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  • tmilus

Things are "going viral"

As a nation, and as a world, we have never seen times like these with the Covid-19 virus. Everyone is sheltering in place. The grocery stores are rationing toilet paper, eggs, and milk in response to hoarding. Bidet sales are growing. The flour and pasta aisles are bare. People are being furloughed as non-essential businesses shut down on their own. Non-essential businesses claiming to be essential are being shut down by local governments. 401k and 403b retirement plans have taken a big hit along with most other investors. Elton John organized a concert from the living rooms of recording artists broadcast on the Internet. And John Prine is in the hospital on a respirator with the Covid-19 virus. The list of issues is long...and growing.

These times can, and do, bring both the best and worst in us. Hoarding and greed-related behaviors lead the pack of the worst in us. Self-sacrifice like sharing and donating head up the list of "best" things. Both sets of behaviors are driven in large part by emotions. When we are anxious about our future safety (or comfort in some cases), we hoard and violate legal and social regulations to reduce our anxiety. When we look outside ourselves and see others in real need, our more oxytocin-driven behaviors of doing good things for others kicks in.

I certainly don't have solutions to this situation, but I have some suggestions. Survey yourself: Are you informed about how to personally deal with the viral threat to you and those close to you; What assumptions are you making about the impact of this situation on your future (job, relationships, family and friends, retirement...); What stance have you taken at this point (are you hunkering down in survival mode, looking for ways to invest in the future and perhaps find some advantage to this situation, or a little of both); How are you managing your time?

The program: (1) stay informed about the virus. (2) List and evaluate your assumptions. (3) Balance your survival behavior with a view of the future. (4) It is easy to fall into time-wasting behaviors as we "wait out the storm." How many times have you wished for the time to catch up on your reading, rethink your work, really dig into planning a project, or clean the garage? (5) We often ponder what else we might like to do or if should we look for another job. But we rarely go to the point of asking what we would do if we didn't have a job at all. You now have the luxury to truly answer the question, "What would you do if you could NOT go to your current job?"

Take some time make yourself better as a result of this challenge!


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