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- “Either you’re tapping into fear more, or you’re tapping into faith more. It is a conscious decision of where your mental bandwidth is going.”
- During these uncertain times, it is more critical than ever to take command of your emotions and attitude. In this week’s training, Brendon dives deep into what it means to be a leader in your community.
- “As a global community, how are we going to set our emotional tone in this chaos? How are we going to find our strength, our center, and project goodness and compassion at a time when it is desperately needed?”
- Watch the video to get the full training.
- How do you stay the course when the future is unknown? Follow the training to get some extra motivation, learn how to adopt the role model mindset, and learn how to truly become a peaceful presence for your family and team.
[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
Hey everybody, it’s Brendon Burchard. Welcome to your HPX Coaching session. This session, my friends, as you can imagine, is taking place in a historic moment in which I’ve probably never done a livecast where I really believe it was so desperately timely and so desperately needed. So I appreciate you being here today to work on your own personal development, to really strengthen yourself for these moments and these times of chaos. I know that many of you are literally joining us from around the world. So if this is your first time with us, please do me a favor and log in down below in the chatroll and just give us a shout out where you are watching this livecast from, because I certainly know that well over half of my audience now is worldwide.
And so I know today I’m addressing a global audience dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. I know as well that there’s a lot of uncertainty out there. And with uncertainty often comes fear. And as fear sets in, we often start trying to project and forecast the future. How are things going to turn out? How’s my family going to be? What are we going to do with the business, with the career, with the family, with the community? There’s a lot of energy in the world right now, and so the fact that you would take a little bit of time to strengthen yourself, to find your center, to work on your own personal professional development here in HPX coaching, I honor you and I cannot wait to address you today.
Over the last 72 hours, we’ve all witnessed an incredible turn of events as the World Health Organization named the coronavirus, COVID-19, a pandemic. And that has set off an incredible turn of events where we have seen schools canceled and shut down, sports teams canceling seasons. We have seen literally governments instituting travel bans. And we have seen a growing energy of hysteria and fear. And I know that amid all of that it is very easy to lose your center, it is very easy to be pulled into that, and to allow the world situations to cause an extraordinary amount of internal stress and strife. And I want to address you today in that context. So it’s actually a little bit of a different format today, I don’t have any visual aids, it’s just going to be me talking with you through 10 principles and practices that helped me deal with fear mitigation, that helped me deal with how I forecast and deal with my life in a time when everything seems so chaotic. And I really believe that’s important for you.
As principle number one, practice number one, I’ve been sharing with you for years, that the ultimate mindset switch that happens for us in our life is when we go from self-oriented, selfish. When we go from concerned, stressed, freaked out and all these emotions that take over us into adopting what I call the role model mindset. When we adopt the role model mindset, we immediately, through that frame, make different decisions because we recognize people are watching. Your kids are seeing how you’re dealing with the stress. The coworkers are hearing your messaging, they’re seeing it. Your friends are noticing the tone and the temperament in which you are enacting right now, and we either add to hysteria, and we either add to panic or we choose to be stable. We choose to be the role model, we choose to be the persons who are centered amid the chaos.
I don’t pretend that is easy. I just let you know that’s necessary. It’s not about what’s easy in life. It’s about what is necessary to be healthy both in mind, body, and spirit. And to project and to demonstrate strength and centeredness, and calm and patience when everybody else is freaking out. Now, as I’m doing this broadcast live, there is no doubt that there is plenty of reason to be concerned. And there are plenty of actions that we can all take to protect our health and to protect the health of our global community. There is nothing about this broadcast that’s going to be political. There’s nothing about this broadcast that’s going to complain, there’s nothing about this broadcast that is going to blame. What this is going to be is a very proactive way for you to learn how to deal with fear in your life, and a responsible way for you to forecast how you continue with your life and your goals at the same clip or even faster when there is chaos, because that old yin and yang—where there’s chaos, there’s also opportunity. It is absolutely true. And right now there’s an opportunity for you to be a role model for those in your community and in your family, there’s opportunity for you to grow your career at a time when everyone else is hunkering down and freaking out. And there’s an opportunity for all of us to learn as global citizens how to be more proactive, responsible, caring and compassionate.
So I don’t have notes today other than my 10 practices in front of me, and I’ve got my phone in front of me so that I can give a shout out to all of our friends joining us from around the world. You’re working on yourself at a very important time and I really believe that by adopting the role model mindset right off the bat with me today and say, “Oh, let me change my orientation right now. I’ve been a participant in the drama. Let me now step into, ‘How do I want to set my own emotional tone and my own emotional reality as I deal with that which is in front of me and must be dealt with.’”
Because what most people do is, “I don’t like that” and they don’t even deal with it. So they avoid it, they hide, they lie, they pretend it’s not there. A role model goes, “It’s there. Let me honor this reality by facing it.” Because what happens is when we avoid what is necessary in our life, let me say this again, when we avoid what is necessary in our life, we betray our own truth. We betray our own mind, we betray life itself, when we avoid that which must be dealt with. So there are things we all have to deal with in protecting our health and our families. We’ll talk about that. But I want to make sure that this is not just a livecast for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, but rather at a broad principled level of fear and a broader level of how you deal with chaos now, and the future. And so I’ve been sharing this because I know people are logging in from around the world and I see it down below.
As a global community, how are we going to set our emotional tone in this chaos? How are we going to find our strength, our center, and project goodness and compassion at a time when it is desperately needed? How are we going to hold the line in our businesses so that we don’t overreact and go in one direction when we ought to be in another? How do we manage all of this? It’s my joy today to talk with you about this.
I’ll set the context as we’re dealing with the coronavirus pandemic worldwide in the last 72 hours. We’ve seen it here in the United States, the closing of travel and instituting travel bans from Europe. We have seen Disneyland and Broadway close, we have seen literally thousands and thousands of actions to shut down, to cancel, to protect. But more importantly, as many of you know, we have seen around the world, over 100 and probably 50,000 serious cases of coronavirus. We have seen death, we have seen an incredible amount of hysteria that goes along with that new thing out there. And we’ve seen the market crash at levels it has not happened since 1987. So, literally levels more than what happened on 911 here in the US global markets. We have seen a tremendous amount of things happen in the last 72 hours. I know how easy it is to get pulled into that. So please take some notes.
Today I’m going to share 10 principles and practices with you that I really believe will serve.
1. Remain Centered Amid the Chaos
Number one, most important one. Number one, I said it already, adopt the role model mindset. But that’s an overall principle. Let’s jump into some specific mindsets that really helped me.
Number one is the decision that I will always be the one to remain centered amid the chaos. It is a decision. It is a commitment.
It is something you can guarantee about Brendon Burchard. I will be centered amid chaos. And I have worked on myself and I have taught myself that for 25 years. I’ve worked on that at a very steady pace. When everyone’s freaking out, I take a bunch of deep breaths. I connect with my breath. I make sure that I’m keeping perspective. I do simple things to protect my mind which I’ll talk with you here in a moment about, but ultimately that decision to be centered amid this means for me, that I will choose the emotional tone and my attitude, as I am dealing with uncertainty or chaos.
And this propagates well beyond what’s going on right now in my life. Many of you have been to my events, and I hope many of you, if you were at HPX, shout out for your energy. Just over a month ago, it’s hard to believe, we were all together in San Diego with 2,500+ people celebrating life and vibrancy and connection and meaning together. But if you’ve been to my events before, you see how large they are; every event something happens. When we get people from all around the world, traveling for four or five days, we’re all together and there’s always—something’s going to happen. I remember years ago, I was doing an event and a person in the back of the room had a seizure. And literally, they fell out of the chair and on the ground they started having a full physical reaction to the seizure as well, where they were shaking, and it was terrifying for the people around them. And I was kind of at the beginning of my career, and I saw it happening. It was almost in slow motion. And could you imagine, you’re on your stage. I mean, put yourself there. You’re in front of hundreds or thousands of people, and all of a sudden somebody is falling over and having a full seizure in front of the whole audience. The whole audience literally starts looking back, “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.” People are standing up. Total panic sets in the room and I remember standing up there and I have this on video where at first my first reaction is like this. Kind of shocked just like everybody else. And then I kind of look over and instantaneously my mind would go, “Brendon, you have to be in charge here.” I didn’t want to be in charge. I had to be in charge. And my mind immediately said, “Two choices here: join the panic or stay stable and strong and present and connected to what’s really happening.”
