Lessons Learned in 2020

What’s the Role of a Performance Coach?
June 11, 2020

Lessons Learned in 2020

2020 was tough for a lot of people who had to deal with the ramifications of a global pandemic.

Millions of people in the travel and hospitality industry lost jobs. I’ve been in that situation before. Out of no fault of my own, I lost my ability to earn a living overnight. It’s hard to put into words the feeling of helplessness, fear, and crippling anxiety that comes over you when your family depends upon you for an income… and you can’t make any money.

I was one of the fortunate people who didn’t have to deal with losing income or a member of my immediate family due to illness. Our family definitely counted our blessings.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from an interesting year like 2020. The following are some of my reflections.

#1: Your Health Matters

Isn’t that the understatement of the century! The science shows, that people who are under age 65 and healthy are not affected badly by COVID-19.

What does healthy mean?

  • Someone who doesn’t have pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, immune deficiencies, etc.
  • Someone who isn’t overweight
  • A person who isn’t a heavy smoker or drinker

If you’re height-weight proportionate, take care of yourself, and don’t have pre-existing conditions, the chances of you dying from COVID-19 are small. They aren’t impossible, as I’ve seen people who are in phenomenal physical shape get hit hard by this virus.

Why do I bring this up? Because it hit me like a ton of bricks when my Mom (who happens to be a board certified medical doctor) had a serious conversation with me saying, “Son, you’re now high risk because you’re overweight. You’re too young to be high-risk, but you really need to take better care of yourself.”

Isn’t that a reality check?

Yes, me, Galel the performance coach who tells people to work hard on all aspects of their lives (including their physical health) had neglected my health by becoming a little too complacent.

Does it make me a hypocrite for not practicing what I’ve been preaching? Yeah, I think so.

Does it mean I’m a human? Yep, it sure does.

So, I’ve had to make some lifestyle changes. I have become more diligent about taking Vitamin D, getting outside, back to lifting weights, and cutting out things from my eating that already make me feel crappy.

I love how I feel when I exercise; it’s essential for our mental wellbeing, and I encourage you to not start turning things around “later on.” You need to be around, so get started TODAY.

#2: Reduce Waste

With baseball season, tournaments, and business trips cancelled for the year, I had some extra time on my hands.

I used this time to go through and start eliminating things that I didn’t need. I found that I had all types of subscriptions that were giving me no net benefit. In fact, they were causing me stress because I was paying for services, magazines, or other things that I just didn’t use.

Maybe now that we’re in January of 2021 it’s a good time to go through and figure out what you’re not using.

Examples of waste may include:

  • Clothes and toys shoved in your closets or in your garage that you haven’t touched in years.
  • Log into your App Store and bank account and see what recurring subscriptions you’re paying for. $5 here and $2 there adds up pretty quickly.
  • Cancel magazine subscriptions that you haven’t read in the past month.
  • Email subscriptions that you don’t read. Just hit unsubscribe. Stop cluttering your inbox.
  • Cancel text subscriptions. I sign up for these things all the time to get discount codes when buying things online. Go through your phone and reply “STOP” to any automated texts that are likely just causing an interruption to your day.
  • Books that you know you’ll never read. Just donate them to your local library.

Those are just a handful of examples from my life – I’m sure you can find more that’ll apply to you.

As you reduce waste, you’ll clear more space in your brain and help reduce stress and anxiety. It’s a great feeling that lets you focus on other, more important things.

#3: Fun Matters

I don’t know what I would have done without hobbies to occupy my time. One of my weaknesses is that I’ll bury myself deep in work as a defense mechanism to avoid dealing with things. Forcing myself to have fun gets me out of work mode, and reminds me that there’s a hell of a lot more to life than just pounding away at work.

After all, what is life for? It’s sure not just to earn an income. What fun is it to earn money if you can’t enjoy it?

Life is for LIVING – so, go LIVE.

Do you have a hobby? If not, find one. It’s always great to challenge yourself with something new.

My challenge is golf. I started golfing about 15 years ago before we had kids, and then it was too expensive to play with no income, and I stopped playing. Now, I’m back at it. Since my buddies and I can’t umpire baseball, we’re out on the golf course swinging, swearing, looking for our ball, then repeating the process.

It’s frustrating, but also rewarding once in a while when you hit a nice shot.

Go have fun.

#4: Gratitude is Essential

When it seems like the world is burning down (and at some points it literally was), it’s important for you to take stock in those things that matter in life.

What are the things I’m grateful for?

  • The ability to earn an income anywhere in the world
  • High speed Internet
  • The ability to breathe without struggling
  • My immune-compromised wife who remains healthy
  • My two healthy children
  • A cancer-free biopsy for someone very close to me

Make it part of your day, even if it’s for 30 seconds. When you wake up, stop, be grateful to be alive, and think of one thing you’re grateful for. Just that simple act helps to calibrate your day.

#5: Fathers Should Spend Time with their Sons

This one will piss off some people. This is a whole other podcast episode and blog post of its own. It’s more of a modern day American social commentary than anything.

But if you’re a father who has a son, who is teaching that boy to become a man? Are you doing it, or is YouTube doing it?

I’m the ultimate outsourcer.

I outsource work every day, but one thing I realized I cannot and will not outsource is teaching my son how to become a man. I won’t tell you the values to instill; that’s not my place.

What I will tell you is that if you’re not training your boy to be a man, someone else is – and the way that our society values men these days, my guess is that you won’t like what he’s learning.

Single mothers – God bless you. You have it even tougher, because you have to play dual roles. If you have a boy, I’d encourage you to find men that you trust, who share your values to help mentor your future gentlemen.

Have Grace For Yourself

We’re not perfect. We’re human. You can’t be superman or superwoman. Lean on the help of others around you, and when you can’t do something – ask for help.

We’ve gone through some strange times over the last several months. If you’re reading this – congratulations! You made it out alive.

Have grace for yourself to make mistakes, correct your errors, and move forward to try a better path.

If you need help to get recalibrated, I’m an email away.

Here’s to a great 2021!

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