It can be overwhelming.
(The irony that I’ve shared this article on Facebook is not lost on me.)
When overwhelmed, a human being tends to label and “bucket”. It’s the only thing we can do to make sense of chaos. At the risk of generalizing (I, too, am a bucketing human) here are just five of the messages being tossed around online right now:
- “There’s so much opportunity right now, keep building your business!”
- “Screw doing epic things during the quarantine, maybe this is the Universe showing us the every day things we take for granted.”
- “Save money, be smart, hoard toilet paper, hunker down!”
- “Don’t think so selfishly, you toilet paper idiots –– show kindness to people.”
- “Who cares, we’re all gonna die at some point. Let’s pound some shots!”
What’s being lost in the noise is that all of these are valid and appropriate feelings. It’s easy to feel that life is out of balance. In my opinion, life balance isn’t real.
Navigating life is not about balance –– navigating life is more like a symphony: Giving the appropriate attention, to the appropriate thing, for the appropriate amount of time.
(My friend Susie Miller shared that with me years ago, and it stuck.)
Having been an amateurish musician in my 20s, I can appreciate the symphony concept:
- No piece by Mozart has the violins screaming the entire time.
- The saxophonist in a jazz band plays one-tenth of the time that the drummer does.
- Metallica weaves musical rests into heavy metal tunes.
- Even Justin Bieber has rap breaks in his tracks (go, Quavo).
No one knows how long Coronapocalypse will last but you can’t hammer one note the entire rest of the way. Give yourself permission to feel all five of those sentiments above or more. Give space for others to do the same.The other day, I sent a (very rare) fiery, rah-rah message to friends in my mastermind:
We’re not gonna just sit around and take this stupid virus up our backsides and let it control what we say and do like we’re some damn puppet, right? We are the damn Avengers CEOs of business and we will flourish!
Pulitzer material, I know.
I’m not a rah-rah guy until I see people get trampled on by themselves or by others. It’s only on rare occasions I (try to) impersonate Braveheart.
Entrepreneurs are a unique breed. Our highs are higher and our lows are lower. I have a huge heart for entrepreneurs, and the heart is what you must protect at all costs –– entrepreneur or not.
Sometime later, I ended up talking with a few of the same people. Totally different tone. Sometimes we just need an ear. Sometimes we just want to vent. Sometimes we just want to joke around. But it’s good to have friends who hold space no matter what you feel.
Human beings aren’t one trick ponies, one-hit wonders, or one-note melodies. There is no one-size-fits-all.
Give yourself space to feel it all and realize that other people aren’t what they say on social media 100% of the time. I know it can seem like those people have the emotional range of Owen Wilson in well, any movie –– but that’s not the point.
If you’re one of those one-note people, try playing a few other notes along the way. (Or we can just mute you, it’s fine.)What a year. I was just getting over Kobe Bryant’s death and now this. None of these news headlines feel real. But whether you find yourself in rah-rah mode or down in the dumps please allow me to suggest asking yourself this:
“Am I giving the appropriate attention, to the appropriate thing, for the appropriate amount of time?”
It may help you navigate the uncharted times ahead. There’s no fast-forward button. We can’t cancel 2020, we can’t hibernate until 2021.
The only way out is through. Let’s hold each other’s space and get to the other side with as many of still here as possible.
(Also, fuck this virus. I don’t care if using that vocabulary hurts my brand, I could be dead next week for all I know. Fuck this virus!!! Someone please hold space for me, LOL.)