And so that decision, I’m going to stay centered amid this, made me immediately also decide, I need to center the audience. So I asked the entire audience. I just announced, “Everyone sit down.” And everyone kind of looked; I said, “Sit down,” and everybody sat down. And I said, “Please sit down because your panic and your chaos right now is not serving the energy of this person who needs healing. Sit down, be quiet. Everyone, please close your eyes so my team can address this situation. Please close your eyes. And let’s put some positive energy and prayer in the room for this person who needs our attention right now. They don’t need negativity and fear in the room. Let’s add some love and prayer. Let’s do a little sense of energy. So please close your eyes, take a few deep breaths. And remember, you can choose to contribute good energy to the situation.”
And so I had everyone close their eyes, take a few deep breaths and meditate, or send prayer back to this person as my team was clearing that row and getting to this person, so that when the paramedics would arrive, that person could be removed. Now, here’s the deal. I knew I had like 20 minutes, at least before we could get a paramedic, probably at that spot in the seminar. And I thought, “How about by 20 minutes, I mean, people are going to start freaking out.”
And I realized, if I set the emotional tenor in this room on purpose, and if I asked of others to find the best within themselves, if I ask others to take a breath, if I ask others to be responsible for the energy they are projecting into this space… If I ask them that, and if I demonstrate that, we’ll make it through this moment.
And that might not seem like a big deal, but I really believe the energy in that room either was serving this man as he was having a seizure or was making it worse. Imagine here he is having this unbelievable, stressful, life-threatening situation. And if all around him everybody is screaming in chaos, the body feels that.
The body and the mind feel the energy of what is around it. And so, if that is true, let us all be responsible for the energy we are projecting right now.
I’ve seen friends hop online and something’s happening, and what are they doing? They’re contributing to the chaos. They’re posting snarky comments. That is sarcasm, blame, vitriol, anger. And I’m not here to say that we can’t use our social mediums to contribute to an argument or to make a case. But every word has a tone to it.
And the tone that we are setting in reply to chaos either furthers the chaos or it levels it. And the more of us who choose to be even tempered, thoughtful, caring, compassionate—you know, the values that we would all hope to have as a global citizenry—the more that we will judiciously take action in a thoughtful way. That’s the hope.
And whether you believe that or not, I hope you’ll hear this first practice. Your family needs to see you centered, calm, strong, and assured in chaos. Otherwise we are passing down panic to another generation. It’s sad, in my view, that we have a world that is so connected, so potentially capable, so well-informed. And yet we still have people who overreact. Now, I’m not saying right now in a global pandemic, that overreaction isn’t something you would anticipate. But there’s interesting overreaction as in taking action to overprotect like doing something useful to shore up things, versus an emotional overreaction of fear. You can deal with really difficult situations without the negative range of blame, vitriol, hate, and anger. Now, I know I’m preaching to the choir, but I’m just here today to touch base with you. You can set that emotional tenor. Let’s all do a better job at that. Principle number one, stay centered amid the chaos.
Let me give you some simple things; the way that I do that. We’ll just drill it down on how I personally do it. Let me give you a couple examples of how I’m doing it right now. To stay centered amid chaos, you also have to stay a little distanced from chaos, even as it is happening. I’ll give an example of how I’m doing it. And many of you guys know I have four major companies that I’m either the principal in, or one of the principal investors in. Well, for me, because I’m constantly being hit up on this phone by people from literally around the world, in this current pandemic, and people count on me to advise their companies and advise their careers, people are scared. So what do I do? I don’t engage the chaos all day. Instead, I work my plan. And many of you already know how I do that with my morning routines. My morning routine doesn’t change, still stays steady. Wake up, center of my mind, plan my day, open up my body.
But I also do simple things right now. Right now I’m not checking my phone every 10 minutes because guess what we want to do in chaos? Refresh, refresh, refresh, but every time you hit refresh, and every time you scroll, don’t forget, it takes emotional and mental energy. Just think about that for a minute. You’re hitting the “oh my God” button all day when you’re refreshing in chaotic news times. And that is creating the panic and the stress inside that is freaking you out. So as an example of simple things that I do, I only check in on the news twice a day. I say news at noon. I’m going to get through my morning, I’m going to make the magic happen. I’m going to move my projects forward in the mornings. If it’s news that I need to know about that affects me dramatically and locally, trust me I’ll hear about it, my friends, or my wife or somebody will let me know via text. But I don’t check in on the news ’cause nothing’s going to change for me in dealing with the news until around noon.
And I know people say, “Well, what if this is canceled or that’s canceled?” You’ll hear it from your family. You get the news, but I don’t check into the major media. I don’t check into social media multiple times a day. I’m talking about what people are doing right now. They’re hitting refresh, by the minute, by every five minutes. How many of you are guilty about this? How many of you have been addicted to refreshing in the last 72 hours? It’s easy to do that when there’s chaos. But that’s also the most important time not to do that for your own psyche. That’s the most important time to separate yourself from chaos versus what do you do? Reconnect to it every 30 seconds. Think about what that does. Doesn’t matter how conscious or intelligent or brilliant or meditative you are.
If you check into “Oh my God, bad news 24/7,” there is no human that that does not start to shape your emotional reality. No human alive. The Dalai Lama couldn’t do it without feeling that emotion, if that’s what he did 24/7. And right now that’s what we have people doing. And so I think what is necessary is to stay absolutely informed. But realize not a whole lot is going to shift in periods of time throughout the day. Now, I know it depends on what you do and how you respond in your career and where your family is and all these things. No question. So here’s what I suggest to you, to stay centered in the middle of the chaos. You choose how much you check in. You choose. And then at a conscious level, I’d say back it up a little bit. Please don’t think I’m saying don’t be involved or don’t be informed. I’m saying don’t let the chaos eat you alive. Because listen to this statement, chaos inside grows as checking in on the outside grows. The more everyone’s freaking out, and the more you listen to all of it, the more it infects you.
Because there is also another contagion going on right now. And if you’ve studied neuroscience with me for awhile, or you’ve been with me in this community for awhile, you know how much we talk about emotional contagion. Energy spreads. And the real pandemic right now is emotional contagion, where people are losing their center. It’s like listen, we can act without losing our center, we can act without spreading fear, we can act without the anxiety. The stuff that I have to take on on a daily basis, if you saw it, you’d be like, “Oh my gosh,” but I choose not to address it with anxiety. I choose to be in the center of my emotional reality, the chooser, the captain of the ship, and I just want you to be that observer of how you have been dealing with this and choose to stay centered amid the chaos. Do things like keep your morning routine. It is so important right now. That is stability in an unstable world. Don’t engage, don’t overly engage what is happening. Don’t contribute to the negative energy in any way even if you want to.
Trust me when I do check it, I want to say, “You idiots, oh my gosh, what’s happening up here?” Don’t be that person. It’s not going to help your spirit or your soul. I promise you. Be the person who is centered amid the chaos. If you can communicate something to your kids, teach them this principle. If you can talk with your team, teach them this principle. Let’s be the ones who are steady, strong, centered, even as we take responsible action. Lord, hallelujah, can I get an amen?
2. Don’t Complain
Number two, big idea. And this will be so simple and I promise we’ll go even more advanced. I know some of you are really sad about the forecasting. We’ll get to that stuff too. But number two, I would love to just be brief on this one. I have a personal rule, don’t complain. Do not complain. I can describe my reality of the many things I’m doing without complaining. I can vent and I can share and I can describe without the emotional tenor and tone of complaining about it, because your mind is listening to your mouth. And when you start saying, “I got to deal with this, and damn.” Your body reacts to that. And your body drops more cortisol, there’s no question. Did you know the tone that you use in your speaking activates and can activate whether or not you’re dropping dopamine, serotonin, oxaprozin, or vasopressin. We can be in that place where our tone can actually release good energy and good hormones inside. But what happens for people is your tone can also release more cortisol, the stress hormone. So listen to how you describe things.
