March 20, 2020
Despite temporarily closing the school, I’m in good spirits and hope you are as well. Like many of you, I’ve never experienced anything like this. The only thing that is somewhat close in resemblance to this for me is 9/11. To this day, I can still remember where I was when I first learned about the attacks on our soil. In my humble opinion, like 9/11, this too will pass, and we will one day look back and reflect on where and how we dealt with the coronavirus.
If you read the news and hear what people are saying, you can sense the fear and stress levels rising. This reminds me of a story my father told me a while back. In the 70s, my father had a student who thought the world would end. His circle of friends said that the only way to survive the end of the world was to move to Australia and build an underground shelter. After talking to my father and having some time to reflect, the student decided against moving to Australia. Fast forward 40 years later, and I’m sure the student is glad he didn’t follow the crowd mentality. Hindsight is 20/20 and during that time, the only thing the student was worried about was the quickest way to get to Australia.
To clarify, in no way am I suggesting not to be concerned or avoid taking the necessary precautions against the coronavirus. I’m just asking you to consider taking a minute and rise above the “fog” and put things in perspective. For me, that means reaching out to members in our organization and outside.
This is a challenging time for many of us, and I believe it’s what we do now as an organization that defines us. Social distancing doesn’t mean no communication whatsoever. Instead, I believe as leaders in martial arts, we have to support and help people in our community more than ever.
For our students and personal students, we have to think of ways to overdeliver. From a school standpoint, we have given every student an extra two months of training for every month of “virtual” training online. While I can only do so much as an individual, as a group, we can do amazing things. When you have some downtime, reach out to your personal students as much as possible and let them know you’re here for them. My father has always given selflessly to others. I hope you can be a reflection of that and provide some time to helping others.
While you may not realize it, the things you do for the people around you now may make a lasting impression forever. A new bond may become a lifetime relationship, and a lifetime relationship will only get stronger through selfless giving and care for one another.
Let’s make sure we do our part to take care of our community and our organization.
On that note, I would like you also to consider the following.
1) Consider doing the opposite and not follow the herd mentality. I’ve always been a contrarian at heart. I like to always look at what people are doing and consider moving in the opposite direction.
One example is the stock market. Disclaimer, I’m not a financial advisor, and this is solely my opinion. Although we don’t know when the market will go up and down in the short term, all else equal, we know in the long term from a historical standpoint that over a period of time, the market has ALWAYS generated better returns than almost any other investment vehicle in the long run.
Think long term and assume you’ll get through this and don’t get distracted by the short-term “noise.” Everyone knows the concept of buying low and selling high. As the market sells off on fear, perhaps this is an opportunity to buy if you do not require the assets in the short term.
2) Consider supporting your local businesses. I have a good friend at Marriott who shared with me that the company will furlough its employees and have them work one day a week for the next 60-90 days. If a large corporation is doing this to its employees, can you imagine what the coronavirus is doing to small businesses? My landlord called me today to check in on me. He mentioned to me that he suspected there would be a good amount of businesses closing because of the coronavirus.
As many local businesses around the area suffer through this, it’s in times like these that we need to support them. I always think that there are two options when someone is down. Some will use the opportunity to kick them when they’re down. I choose to lend a hand. I hope you consider doing the same thing.
3) Have a positive, growth mindset and always look for the silver lining. In times like these, I reflect on something that Shi Ye (Ye) once said to me, “Worrying and being stressed won’t change anything or make things better.” We can’t worry about what others are doing. We can only control what we can control.
Do what you can to enrich your mind, body, and spirit ALL THE TIME! Don’t let the negative, fixed mindset hold you down.
In closing, Shi Ye (Ye) and I would like to thank all of you who reached out to check in on us. It means a lot, and I hope all of you stay safe at this time.
If you need help with anything, you can reach me by phone or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.