This week, I learned two powerful lessons about how to better approach our current challenge from my 7-year-old daughter. The first started when I was going through the daily ritual of washing my hands with her and she said something that affected me.
After washing her hands with our new and longer process, she touched a chair and said, “Watch out for the CORONA dad!”
What affected me wasn’t the fear there was some virus on my furniture. I was intrigued how her interpretation of the word CORONA was so different than mine. And I wondered what future generations will associate with the word moving forward.
I was always taught that you should really understand what a word means to you before you use it. To be clear, when I think about CORONA, beer is not the first thing that comes to mind; instead I imagine UNSTOPPABLE POTENTIAL.
When I was my daughter’s age, the CORONA didn’t have to do with a universal event we all hid from; it had to do with a universal event we all wanted to see.
Back then, I was taught a CORONA happened when there was a total solar eclipse. Like most young kids, I was very interested and intrigued by such a celestial event.
Ironically, when there was a CORONA during one of those events, my classmates and I were also given instructions about safety and special things to wear on our heads. But instead of our lungs, we were reminded to “do the right thing” in order to protect our eyes, knowing how important they would be for the future.
Those eyes I protected from damage back then have allowed me to see many things over the last few weeks. Not only have they opened up windows to how low someone can sink during times of panic, but also how high people can elevate during times of great challenge.
Yes, during our current universal event, things have been blocked. But just like when the moon completely blocks the sun, it’s great power is still visible through the CORONA. The CORONA is a reminder that the sun has not gone away; it continues to burn as bright and will return soon. The CORONA is the sun’s reminder to appreciate all of its benefits and beauty when they are gone if only for a short period of time.
Speaking of time, this type of event, like our current situation, is something rare and temporary. But in both cases, how we choose to endure them will be according to what we do and don’t appreciate during that time it is there.
Know this first CORONA lesson: it is a law of nature that there will be an inevitable glow caused by high potential and powerful energy of the thing being blocked. And even when something big is blocking your path, potential and energy will always find ways to get around it.
Right now, you may be blocked from going to work, dining out, seeing your friends, enjoying some hobbies and getting to the gym or your favorite places of worship.
But even when you are blocked, your energy can still visible. Right now is the time to be the best version of yourself for your family and community. Your positive energy, good attitude and continued development can create different type of CORONA to make contagious for others.
Like the light and heat from the sun, your energy is powerful and necessary too. Now is your chance to make sure that your goodness shines through.
And one way we are all being asked to shine is through a new concept of SOCIAL DISTANCING. My second lesson is even if you have been staying at home, you may still be practicing “social distancing” the wrong way.
With your current “new normal” in place, there are things from your life you have been missing. This is to remind you not to unnecessarily add even more of things to that list.
Where did I discover people have a “SOCIAL DISTANCING” problem? I was out teaching my same 7-year-old daughter to ride her bike.
As I was walking alongside her on the sidewalk, another person was walking in the opposite direction. We both correctly practiced our “social distance” by maintaining a wide berth, but when I gave the person a smile, I noticed they looked the other way and missed it.
He totally and voluntarily took away the simple and social benefit of a smile.
Right now we may have to be practicing SOCIAL DISTANCING, but that doesn’t mean you have to practice SOCIAL DISREGARD. Although you are being asked to distance yourself from other people, you should not be distancing yourself from certain social things that you shouldn’t.
Because social distancing is unnatural for people, I wanted to share some ideas to make sure you minimize the bad consequences while doing a good thing.
The problem people may have with understanding the difference between social distancing and social disregard is because of the word “SOCIAL.” I don’t think leaders should have called the process “social distancing.” Instead I think it should have been called “PHYSICAL DISTANCING” because that is what we have to do.
Unfortunately, some people are removing the “social” aspects of their lives along with the “physical,” and that is not only unnecessary, but also potentially detrimental.
In fact, we all need to be more “social” than ever.
When I think of the word “social” I think of seeking or enjoying companionship. And as I have experienced with all my good friends from around the world, companionship and a feeling of connection can happen outside of 6 feet. As you are currently experiencing, connection and liking people can happen on a Zoom, FaceTime or from a call, message, or text too.
SOCIAL DISTANCING should be interpreted as staying apart with our bodies, but there are still ways to connect and bring us all closer with our minds. The current term of SOCIAL DISTANCING represents staying home and away from others to keep everyone safe and well, but you can also keep everyone safe and well by closing the distance in other ways.
Now is the time to reach out to people you haven’t heard from.
Now is the time to thank people for ways they have helped you.
Now is the time to ask an opinion and just sit back and listen.
Practice these and you will learn a great listener or grateful person can still exist over 6 feet away.
Human beings are a social species. In fact, it is our working together and staying connected that allowed us to take over this rock called Earth. And sticking to our social nature now will allow us to continue that rule regardless of the challenge we face.
Connectedness doesn’t just happen by standing within too close of a physical radius. Here are 5 ways you can still use the human anatomy and social skills you have at your disposal to make that connection:
You can still look people in the eyes.
You can still open your ears and listen what someone has to say.
You can still use your facial muscles to smile.
You can still use your neck muscles to nod in agreement.
You can still wave your hand to let someone know they are acknowledged and important.
And even after using those 5 classics, you can try a new “corona-inspired” method we have been using in our house: you can open your arms from a distance and throw an “air hug.”
Speaking of in the home, if you are missing the physical distance with others right now, I have an even greater challenge you may be forgetting. I challenge you to take advantage of the time and space you have with your immediate family.
Now is your chance to close the distance and dish out more high fives, hugs and pats on the back. Those forms of contact according to our “new quarantine rules” are not only still allowed, but encouraged.
Finally, in addition to listening more to others as a way to be “social,” now is also an important time to listen more deeply to yourself.
If there is sadness or pain of withdrawal right now, you are telling you something. You just need to listen and find the message.
Maybe the lesson is about your food, your effort or your attitude. Maybe your feelings are due to things you took for granted or things you over-indulged. Whatever the answer, it is time to appreciate what your body and mind are saying and take action.
Yes, you must distance yourself further from others right now, but:
Don’t distance yourself further from your immediate family.
Don’t distance yourself further from good exercise, sleep and diet.
Don’t distance yourself further from self development and growth.
I hope this has helped you in some way. It should be your reminder that yes, the physical distance from others may have increased, but the connected range from your loved ones and your own mind should be closer than ever. The 6-inch distance between your ears is the most important one you must to properly control and still inhabit. Make sure that is a distance you never disregard.
I don’t know what the words CORONA and SOCIAL DISTANCING will mean to you someday. I think it will be impossible not to associate them with our current time of challenge and struggle.
CORONA and SOCIAL DISTANCING have removed things from your life. I am sure you are experiencing the old adage, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.”
It was my hope with this writing that you might someday relate the words to a temporary situation that helped you to appreciate once what was most important. Just like an eclipse reminds us of the importance of light or being blocked from some people in your life reminds us of the power of connection, now you should be more appreciative than ever for the things that the current darkness has blocked or distanced from your life.
One way to become “GREAT” right now is to become “GRATEFUL.”
That is a final lesson we all need to teach.
Yours in Strength,
P.S. A great way to continue to develop yourself is through reading. Now that you have been appointed the Head Coach and Leader of your home, it is a great time to read. My new book Coach to Coach is currently helping thousands around the world to take on this challenge. I hope you enjoy growing from this easy-to-read, yet powerful story.
I promise the messages are what you need to hear right now.