I’ll give an example. My main man, Ricardo over here, knocking out this livecast for us. He’s been so key in all of our video production this year, my main man, my first videographer in Puerto Rico. We’re just kicking some butt together. He came in today and I just totally described what I’m going through. We were just chatting and I was sharing about my last 72 hours. I had to do this and this, and boy this is going on. I talked with lawyers this morning, I had to, but it was like—there wasn’t that energy. Because if I was in that energy this morning, I couldn’t serve you, right?
Well, the more that you complain, the more you put yourself in an emotional energy that doesn’t allow you to serve your kids, doesn’t allow you to serve as a role model with your team or your community.
I know you know this, but please, right now, we are in a global pandemic and an election year. Is it time to complain? So really pay attention to complaining, you’re the only one.
But let me give you an HPX Coaching point right now. I want you from now on, the rest of this year, every night as you evaluate yourself, use your High Performance Planner, at the end of the day, evaluate stuff. Give yourself a scorecard on the High Performance Habits. Or if you don’t use the High Performance Planner, make sure every night you have a scorecard somewhere of how you did, of values that are important to you. Maybe some of the values that are important to you are, did you demonstrate love today? Were you patient with kids? Did you stay focused on your work? Whatever it is, everyone should have a nighttime scorecard to be able to look back at the day. And the more we do that self-evaluation, the more we gain self-awareness. I want you to add Team HPX right now, all of you guys from now on every night the rest of this year—I would love for you to add a simple thing. Add a scorecard of complaint. Did I complain today? Score of one to 10. 10 you were a little brat baby and one good job. You kept the complaints to a minimum, even when you had reason.
Because isn’t it true? We can all say we have reason to complain—my spouse didn’t do this. And then they close the school. And then he said this on the television, and then they did that and we still don’t have the test. There’s a difference between complaining and making an argument that moves the needle forward. I’m not saying we shouldn’t engage. But if you engage, make an argument that moves the needle forward, versus just talking out your mouth. And I think you know the difference. I can’t judge it for you. This is why I’m asking you to keep your own scorecard. I’m hyper aware of it this year. There’s so much nonsense and vitriol online in social media. You have to gauge: Have you complained more in the last three months than you complained in previous years of your life? That’s a reality check for many people right now. I just want to get that one out there because I think it’s really important.
So again, for those who are just joining us, this is a broadcast where I’m going to talk about fear mitigation and forecasting.
3. Understand Where Fear Comes From
And so, point number three is about fear. And my practice about fear is just simple— understand where fear comes from. Always know when you feel fear, or you sense fear. There’s only three reasons that that thing is showing up. And once you can tap into those three reasons—and I promise you, there’s only three reasons that fear happens for us. And soon as we realize that, it’s like, “Oh!”
Now there’s only three reasons in certain contexts. The first fear that we all have is the primal, physical fear. If something is chasing us, or in this case, we’re scared that we could die from a pandemic. That’s a certain type of fear that is impulsive. Something chases us. The amygdala fires and there is no conscious ability. But almost 99.9% of the time there is the conscious ability to react to fear. And that’s where these three things come into play.
Remember, there’s only three things we fear.
Number one thing that we fear is loss—the pain from loss. We fear we’re going to lose our health. We’re going to lose our business income, we’re going to lose our relationship with somebody that we love. We’re going to lose steady work, we are going to lose the comforts or the certainties that we enjoy today. Loss pain is the primary fear driver for most people. And so if you’re having a lot of anxiety right now, and you can place it to, “I’m kind of fearful,” and we dig deep, one of those reasons is you’re scared to lose something. And anytime we get scared to lose something we must do a perspective check. We have to say, “Really, did I lose it? I’ve already lost it as the process of loss happened. Have I lost it in the past? I mean, let’s just get perspective.”
But also we have to flip everything, because the nice thing about fear is on the other side of it is also confidence. It’s like two sides of a coin. So if loss pain is the fear, on the other side, we could say, “Could there be a gain?” So mitigate the loss by saying, “I’m scared, I’m going to lose this. Have I lost it yet? Have I lost it before? Is there any reason to believe I’m losing it or going to lose it?” Just do a reality check on the loss, but at the same time, give more mental and emotional energy to the other side which is, “Are there things to gain here?” Because if you can take a fear into an opportunity, you achieved a certain type of zen in your life.
Really, I mean, if you think about a lot of the Eastern philosophy of that Yin and Yang, or that chaos and that opportunity, it really comes from where you’re going to put your mental and emotional energy. I actually really believe if you thought about it, this could be an opportunity for you to improve your health and your immunity. This is a great time to check on your diet. This is a great time to deal with stress better, this is a great time to ensure that you are capably managing your meditation, your exercise, your diet, your sleep, your stress routines. This could actually be a time in which you strengthen yourself versus just feel fearful and go about your normal life. I think that’s really important.
So where is your energy there? My energy right now is completely on optimizing. My energy is, I mean, if you walked out and saw my counter right now and saw all the HPX supplements that I got going on, all the things I’m doing to exercise, to walk—like, I am absolutely making sure every day right now I am meditating twice a day right now. Twice a day. I’m just not missing. I’m doing it in the morning, and then for me around that 4:30 time. I’m making sure at 4:30 every day, I either meditate or I nap for 30 minutes straight, just depending on how my body is feeling. Just to recover, to enter the evening strong. Twice a day, I’m doing that major reset for my mental health twice a day. So you’ve got to pick up your mental and physical health routines, because if you’re so scared right now, you’re scared of getting sick. So let’s optimize our health.
Second thing people right now are I’m so scared of—”Brendon, I’m going to lose business. The economy is crashing.”I’ve lost you know, I’ve lost a lot of like, my 401k or my index funds. I’m dropping business. I’m going to have to cancel events. I’m in real time losing business and funds, Brendon, and it is scaring me to death.” And I’m here to say, I get it. And it’s happened to you before. And you’re still here. You think this is the first time you’ve lost money? I bet it’s not. This is the first time a major client canceled on you? Bet it’s not. This is the first time you didn’t know what the next quarter of income looked like? Hell no. You remember when you couldn’t pay rent, who you talking to? Come on.
Sometimes when we are so fearful about business and career, we forget where we came from. You have survived lack, you have survived scarcity at epic levels in the past. So don’t think that you can’t handle it now.
Part of something we’ll talk about here in a few practices is the ability to go into time zones when people are in a panic. When people are in a panic in the present, you use perspective to say, “How did this go in the past? Where were my strengths there in the past? And what are the opportunities in the future? And let me apply some strengths to the future.” And so when you’re feeling a loss concern for business, for income, for funds, just keep perspective. That might be happening right now. Address it. Use it as an opportunity to learn about the market, to learn about investing, to learn about getting new clients. Like right now I’m like, “Oh, what do I need to do to grow the virtual services of my business right now?” Great, great time to study. Instead of going, “Oh my God, it’s happening! Turn on Netflix and let’s just drink wine and hide.” I just go, “Let me study. Let me retool. Oh, my gosh, let me take command of this fate right now. Let me deal with this by learning. Either I’m going to disengage and complain, or I’m going to engage and learn and that’s what I’m doing right now.” I’m like, “How do online models work in this way, and this way, and this way? And what was the best way I did this before in the past and this one.”
It’s like, it’s not that I’m not noticing that things are happening around us, or that we’ve been impacted by the stock market or by the concerns of, or the dualities of travel bans. I get that guy’s, just like you. So are you engaging and learning? Here’s the test. And I want you to be honest with this because again, I’m trying to be your friend tonight, but I’m also your coach. So my best moments as a coach are when I challenge people with ones that kind of smack you in the face a little bit, and let’s just do the test.
How much learning did you do over the last 72 hours versus consuming? That tells you how you’re handling this right now.
