Doors Open When You Knock

For this week:  Free from torture (thanks Seneca)

“I may wish to be free from torture, but if the time comes for me to endure it, I’ll wish to bear it courageously with bravery and honor.  Wouldn’t I prefer not to fall into war? But if war does befall me, I’ll wish to carry nobly the wounds, starvation, and other necessities of war.  Neither am I so crazy as to desire illness, but for the virtue that makes adversities bearable.” – Seneca, Moral Letters, 67.4

Nobody wanted this crisis.  Nobody wanted quarantine.  Nobody wanted their business grounded to a halt.

I’m really, really sorry: but it’s here.  Maybe you were prepared for it (‘it’ being any shocking event) maybe you weren’t.  Consider that we should always be prepared for the unknown.  Difficulty always shows up in life, sooner or later.  To pretend that it doesn’t exist is naive and a recipe for an upset of our own making.

Who knows what the overall outcome of these circumstances may be, but would it be a bad idea to be prepared for the worst?  Would it be a terrible idea to be okay with that adversity is ahead?

To Seneca’s point:  no one wants ’necessities of war.’  However, being prepared, being able to be at peace with when those things happen.  That is the virtue that gets us through.

Listening to people in my life (like some of my kids) complaining about all the “hardship” this is causing.  For my kids, what hardship?  I see them sleeping in, lounging around, nagging me about hanging out/or not hanging out with their friends.  They are not worried about feeding themselves or making the rent payment.  Oh right, that’s my job.  So they are inconvenienced.  Big deal.  The whole world is inconvenienced (and some kids are missing graduations, proms, sporting events – I get it)

It reminds me of a line in a John Mulaney comedy bit, The Salt and Pepper Diner (I highly recommend listening to for a little levity), where John and his other friend John play the same song on a juke box 21 times, sending the entire diner into a tizzy.  At the end of this story the uncaring and indifferent staff says “Same sh*t as always.”  

One way to look at what’s happening (and I am not minimizing the potential health crisis or any of the other real issues for people), “Same sh*t as always,” not from a lack of caring, but a lack of being attached to whether things are perceived as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’  I am not saying, ‘don’t care.’  What I am saying:  let’s not get emotionally hung up on what’s happening.  What’s happening is what’s happening.  That’s it.  Everything else is in our control.  Our emotions, our response, our actions (or lack thereof).  

There are no shortage of emails going out from vendors, partners, companies.  If I get one more “COVID” email I think I am going to vomit.  

And, as real estate agents, we all want to sell houses.  Our ability to do that has been hindered a bit.  How we sell houses going forward may change even permanently.  As my mentor Fred Wilson said, “Opportunity is everywhere.”  Sometimes it’s a business opportunity, sometimes it’s a personal development opportunity.  And everything in between.  What we can do now, in every moment, is look for the opportunity.  The opportunity to be of service.  The opportunity to be calm.  The opportunity to expand our businesses.  The opportunity find new avenues for business.  The opportunity to learn and be prepared. And so on.  

Finally, we still MUST MOVE FORWARD!  Sure, we can take some time to breathe, collect our thoughts, keep our family safe.  But we still must press on. THIS FRIDAY I am doing a FREE Business Planning Workshop, via Zoom.  We will setup a plan on moving forward for the next 90 days, the best we can.  All input welcome.  Together, many minds working together to come with strategies and tactics to move ourselves, our clients, and our industry forward.

BTW: If you are sick of the ‘main’ news sources, and are looking for some other information, here are a few links I found helpful:

Click here to register for Friday’s Zoom event (9:30am-11am).

To keeping our chins up,
Steven