Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Has sheltering-in-place for months worn you down? Were you frantic and alarmed that you or a loved one would contract the coronavirus? Does the constant negativity coming from the mass media make you anxious and fearful? Did your heart break watching the killing of George Floyd, then seeing peaceful protests marred by violence and some strong-armed police tactics? Do you feel enraged that our politicians and leaders are incompetent, corrupt and don’t really care about you?
Unfortunately, these feelings are all too common today. We’re in unprecedented times that are volatile and frightening. There are over 40 million Americans out of work, businesses have been ordered to close, people are hurting, but the stock market is racing higher—making some rich people even wealthier. The disconnect is jarring.
You have a choice to make. You can let yourself get overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world or you can take action. If you wallow in misery, nothing will improve. The only real solution is to try and make the best life for yourself, despite everything that’s happening in our crazy world. You owe it to yourself to at least try to do your part to make things better. The first place to start is with yourself. Here’s what you can easily do right now to make a difference:
- Turn off the television, put down your phone and go for a walk outside to clear your head.
- Don’t worry about saving the world; fix your own life first.
- Choose a direction and work like hell to achieve what you want for your career and life.
- Stop hurting yourself by making poor food choices and consuming too much alcohol and drugs, spending all of your free time gaming, smoking weed, binge-watching Netflix and fighting with everyone around you and on social media.
- At the very least, do some sit-ups, push-ups and ride your bike around town. You’ll feel physically, mentally and emotionally better.
- Stop making excuses and take bold actions. Deep down, you know the life you really desire—go for it!
- Don’t listen to the haters and never give up.
- Replace so-called friends who purposely bring you down with smart, positive, empathetic people.
- Don’t take what you have for granted, as there’s thousands of people who would love to have what you have.
- You can’t compare yourself to others. It will only lead to jealousy and misery. Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
- The harsh reality is that no one really cares about you, except maybe your close family and a few friends—if you’re lucky. So, it’s all up to you to make things happen.
- You look at the rich and famous with a tinge of envy and resentment. Forget about them. If you want to succeed, you need to do an insane amount of work, defer gratification and have some luck on your side.
- Talk and complain less and listen more to people.
- Stop being so self-critical and start believing in yourself.
This may seem a little cold and harsh, but it’s meant to be that way. Life isn’t easy. Getting ahead in your career is extremely difficult. Complaining about your circumstances is easy—that’s why most people engage in doing that. The list is just a starting point. Use it and build upon it.
Many people will crack from the stress of the last four months, fall off the tracks and never recover. If you want to succeed, you must make the conscious decision that you will be different and do what it takes to live your best life—no matter what’s happening around you. Improve yourself first and get your own house in order. Once you’ve achieved that, then you are equipped to effectively care for others and effect meaningful change in the world.