How much learning did you do versus consuming? And what I mean by that is consuming social media, consuming news, seeing what everybody’s saying, seeing whatever everyone’s doing so versus going, “Holy crap, you know what, honey? Our index funds might be affected. You know what? Our business might be affected. You know what? Things might be canceled here or that thing might go out here. Let me pull away from the checking in and let me learn how to do better right now.” This is why I honor you guys as a community. You’re here to learn how to do better today. This is why I love you and why I honor you because, you know how many people are not engaging personal development right now? You know how many people are falling to their base impulses? But you’re here, you’re doing the work. So you know what? Count this hour and this next hour together, as you know what? Your learning time instead of your consumption of drama.
So what have I been doing? The last 72 hours I’ve been tooling up. I was up literally last night, 12:30 a.m. learning and going back and studying some notes to see, “Oh how do I do this online thing over here? Let me amplify that.” Because if you’re concerned about loss over here, you’d better amplify something over here. Makes sense? So what’s your plan? What are you amplifying over here, if you’re going to deal with loss over here? That is facing it, that is dealing with it, that’s going for it.
So three things that we fear, number one, loss pain. So I’ve told you some ways to mitigate that. Number two, we fear is what I call process pain.
Process pain is another way of saying hardship. We fear the difficulties because we fear the difficulties of the emotions we’re going to feel, but also the difficulties of our capabilities. “I don’t like the feeling of it, and I don’t if I’m capable of it.” Right? That’s called hardship or process pain. That’s why I’m always telling my audience, you must learn to honor the struggle and not fear it. Take the struggle that is in front of you. Don’t hate it, don’t complain about it. Instead, honor it as something that is true as real right now, that we must deal with and it is something that we can engage in an honoring fashion in which we can grow and become stronger. Or that will make us weaker.
And I think right now, people are really scared of the hardships. “Oh my gosh, I’m going to have to go to Costco and buy some toilet paper today.” I’m like, okay, yes, maybe that’s real. But really, you can handle getting in a car and going to Costco to get toilet paper. Really? That much energy about going shopping? You’ve been shopping every day of your life. Why are you so freaked out about shopping now? “Oh, well, I might, you know, the crowds are going to be crazy.” You shopped at Christmas? “Well, I might go shopping and it’s crazy and I might get sick.” You got sick at Christmas too. The odds of you getting seasonal flu are like, infinitely higher than you get in Coronavirus. And I’m not saying that coronavirus isn’t more deadly as a percentage, but as a possibility and a potential, getting a seasonal flu or dropping dead from heart disease or getting cancer or being in a car accident on the way to Costco is way more likely than you dying from Coronavirus. And I’m not minimizing. I’m just, that’s statistics, that’s facts.
It just means, in the context of what I’m sharing with you, is you’ve dealt with hardship before, you’ve dealt with things before. You get to choose. You know, one of the great heroes of American cinema, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, have been diagnosed with Coronavirus, and they happen to be in another country while they’re dealing with that. And, he did a post of saying, “Hey, there’s no crying in baseball.” Which is kind of brilliant, by the way. It’s like, listen, he’s dealing with it the best he can. Are you going to hate the hardship in the struggle? Or are you going to bring a little bit of humor to it and just deal? I encourage you to just deal.
When you have fear of process pain, it is because “I don’t think I can emotionally handle that and I don’t feel like I’m capable.” You must remind yourself to keep perspective. You’ve actually already dealt with something similar and you have been capable in managing it before. Right now, the process—”It’s going to be hard to run my business.” Yep. And guess what? It was super hard your first couple years in your business too. What’s the surprise? See, part of honoring struggle is anticipating the reality of it. I’m surprised that everyone right now is so surprised. I’m like, why is everyone surprised? You never read a book about a stock market crash? You never watched a movie about—you haven’t studied?” Why is everyone so freaked out? I’m not saying there isn’t something new here. I’m just saying you can anticipate your reactions, your reactions, that’s what I’m talking about.
So the third thing that we fear. First one is loss pain. Second one is process pain. Third one is outcome pain.
“I’m scared of what’s on the other side of this, the end result.” And here’s what we do. And this is really important, people do this all the time. People jump to the worst case scenario and they go to catastrophizing, but worse, they go to ruin and death. Why is everyone so scared right now? Their fear is about an outcome pain—death or ruin. “I’m going to die or my business, my career are ruined.” That’s what they’re worried about. They go to the ultimate end—total catastrophe. Don’t be a catastrophizer. Do not be.
My father in 2009 was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He was healthy the week before. Went to the doctors, did some tests, they’re trying to find out what’s going on. Within that day, they gave him seven days to live. Seven days to live. Now imagine two really qualified doctors tell you, “You’re going to die in seven days.” That’s heavy. And the ability for the mind to embrace that as fear, and go, “Oh my God,” and to immediately assume death or ruin. My dad, God bless his soul, being a 20 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps was like, “I’m going to engage this, I’m going to beat it.” That was it. That was it. “I’m going to engage it, I’m going to beat it. I’m going to fight it. I’m going to do everything possible to win here. And if I don’t, at least I know I did everything possible.” So instead of catastrophizing on what might happen in the ultimate of ruin. You go, “What must I engage here to do the absolute everything I can. And that will allow me to sleep at night going, you know what, I’m giving my best right now, instead of hiding. I’m giving my best right now, instead of waiting for ruin. I’m engaging this, I’m building. I’m taking care of myself.” Whatever it is, that you need to do, that perspective is key.
And I want you to hear this today because I’m never ever addressing you guys as someone who thinks I have everything figured out or as somebody who doesn’t realize that many of you know this stuff already. Because common sense is just not always common practice. But more important, I know you’re a role model. So what if you could teach your kids or teach your team. “You know what? There’s three things we fear; loss pain, process pain and outcome pain. I’m scared to make this decision because of these reasons.” You’re feeling this because of these reasons. So I’m addressing this to you today, as someone recognizing that you are a role model in your community, and maybe you can have an active conversation about fear and teach them. You’re scared of loss, you’re scared of hardship, and you’re scared that things won’t turn out well, they’ll be ruinous.
So here’s a way to mitigate that and to think through that in a different way. And I think if we could do that with our families right now—just start at home. Have the conversation about how people are feeling and about their fear. Have a conversation with your family and your team. Are you staying centered and are you dealing with fear in an active, proactive, positive way? If we could all just do that as a community? I think things could really improve. Okay, really improve.
Now I’m going to talk about this in a moment. I know I’m going pretty fast. I’m only on point number three here of stay centered amid the chaos, don’t complain and recognize what fear is. But I’m going to talk about something that you guys submitted in advance, which is, how do you deal with stressful situations? So in a moment, my team, we pulled out from the vault, one of my favorite trainings I’ve ever done on stressful situations. And then we’re going to come back and I’m going to talk about my steady 80 rule. And so enjoy this best of the vault. We’ll come back, we’ll talk about my steady 80 rule, and then we’ll talk about how do you minimize downsides? How do you maximize upsides and opportunities? How do you choose opportunities? And then we’re going to go into a little bit of framework of how to do forecasting right now? How do you forecast your business? How do you forecast what’s happening in your community or your country? We’ll talk about how we think through things as responsible, thoughtful people, and I think you’re really going to enjoy the second half of this baby today. And of course, we will end by doing some Q&A with you today, which I think is really important. So thank you for being here and working on yourselves. We’re going to play the best of all, how do you deal with stressful situations and we’ll come back and talk about the steady 80.
In the meantime, please post down below a lesson that you liked so far today because we’re just getting warmed up. So login down below, let me know where you’re from, because I’m going to be looking at it and start submitting your questions because my team will start gathering them right now. Play that video guys.
How to Deal with Stressful Situations
People ask me, “Brendon, how do you deal with stressful situations so you don’t freak out or have a ton of anxiety and fear leading up to them?” Because maybe you have a big public speaking engagement coming up, or maybe you have that test at school coming up, or maybe you’re about to have that difficult conversation with somebody where you’ve wanted to say something to them, but you’ve been holding back, and you know it’s going to freak you out when you go to tell them the truth. Whenever we’re in situations that we know are going to bring us stress, it really is on us to prepare our absolute best so that A) we deal with them well and we can actually enjoy the experience or go through the experience without freaking out but B) we don’t freak out the energy of everybody else, right?
