Pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19. Those who think that once the pandemic is over the world will return to what it was prior to the virus will be sorely disappointed. That world is over, never to return. For each of us to succeed we need to prepare ourselves for a post-COVID-19 comeback.
What We Have Control Over
So how do we do that? That’s the question, isn’t it? At the moment, there is not much that we personally have control over. We have control over keeping ourselves safe from the virus and all that entails. Many of us have the ability to work from home but even that is limited because for the vast majority of us our business is on hold or worse. At least for me it is. How about you?
But we do have control over one very critical aspect of our lives: our minds. You can’t control much these days but you can choose to focus on a healthy mindset. Stress, fear, grief, anxiety, and depression are all natural responses to the crisis we are confronting at the moment. Or we can choose to focus our minds on other things.
Fred Rogers learned this idea early in life. “When I was a boy” he said, “I would see scary things, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”” How true. We can focus on the crisis or we can focus on the heroes who are putting their lives at risk helping us.
Protect and Feed Your Mind
There are two things you can do to promote a healthy mindset:
- Protect your mind. By that I mean, minimize the amount of news you listen to or view on TV and radio. Remember that the news media understands that fear sells. I bet the ratings of the radio talk shows and TV news shows are up dramatically since the COVID-19 crisis began because they realize this fact. I confess I’ve been consuming way too much news lately and it is having a negative impact on my outlook. Starting today, I’m limiting my news viewing to 15 minutes.
- Feed your mind. There is so much good content that we can focus on, that is uplifting and inspirational. Now is the time to voraciously consume whatever inspires and uplifts you. As a believer in Jesus, I need to focus on his promises like “… do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear… Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
How are you going to respond COVID-19?
We are living in extraordinary times. Darren Hardy, host of Today on DarrenDaily, recently said, “What will we be telling future generations about this crisis? I believe we were born for this moment. We can decide to make the COVID-19 crisis the most positive, defining event in our lives.” Or we can give into the temptation to consider ourselves victims of our circumstances. What you do at this very moment in time will greatly define your future. Now is the time to prepare your comeback!
Those are my thoughts. I welcome yours. What would you add to this conversation?
Doug Marshall is the award winning author of Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing: How to Build Wealth and Grow Passive Income From Your Rental Properties.