A lot of unknown elements are challenging us and will continue to for the next few weeks. Not only are there health concerns facing us and the people we love, but the economic challenges as we mount a global defense to conquer the Coronavirus.
While most of us have never faced anything like this in our lifetimes, we know it’s crucial to maintain our mental balance and positive outlook. I’ve found that the lessons I’ve learned from my mentors and co-mentors — the teachings that make up The Theory of 5 — are more relevant than ever. Here are some lessons that I believe will be particularly significant in the coming weeks.
Breathe and Look Up
In the middle of a crisis, one of the best things we can do is nothing for a moment. In a situation like this, it’s vital to take a few moments every day to breathe and keep our head up. Shutting our eyes and taking deep breaths will clear our minds and stop our anxiety from spinning out of control. Think about athletes leaving the field; the winning team hold their heads up, while the losing team is often looking down. Let’s keep a winning attitude and hold our heads high, and when we’re feeling stressed, just breathing and finding our center often makes way ahead clearer.
Surrounding Ourselves with the Right People
The core philosophy of The Theory of 5 is understanding that we tend to become the average of the five people closest to us. This average reflects in our income, opinions, ambitions and ways we deal with difficult times. If everyone around us is panicked, it’s more difficult for us to maintain a positive mindset. In a time of quarantine, it might be impossible to surround ourselves with people who have a positive attitude physically, but we can reach out through the phone, Facetime or other ways to keep those in our circle close, and reconnect with friends and family with whom we’ve lost touch. Even in times of social distancing, we must maintain our most valuable positive contacts.
When we’re stuck at home, it’s easy to do nothing but overeat, drink too much and watch television all day. This is an opportunity to exercise and get outdoors; putting our bodies through their paces will not only get us in better physical shape but will absolutely lower our anxiety levels. We all have projects we’ve wanted to tackle but did not have the time. Are there online classes we could take and books we’ve been wanting to read? If your dealership is closed for the moment, this is a great time to take a deep dive into the products you sell and get to know them backward and forward. We can also evaluate all the products from our vendors and partners that we are paying for to review our return on investment. This period of inactivity will end, and the people who wanted to buy cars before will want them just as much when things get back to normal. Let’s emerge from this time stronger and more united than ever.
Stay Informed, but Don’t OD on News
There’s an adage in the news profession: “If it bleeds, it leads,” meaning that the more sensational the story, the closer to the top of the page or beginning of the newscast it’s going to be. A good way to put our anxiety into overdrive is to keep the television on one of the news channels all day (it doesn’t matter which one; they’ll all ramp up our angst). Staying informed is important, to be sure, but it’s also too easy to overdose on the news. Limit the amount of time we spend looking at the news — and that includes social media. Give ourselves a break and focus on what we, our family and our friends need.
In Our Control, Out of Our Control
Think of our reality as a circle within a larger circle. Everything within the first circle are the things in our control; everything outside the smaller circle are things out of our control. It’s easy to lose sight of the smaller circle when the outer circle seems so vast, but that’s when it’s most important to focus on the things we can control. Our dealership is closed for the next few weeks? That’s out of our control. Taking time to make a budget, maintain a positive mindset and decide how to spend our time productively? That’s within our control. Stressing about things outside of our control is a waste of energy. Let’s agree to concentrate on the things that we can control.
Prepare with Facts, Not Fear
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the challenges that are facing us — we’re encouraged to do so by some — but when we stop and examine what we’re really up against, some of the fear will immediately evaporate. Instead of being worried about “finances,” we can figure out how much “enough” is, make a budget and start to get a better handle on it. If our dealership is closed, how are we going to produce revenue in the coming weeks? Some of us may consider a temporary part-time job, while others will have to file for unemployment for a time. Let’s calculate much we need to get through this situation. Understanding our fears is the first and perhaps most important step we can take in overcoming them.
Focus on What We Do Have
There’s a lot of things we won’t be able to do for a little while. Instead of focusing on that, those who live a Theory of 5 lifestyle recognize all the good things that are around them. Let’s make it a daily exercise to list all the positives in our world. This gratitude increases our positive mindset, produces energy and allows us to be more effective in every area of our lives.
This is not a natural disaster or infrastructure issue — business will absolutely come back over time. I expect that sales will come back stronger than ever once this has passed — and remember: This too shall pass. If we take this time to strategize now, that uncertain future will soon come into bright, clear focus.
Did you enjoy this article from Chris Saraceno? Read other articles from him here.
Car Biz Today, the official resource of the retail automotive industry.
While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.
This has been a JBF Business Media production.