Because in all of the storms of life, it is our job to be the calm amid the storm.
But that’s hard and that takes skill and that takes training.
So I’ve got four big ideas for you in this Brendon Show episode.
1. Anticipate Difficulties and Ask Others
Number one: Always anticipate and ask others how to deal with stressful situations.
I know that’s a “no—duh” one, but most people do not do that. Right? You’re about to go take your first SAT test ever, what do you do? Well, you study, you study, you study, you go and you take it. But that’s going to be a stressful situation. Why wouldn’t you first anticipate, ”Wow, that is going to cause a lot of anxiety for me. The days before, the day of—I’m going to be freaking out waiting for my scores.”
Why would you not ask people who’ve already taken it? What did you do the day before the test? To calm yourself down, to get yourself ready? The day of the test, what did you do? When you went in there, did you have a certain breathing pattern? How did you calm yourself down? What did you tell yourself so that you could deal with the situation?
All right, same thing—you’re about to go have a difficult conversation with your spouse, or your partner, or the person you love. Why wouldn’t you ask other people who you know? Be like, “Hey, I’m about to have this difficult conversation. Have you ever had a conversation like that? Oh, what did you say? How did you bring it up?
Like, the idea that so many people in this world go into everyday bumbling into it— I feel sad for them. They’re living a highly reactive life and they’re setting themselves up for incredible failure. Because if you don’t anticipate the emotions that you’re going to have in stressful situations, I promise the situation is going to win, not you.
So, always anticipate—okay, this is going to be hard. This conversation. This test. This day. This thing. It’s going to be hard. Anticipate it—it will be hard. “Now, who has gone through it before who I can ask how they dealt with it?”
That’s the first strategy.
2. Plan Your Stress Management
Second strategy: I need you to make a pre, during, and post stress-management plan. Huge phrase, friend, I know! But what I think is, “Okay, if I’m going to go have that difficult experience in my life, I’m going to plan, really plan the day before, the day of, and the day after. I’m really going to think through it.”
So let’s say you’re going to have that difficult conversation with somebody you love. Ok, the day before I’m going to say, “Okay. Well the night before, I’m going to ask myself these questions. I’m going to rehearse a little bit. The morning of, I’m going to breathe. I’m going to close my eyes. I’m going to visualize it going just fine, everything is going to be fine. If they say this, I’ll say that.” In other words, I’m going to role play it in my mind, over and over and over again. And afterwards, “Oh! How would I follow up with them to make them feel good? How would I follow? Or what would be my next right steps after that?” Right?
I have a friend right now who is just an unbelievable professional rock-climber. Right? And this person was going to go climb one of the hardest climbs in the world. And I said, “Man, that would terrify me because I hate heights. How did you prepare for that? He says, “Oh, well you know my regular routine is like this.” I said, “Yeah, but what do you do the day before?” And he had like five or six things he did, the day before to get himself mentally and emotionally and physically ready. Including doing a lot of mobility training, a lot of breathing and calming activities, a lot of visualization, going over his notes about where each hold was. It was unbelievable.
The day of—that morning—he got up, he went through a very basic routine; he had been running for weeks and weeks, but he added other little elements too that he knew he was going to do in advance, including calling his spouse and saying, “I love you, honey.” You know? Because he’s about to climb up a mountain. And then, the day after—because here’s what we often don’t think—stress has a longer shelf life than we think. What I mean by that is—let’s say you go do something and it’s really stressful.
That energy carries with you the next day. So, what can you do the next day to calm yourself down? For example, many of you guys have been to my seminars before out in the world, right? Maybe you come to High Performance Academy, or HPX, or Influencer, or one of our big programs. And I know that delivering that training, it takes four days of my life. I’m on stage anywhere from seven to 14 hours a day, depending on the event, and standing up that whole time. Delivering that seminar is one of the hardest things I do in the world.
Well, guess what? I’ve got to plan my stress-management after that, because after it, my adrenals are all blown out, I’m exhausted, and I’m thinking, “Ok, I’ve got to recover from this.” So, I plan my recovery well in advance of that situation. So, what can you do before, during, and after to put yourself in a good place, so that you can really deal with the stress?
3. Visualize and Role Model
Number three: I do need you to visualize and role model over and over and over again. I know I reference this a little bit when I talk about what to do during the stressful situation or the day of. I think it’s incredibly important that if you know you have something stressful coming up, that you visualize it, over and over and over again. That you play it in your mind over and over and over again. But here’s the difference, okay? Fear mongering or worrying is thinking about it and seeing it go bad every single time. Visualizing is seeing you showing up confident, capable, doing a good job.
Confident, capable, doing a good job. I want you—every single time—visualization should be a positive thinking exercise, where you’re seeing the situation and you’re seeing yourself handle it well. But you’re also noticing the things that are difficult. What if they say this or what if they say that? And you’re kind of like, scenario-planning. If she says this, then I’ll say that. If he does this, then I’ll do that. But keep the momentum going and visualize the thing all the way through, right?
My friend, the rock climber, he doesn’t just visualize the start of the climb. He visualizes the entire climb until he’s standing on top of the rock and there’s success. So I want you to visualize the entire scenario.
What most people do is, they visualize a little bit of the scenario, they feel anxiousness and worry, so they stop visualizing. Or they catastrophize. They start seeing it going bad, bad, bad, and they never walk the entire thing through. Right? I want you to walk the entire thing through. See the entire thing and force yourself to see it going well. Force yourself to see it going well.
Then I want you to pair it with role modeling. I want you to call up a friend, call up somebody else you know, say, “Hey, I’m about to have this conversation. I’m about to go do this thing. Uh, can I ask you some questions and try this out?” Sound it out, act it out, explore it with other people.
There are very few things I do in my life that I haven’t already talked with somebody through; right before my meetings, before my conversations, before all my online courses, I’ll sit down and literally try out the words on people. “What do you think of this? What do you think of that?”
And I’ll get feedback from them and that makes me think more deeply about it. And when I think more deeply about it, suddenly the stress isn’t so front of house. Because in my mind, I’m already prepared. Like preparation can get rid of a lot of stress. But role-modeling puts you in that actual environment where you’re doing the thing. Then when you show up you’re like, “Wow, my mind has seen this a thousand times. I’ve already talked and acted it out, let’s go!” And now it’s not so stressful.
4. Enroll Your Friends
Fourth big idea: Enroll your friends. If you’ve got something coming up, like your SATs, your ACTs, a test—create study groups. Don’t go it alone. Create a study group with some friends where you guys create a regular schedule where you’re studying and you’re getting ready together. Right? That camaraderie of things. Same thing—if you’re going to go run a marathon and it’s going to be this big scary thing, it’s your first marathon ever. If you’ve been running with a group of people, they know by science that no doubt, you will perform better and less anxiously because you’ve prepared with other people. Almost everything you do in your life, you should think: How do I enroll friends or find peers to do this with so I stay on the journey? When you have friends or others involved, we know from social sciences that you’re more likely to stay committed, stay consistent, and succeed.
But, guess what?
We’re in a society of selfies where we only think of ourselves, and we only—like, because we’re scared to ask for help, or be vulnerable and say, “I don’t know,” we do everything ourselves. And everything I ever do, I literally sit down—here’s my goal list. Anytime I write down goals, I don’t just write down, ‘When is it going to happen? What’s my next step? When is the deadline?’ Instead, I also write next to it, and I say, “Who can I enroll with me on this goal?”
Get people enrolled with you in your goals. Get people enrolled with you, so you can role play with them, ask, participate. Go through it with them, it’s not so scary.
I know you know this if you’ve ever been to the county fair. I’m from Montana, so we always had the county fair, and there’d be these big, huge, scary rides when I was a kid. I never went on a ride by myself as a kid. Never once. I’d go grab my buddy and be like, “Hey! You’re coming along with me.” And he’d go, “What, are you kidding? I’m not going to!” He didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to go. But when we said, “Let’s go together,” we got on that zipper, we got flipped around and kicked around, and we loved it. And we only did it because we did it together.
