Last week my sister sent me a post by Bill Gates that detailed what he thought we could learn from The effects of the pandemic. Now that I look for the list, it appears that Bill Gates apparently didn’t write it. But it doesn’t matter because it has some great points.
This made me think about what we can learn and how we can improve from the pandemic and its effects. The COVID-19 pandemic caught many of us off-guard in many ways. It’s affected people financially, with their health, and it’s strained and tested relationships. Could these effects have been avoided? Yes. I’d like to talk about how. To clarify, I’m not saying that these kind of black swan events can be predicted. The point I’m trying to make here is that you can structure your life so when these stress tests come you are prepared to handle whatever they throw at you.
I’d like to cover 3 areas of life, relationships, health, and money. If you have all these you are able to be your best self and are able to make the impact that you were meant to. Without health, money and relationships you can’t focus on anything but yourself, your next meal, paycheck, pill, etc.
Look at the most common causes of death: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. I am doing all I can to avoid those happening to me not because I’m scared but as they are the biggest causes of death today it means that our environment has created the situation for those to occur.
Not so coincidentally, when you look at the effects of COVID-19 on those who regularly exercise and have a strong cardiovascular system, it doesn’t nearly have the same effects as it does on those who have other health conditions.
With gyms closed, many people have struggled to maintain their health because they have relied on gyms to give them what they need. This is because they struggle to do it on their own. There’s no reason that you can’t build and maintain excellent health and fitness at home with minimal equipment.
Cardio is important, so is strength training, so is mobility/flexibility. Your routine should build and maintain all of these. If you have the ability to have a basic home gym, there’s no reason you shouldn’t.
There’s no reason that you can’t take control of your health right now.
Eat enough protein and fiber. Get your heart rate up regularly. Get good sleep. Resistance train so you can build muscle.
Having strong and loose relationships is important for a healthy life and both are being tested. The close ones because we are spending more time with them than we had been. The loose ones because they are limited to video calls and messaging.
How can you make the most of this blessing of extra time with your spouse and children? Can you spend more time listening to them talk about what matters to them or playing silly toddler games? The additional time that we get to spend with our families should be a blessing! Make an effort to strengthen the close relationships with your family.
With all this physical distancing, working from home, and all the cancelled events and gatherings, the chance encounters that we had before have been greatly reduced. This means that we need to be more intentional with how we connect with our aquatinences, friends, colleagues, etc.
The bottom line is that relationships take work. Whether they are family or friends, colleagues or acquaintances, it takes work. That’s what makes them meaningful. Make sure you go out of your way to connect with the people in your life.
In 2003, Wimbledon took out a worldwide pandemic insurance policy. Since then, they have paid $2 million each of the last 17 years to maintain this policy. Now this insurance policy is paying out $141 million because of the coronavirus pandemic. It pays to have contingency plans for the worst case scenarios.
What do contingency plans for individuals and households look like? It looks like having a beefier emergency fund than normal, life insurance, disability insurance, multiple incomes, health insurance, and more.
Talk to someone who is out of work and all of a sudden, and I’m sure a 12-month emergency fund sounds really nice to them. Talk to someone who has lost a spouse and I guarantee you that a life insurance payout would have made life after their passing much easier. Do the work now (or as soon as possible) to put future you in a situation that will be stronger than you are today.
WIth everything shut down, it’s going to much easier to widen the gap between what you earn and what you spend. Use that gap to help you mitigate potential disaster in the future.
Do The Work
With your health, relationships, and money, only you can do the work. No one can eat or exercise for you. No one can spend time with your spouse or kids in your place, no one will take the same level of interest in your money as you. There are people who can help you with each of these things but YOU have to be the one to do the work.
Make the most of what you’ve got and do the work.