English, I'm not the first to say, is a funny language. My dad once told me, "You definitely don't want disgruntled employees." He smiled. "You want them 'gruntled.'" Of course "gruntled" isn't a word. (Actually I just found out that it is! It's just not used very often. And yes, it means, "pleased, contented." See? You already learned something new today. At least I did.). How about "plenish"? Turns out, "plenish" is an archaic word, meaning, get this–"to replenish." So we have a word that uses that wonderful prefix "re-" to mean exactly what the original, "archaic" word meant. Who says progress is always forward?
"Replish," as I just checked my notebook, was number 189 of the 246 "re-" words I came up with last March (see https://bit.ly/3cf6Zzk) in search of potential Blog titles. This month calls for replenishing, does't it? Everyone's on edge over the Corona COVID-19 virus, with schools being shuttered, events cancelled, and plenty of worry to go around. What can we do to replenish, to "supply what is lacking"?
First, take stock of what we do have. The first three items that come to my mind are: health, resourcefulness, and ability to choose how to respond to this new threat. No one I know has contracted this virus, yet we're all being affected, from daily routines to business continuity plans. I heard yesterday that 30 of 32 upcoming planned events at the Tokyo American Club have been cancelled, and just read a disheartening message about possible cancellation of the Olympics. Talk about disruptive!
And yet, as I wrote above, everyone I know, at least as far as I can know, is COVID-19-free. That is probably true for you, too. But is everyone worry-free? Far from it. Personally, I feel no more concern about catching this virus than I do about catching the flu, which is to say, I have minimal concern, and next to none about dying from it. I am no expert, but I have learned that anyone who is sick should wear a mask to keep the virus from spreading; yet, masks are selling out world-wide because people are wearing them to keep from becoming infected. The experts say that doesn't work.
I am healthy. If you are healthy, I hope you take stock and be extra grateful for your health.
On to the second item, "resourcefulness." Around 25 years ago, I took a Tony Robbins course where he taught that "resourcefulness is much more important than resources." People bemoan a lack of resources (money, staff, or maybe wine?) when what's needed most is resourcefulness, and that's up to us to develop. The new, winning idea could be just around the corner. We can use our resourcefulness, along with time (suddenly, you may feel like you have *more* of that most precious of resources) and imagination to create something new during this "crisis." I put the word in quotes not to diminish the impact, but because I can't help but see it as a human-manufactured crisis; my and friends' risk analyses suggest basic precautions are more in order than drastic moves I see around us, but as my good friend Eric Dahler says, "I have no control of the fears of others."
Which takes me right to the third item: Choice. Our ability to choose how to respond. Having gone through the 3/11 trifecta (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster), SARS & MERS before that, and the Lehman shock in between, we know that business will eventually get back to "normal," or a "new normal." The biggest two take-aways for me from all those messes were: 1) Keep moving; and 2) Be productive. I'm taking my own advice here and and will continue to write. If training trips are cancelled, I'll finish my next book earlier than scheduled and will record some new music. I'll also be putting together workshops and offer coaching that people can attend via Zoom or Skype.
For now, I'll add a third take-away/self-admonition: Waste ZERO time being worried. Worry doesn't work. Worry saps energy. Worry is a waste. And the best antidote to worry is the same as the antidote for fear: ACTION. If you feel like it, let me know what you think, and what *you* are doing to stay moving and productive. What actions are you taking?