You will face greater stresses and greater fears when you go at it together.
I hope this serves you, my friend. I want to thank you again for being part of our HPX community. I love having you guys here.
HPX stands for the High Performance Experience. It just means, you know what, there’s another level of life experience available to you when you prepare, when you think things through, when you challenge yourself to be your absolute best, when you show up each and every day, and you say, “I’m going to be vibrant today.
I’m going to be connected to other people. I’m going to make a difference.” And I know that’s why you’re here, so thank you for being here.
Make sure you subscribe. Share this video with somebody going through a stressful situation today. I’ll see you next time.
Okay, you all, I hope you enjoyed that video from our vault about how do you deal with stressful situations because I really believe that when you take into account these things—I know that this is a conversation, like the visualizing and the role modeling that are really important right now. Because yes, we’re in this pandemic and the scary situation, but are you still waking up and visualizing something positive for your day? Are you visualizing something that’s good for the next couple of weeks, next couple of months, the next year, or are you only trapped in the chaos and the fear? See, leaders rise above that, and they look further out. And that is what you must do right now.
So I know as I played that video from the vault about stressful situations, it was about a broad range of stressful situations, not just what we’re dealing with now. But that’s what I want this training to be about for you. I want it to be not just—obviously the pandemic right now gives us the example and gives us the rationality to have this conversation, but I hope it’s applying to a lot of different parts of your life too. Because maybe you’ve been—even before the pandemic, maybe you were stressed in your career as you transition from one thing to another, or there’s stress in your marriage or there’s stress in life. I hope that that video helped you get that bigger perspective because if we don’t do those simple things, of enrolling our friends in a good community of people, of planning how we’re going to deal with the stress, of just anticipating and learning from others, then we’re in challenge. I mean, even last night, I was texting with some friends in Italy and saying, “Okay, you all are further along in this. How are you dealing with it?” I was talking with friends in China and saying, “Okay, you’ve been dealing with this longer than we have here in the US at heightened levels. What did you learn? How did you approach your daily life, your week? What changed? What should I anticipate is coming?” Those simple things really do help.
So I hope that you enjoyed that video from the vault.
I’d like to continue now with my next conversation here of fear mitigation, but also forecasting.
4. Steady 80/20 Rule
And that is, my Steady 80 rule. Right, you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule.
Well I believe in times of chaos, we need to identify those 80% of things that matter the most in our business or in our life that give us real certainty or solid sense of our business or our life, and stay steady on those.
Because here’s what happens, when there is chaos, everyone throws out the baby with the bathwater, and they start chasing all these new opportunities all over the place to try to do it. I literally had a member of our community I saw on social media saying, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to quit my business doing this, and I’m going to start a new business right now, selling emergency supplies.” And I was like, “Be careful in times of chaos, of being overly opportunistic.” Instead, steady wins the race.
What are the primary drivers of your business and your income right now? Stay focused on delivering those with excellence. What are the projects you already planned to the extent possible? Stay steady with those things. Right, whatever moves the needle the most in your business, or brings you the most happiness in life, there’s probably the 80% rule. It’s like these few items bring 80% of the result. And also, usually 20% of everything is only the 80% if that makes sense. And that’s always weird—people talk about the 80/20 rule. But really, there’s so few things that actually move the needle in your business or your life or your happiness. Focus on those, dive deep into those, leverage those, amplify those.
All right, me and Kevin, my main man, we’re building some serious stuff down here in Puerto Rico, and he’s just been a huge blessing in my life and Denise’s life, and our team’s life. We were swapping texts, I can’t remember what it was now, 48 hours ago probably, of like, we should launch this thing right now. And everything in both our bodies says no, do this now! But we already have projects we’ve been working on, and we’re behind on. We already know this thing works over here.
In chaos, be careful of jumping in the new. When there is unknowns and uncertainty, beware of adding more uncertainty.
If you’re already in a moment of chaos or uncertainty, adding more at that precise moment is usually not the right answer. Usually the right answer to minimize the downside is to really focus on that 80/20 rule. Really, I say stay steady with 80%. If you’re going to change anything, maybe we’ll allow these 20% of things to change. In our business, there’s 20% of things, it’s probably just me forced upon, is the change that we had planned this year. That’s okay, ’cause the other 80% is rock solid, and we will dive there, and we will focus there, and we will deliver there with excellence.
So here’s my question. What are the five things you should absolutely continue doing in your business? I want you to write this down, Team HBX. The five things you should absolutely continue. Don’t break that streak. Don’t turn your focus away from that no matter what. Dive deep on the things that are really working right now. Yeah, some things are being taken away from you. You might lose some clients. You might have this challenge over here. People are freaking out. But I want you to be steady.
Part of the reason I’m so centered amid the chaos is I’m still executing the plan.
Let me say it again. Part of the reason I’m still so centered amid the chaos, is I know when I wake up, I’m still executing the plan. As the world freaks out, I’m still executing the plan. And I know that some people are going to say, “Oh Brendon, that’s so easy for you.” This reason, that reason, or whatever. No, many of you guys know. I was sick the last two weeks. I did not have coronavirus, so I want everybody to be cool with that. But I got the seasonal flu. And I’m 1000%, I’m okay. Don’t worry, but I got sick. My immune system was compromised after doing my event, and days and days later, I started getting sick and I was scared. I didn’t feel good. It was the first time in my adult life I ever had the flu, the seasonal flu, and it sucked. And of course I quarantined myself too, ’cause I was like, “Oh I don’t want to get anyone sick.” I didn’t know what to do. I was in bed most of the time. It was no good, and I still woke up incredibly confident.
How? I’m still executing the plan. Sometimes the plan gets put off a day or two, or sometimes two weeks. Guess what? I’m still going to execute the plan. We’re going to get into June, ladies and gentlemen, and we’re going to look back at the specific time where we really had to hunker down and close them things, and we’re going to look back and go, “Oh wow,” because in June, there’ll be a new normal. No matter what happens, whether the chaos gets bigger, where the more people get sick or more people even die, we will be now, more than two months, further along at that moment, and we will be in a place where we go, “Oh, this is how it is now.”
I mean look at how we adjusted to the global realities of all the global change the last couple of years. It’s crazy what we’re used to now. The new normal becomes the new normal. And I’m not downplaying or saying anything’s not important, I just know in June, Brendon Burchard’s still executing his plan. Take away April from me. Okay, May, Brendon Burchard’s still going to execute his plan.
The confidence that you will still execute after is something you should hold onto.
I am staying steady right now with the things that move the major needles in my business. I want you to know the five things that move it in your career. Whatever works best in your career that has really helped you double down on those five things. If you can only identify three, great. Double down on the things that are working right now. It will give you confidence, and it will give you momentum. If you have confidence and momentum right now, trust me, you’re emotionally going to be dealing with this better.
5. Minimize Your Downside by Taking Action Now
Okay, next big idea. I’m on number five. Minimize your downside by taking action now. Let me give you an example. If you know you’re about to lose clients, launch something to gain clients right now. If you see the stock market, and you’re anticipating that there’s going to be a downside, reallocate your portfolio, which I hope all of you did in the last 72 hours. We’re at a great time. Everything that we’ve ever learned from every great investor, they all say the same thing. Warren Buffet himself is like, “Hey, when everyone is freaking out and running and the thing is tanking and it hits a certain level, that’s the greatest time of opportunity.” So minimize the downside.
So if you’re scared right now, we’ll still reallocate into more safety. If you’re scared right now, and you’ve been taking risks over here, downplay that risk a little bit, and amplify what’s working. So just just be conscious of how you minimize this downside. If this is going to cancel, if this is going to happen, or if that’s going to happen, what can you set up, structure, or reallocate right now? What can I set up, structure, or reallocate right now? I had a very difficult conversation with a friend last night who has 7000 employees. And he sees the writing on the wall, and by the end, I was coaching him, doing high-performance coaching with him last night, and he was like, “I’m going to have to let some people go.” He’s never let people go. He’s never had to be that. He’s never had to do that.
But in his industry, this quarter will lead to a dramatic loss, and he had to be real about it. And minimizing the downside right now is making the tough decision to minimize the losses of the business by changing what they are promoting and investing in, and this person’s going to have to let go quite a significant number of people to protect the business for the long term. It sucks, but what I was so proud of him for is he made the call. You and I can’t guess what the right call will ever be, but in times in which you need to minimize downside, minimize downside. If you’ve got some risky bets running right now, maybe you go, “You know what? That’s not leading to anything right now. Let me focus on the things that are.” So I hope that really makes sense. You have to minimize the downside by taking action right now. It’s really important.
I will hop in and do a bunch of questions with you here in a moment. And then we’ll talk about these questions that I know I get all the time, which is, “How do you think of opportunity right now?” I think of opportunity the same all the time. I have a little formula. We’ll share the formula with you, but let’s talk about a few of your questions.
The first question is coming in. Hi Jasmine!
“Hi Brendon, there’s this saying— let your faith be bigger than your fear. Would you be able to share your insights on how you approach that or how we can achieve that?”
I think that’s really important right now. I think faith is a daily thing. I don’t think faith has to be any bigger right now that it was last Tuesday. My faith is rock solid all the time, because I chose that to be it. And I tap into faith every single day. You have to find your way of doing that.
Either you’re tapping into fear more, or you’re tapping into faith more. It is a conscious decision of where your mental bandwidth is going.
Right now, you could log in right now and look on Twitter about all the outrage, or you could look at your Bible verses. That’s a choice. One is going to lead to feeling in one sense, and one’s going to lead to another. It is a conscious choice of where your attention goes.
Where is your attention? That is the most important thing right now, because when you can tap into that, and take conscious control, everything shifts.
And I think faith is incredibly important in times of difficulty, so tap into it more, for those who have faith and whatever way you define that, tap into it more. Period, tap into it more. Okay, thank you for asking, Jasmine.
Marcel is asking, “How do you best think about the needs of others when making tough decisions? A risky move might negatively impact people I care about, but maybe I estimate their bad feelings as worse than they’d actually be.”
Marcel, you answered your own question. We always assume that when we take risks, it’s going to ruin other people’s lives, or it’s going to make other people feel terrible, when in reality, almost all the time, even people you deeply care about, they’re focused on themselves. They’re truly focused on themselves. And by the way, they should be accountable for their own feelings and their own realities, outside of your actions. Now that’s super hard to say because when you talk about parents, or you talk about team leaders, you say, “No, no, no Brendon. I am responsible for everyone.”
I’m like, “You are not responsible. “You are absolutely not responsible for everybody’s complete reality.” At some point, the kid’s have to grow up, and the team has to own their stuff too. You can’t control everything. What you must do is make the best decisions right now, that are decisions of integrity for you, and on purpose for you, and when I talk about responsibility to others, service to others, that’s usually important, meaning don’t compromise in adding value to others, but also don’t placate others. Add value to others, don’t placate, meaning I don’t bend my future opportunities to the judgments or the concerns of other people, ever. If I have a crazy, wacky idea, and Denise is like, “That’s a stupid, crazy idea,” you know what we’re going to say? Let’s test it. Let’s prove it to be either a great idea, or a crazy, wacky idea. At the end of the day, I’m not going to compromise how I show up for her, just ’cause I go do something else. I can still add value to our relationship and our marriage, even as I try crazy things, and that’s the whole thing.
This is where fear really gets a hold of people, when they catastrophize, they make fears and results permanent things. Marcel, I wouldn’t worry at all, because what you need to do is test. See, everyone thinks of risk as in either win or lose, gain or ruin. I’m like, no, no, no. Real risk is test. Just try the idea in a minimum way and see the impact, and see how you feel about that and how you’re capable of handling that or scaling that or growing that. Communicate with other people that you are in a test. I communicate everything as a test, and we communicate as a test. Everyone’s like, “Oh, got it, okay I can handle that.”
I do want to make sure I specifically address his questions about the part of how do you best think about the needs of others? I don’t think about the needs of others. Instead I think about what others value, and what I mean by that is, each of us is responsible for our own needs. I think about what do people value, and how can I serve that, and contribute that, and add value to that? Them dealing with what they need, they’re in charge of asking for that, directing that, making that happen in their lives, or asking it of me. I’m not worried about meeting the exact need of theirs, because I can’t. That’s their need, not mine. Instead I go, what do they value, and can I give something to them? And when you recognize the difference between those two things, everything really does shift.
As an example, what other people’s actual needs are, there are very few needs. There are physical needs, there are sustenance needs, and basically the sustenance and the safety needs are the primary two needs. There’s a desire for belonging, but is not necessarily a need for everybody. There are a lot of people who are super stoked they get to self-quarantine right now. Some people are like, “Thank God. Let me get out of the office and let me pull away from people and all the stress right now.” The idea that we all need a certain type of belonging isn’t true.
We need to know what they value. They value a connection with you like this—oh, let me serve that value. They value this amount of their freedom. Oh, let me serve that. They value this opportunity that they need to do, ’cause it’s their passions. Oh, let me serve that. So there’s a difference between values and needs, and that’s an important thing to know.
Let’s see, Janet says, “What’s up team HPX? As Denise would say, rather than being ordinary, I’ve chosen to be extraordinary. I’m so happy to join you for the very first time! In this time when the world is gripped by the fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with events unfolding so quickly, it’s kind of scary out there. How can we find the courage to live our most courageous life, Brendon?”
You know what, I love that Janet. I’m going to hop to this section as well. So let me kind of change up my order here, but I think that’s a really important question. How do you find courage? Courage is always found and demonstrated in initiative, despite risk and action. And so what I want you to do, every single day, Janet and everyone watching this is ask, “What would be a strong or a bold or an important action I could take today, a strong, bold, or important action I could take today, just one, and take it?”
Courage isn’t usually recognized as 50 things. Courage, scientifically, the way that we had studied it, and we codified it in my book, “High Performance Habits,” was courage was most often described worldwide as speaking up for one’s self, doing something that is difficult, or speaking up for another. Really that’s where it usually comes down to being. So each day, can you express your needs to your partner, even when you’re worried about it? Can you take that difficult action even though it’s hard, and you don’t know how to do it? Do one thing that’s hard every day. And courage starts to develop, and everybody, I want you to do this.
Listen, too many of you right now are going to play defense, when you should really engage offense. You should really, right now, engage offense. That means be proactive, and take the hard measures right now, not to protect, but instead, to grow. Because courage is always something that strengthens and expands us. It makes us better by addressing something that is scary, and taking action anyway, that is of service to others, or service to the growth of our purpose. And so I want you to think about every day, wake up and go, “What would be hard that would move the needed forward? What would be hard to admit, to share, to do, to make happen?” And do it, and do it. That’s a great question.
Let me jump back into some more takeaways. I want to talk about forecasting, and then I want to talk about opportunity. People right now are asking, “You know Brendon, amid all the crazy, how are you thinking about the future? How are you thinking about next week? How are you thinking about next month, next quarter, next year?” Let me begin by saying this. The first way that I forecast is by establishing and sticking to my daily rhythm of things that moves the needle for me. I think the future can absolutely over the long term, be shaped and created, and if you believe that too, welcome to a self-reliant world, in which you are determining and creating and co-actively building your destiny. Right now we must remember, our future is something we are building.
6. Establishing and Sticking to Your Daily Rhythm
Right now when you want to hunker down and be fearful and wait everything out, I understand that at a pandemic level, but in your life, you cannot do that, and even in this pandemic, I really believe it is necessary to establish a daily rhythm that gives you confidence and momentum, the daily rhythm. So what do I mean by that? Well when I’m forecasting the next year, I’m asking, “Am I doing the things that I know move the needle, and am I doing those things consistently on a daily rhythm?” My forecast, in my business, for three quarters from now, I don’t think in any way is different than it would have been with or without the pandemic. And I know that sounds crazy for anybody to say, but because I know my business, and I know how I am going to show up, and I know the results that I can and do create, I know that you could come and… Kevin can pull the last five years of my business, look at all the data, look at what my output was on a daily rhythm basis and go, “Oh, he kept doing these things and these results… He’s pretty steady.”
I think that’s important. Again steadiness, but forecast with your daily rhythm of effort. Don’t forecast on fear. Don’t forecast on this, no. I am going to predict my future based on how I show up today. Let me say it again. I’m going to predict my future, based on how I’m going to show up today. If I show up today, and I show up strong, and confident and disciplined and focused, I know there will be more positive outcomes than if I did otherwise. I know if I show up today strong and capable and focused and disciplined today, I know I can forecast the outcome, being bigger, better, and a future that I want, more so if I don’t do those things.
So all forecasting must begin with daily effort and behavior. I tell people all the time, forecasting, 90% of it, is how you showed up today. 90%. Your today is predicting the future. Your outcomes in three weeks are completely determinant upon what are we doing leading up to those three weeks. I believe it’s really important. So daily rhythm forecasting.
7. The Establishment of the New Normal is an Ongoing Trend
Second, big idea. You got to look back, right now, in a time and space like this. Don’t get trapped in this monthly thinking. Don’t get trapped in the next month. As we’re doing this livecast with you right now, the international travel bans have mostly been set for a period of 30 days. Almost all meeting restrictions have been set only for the end of March, or for the next three to four weeks. And almost all quarantines have been approached as something that is 30, maybe 60 days as of now. Who knows if this changes? I’m just sharing as of now, as we’re actually doing this. What that means is, we’re looking at a 30 or 60-day period of time. I don’t think you should forecast a 30 or 60-day period of time.
Remember my friend with the 7,000 employees? What I do with him is, let’s pick a perspective. Can you look at your last three quarters with me, and instead, because a quarter is a much better average period of time, your quarter this quarter might be really jacked up. ‘Cause during a lot of fear and panic, we look at our friends in the transportation industry and hospitality right now. They’re getting their shirts taken from them. But, if you look at their historical average on a quarterly basis, say one year, two years, that’s a much better predictor of where they’re going to be at in quarter three of this year and quarter four of this year. Why? Because the establishment of the new normal is an ongoing, always trend. The establishment of a new normal. Three quarters ago, guess what was happening three quarters ago? New things. Crazy things, volatile things. New innovations, new dramas, three quarters ago. This one is a particular heavy and scary one. But three quarters ago, were just as reliable as a predictor, three quarters out from now, than this specific one, and that is, that’s economics. That’s historical study. That’s the law of using data. And so, I think it’s really important to realize, if you’re trying to forecast the end of this year, please don’t be catastrophizing in your mind. Please don’t do that. It’s going to keep you up at night, cause anxiety in your marriage or your spouse or your relationships, your team, that you do not need yet. You cannot possibly predict December right now, based on this month. What’s a better predictor of this upcoming December than this month, or next month? What’s a better predictor? Last December and the last, in Q4 of 2019, is a better predictor of December than this month of March, you follow? When you have a peak of drama, or a peak incident as they call in economics, you can’t assume that to be the average of future quarters. That is not a good use of forecasting.
So I would rather you say, if you’re genuinely interested in December, of 2020, I want you to do a historical analysis of your last three quarter fours of the last three years. So go back to Q4 of the last three years, and ask, “What did we do? What worked well?” And now, start thinking and planning that way for this upcoming month. I’m not saying we’re not all going to have to adjust to some realities, but if you look at the Q4 of the last three years, new normals were developing then too. And a new normal will be set in and developed, I promise you. By mid-summer, we’re all going to be in a very different place than we are now. I can’t emphasize that enough. So quarterly projections based on quarterly historicals, especially for Q3 and four of this year.
And I’m here to tell you, if you think you’re a responsible business person, if you’re going to take some losses right now, then do everything you can right now to minimize downsides and maximize gains, however, also, ask, “Okay great, then how do we take what we thought we were going to do in quarter four this year, and how do we substantially increase that? What would I need to do to start right now?” So my friend, as I was speaking with him last night with the 7,000 employees, where I shared with him, I said, “Okay, so we talked about the realities of the last couple of quarters, we talked about this quarter… Okay, tell me this. What could you do now to ensure your Q4 is so much higher than you’d already hoped it could be, to mitigate the losses that you experience now?” And listen to what he decided. Even as he has to lay off some people now, he decided to spin up and hire more in this specific department that’s really going to impact his Q4 efforts. So even as he’s minimizing downside here, he’s maximizing his forecast for his Q4. That’s what you got to do.
You have to be thinking, “If this month sucks or next month sucks, how do we minimize that, but then also, how do we shore up for a bigger end of the year?” I think that’s really important for people. And that will give you a sense of confidence. You know, go to your battle boards as I call it. Go up on your wall, draw 12 boxes, and if this month sucks, write “sucks” in it. And then write “winning” in November and December, and plan for that. You got time baby. It’s not just now, you got time. You really do. Hope that helps, think of it.
8. Reach Outside Yourself for All Future Forecasting and Growth
For forecasting, another thing that is really, really important to me is that we reach outside of ourselves for all of forecasting and future growth. What does that mean? That means whatever you already had planned this year, when you’re trying to anticipate your results, what we usually do is go, “Oh my God, my results are going to be less because of this chaos. Oh my gosh, my May or my April is going to be so much worse because of this situation.” That’s true, only if your forecast involves your solo efforts as they are now. What do I mean by that? In a moment of chaos, when we are trying to forecast our future, the most important thing we can do is wrangle in industry peers into joint efforts.
We got to come together, in other words. If you’re trying to forecast, of course that forecast looks scary when it’s just your own efforts. What you needed to start doing immediately, right now, is setting up promotional partners, and promotional plans for quarter three and quarter four. A lot of people don’t want to do anything right now, ’cause they’re scared, and they’re looking at this next quarter going, “I don’t know what it’s going to be about.” Great, so set up promotional plans for quarter three and quarter four. Set it in stone, as a calendar, meaning do some type of joint effort with peers in your industry. Now if you’re someone saying, “Brendon, this is a lot of business talk man, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m home with the kids.”
If you’re looking at your happiness, and your joy, and you’re like, “I don’t know how this is going to play out,” then engage your neighbors more. Make plans now for later. Right now, everyone is in canceling plan mode, which is fine. And totally understandable. Like, sure, cancel, that’s minimizing downsides. But don’t project too far out at all. Instead first, only project out based on what is real, and then build out with others. Build out with others. I’ll give you an example of how I’m thinking about this with minimizing downside and building at the same time. And just forecasting. Right now, many of you guys know, I have an event coming up in May. It’s our certified, high-performance coaching certification week, and as of now, our event is scheduled, May 14th, so it’s mid-May, and people have asked, “Are you canceling it?” And I said, “We are not determining that right now. A determination of that would be premature.”
Now it’s easy for people in an outrage, “How dare you, how could you do that?” I’m like, because I’m honest enough to say I’m not God. When the best of the United States government and governments around the world, the best estimations, and the only regulations and restrictions and almost all their recommendations are for 30 days, who do I think I am guessing 60 days? These are officials who spend their lives in public health, and they don’t want to set any restrictions past 30 days. Who do I think I am to do that, in such a way that would impact other people’s career and their potential businesses, their families? I’m not going to make that designation sooner. I’m going to wait and say, “Okay, let’s see how things play it out.” I’m okay to make the determination with local authorities, with the government, with public health officials, with medical advice, with the input even of the community, but I’m not going to prematurely make any decision of the business.
‘Cause what all these people are doing is taking the forecast. You never forecast the future based on the current reality. You base the future, based on trends and historical average. Trends and historical average. We are not in a trend right now. We are in a knee-jerk reaction. We don’t have the data to make May, June, and July. Now I know lots of people say, “But Brendon, other people have made decisions for that.” I’m like, “Cool, we might end up making the exact same decisions.” And we’ll do them when it’s judicious and thoughtful, not a knee-jerk reaction to the moment. I think what is always important, is not to be in a knee-jerk reaction mode, especially when other people’s careers or businesses or families count on that thing. Now, I’m also insanely protective of my community’s health. I’m insanely protective of the wellbeing of our people, so if it leads to, in that time I have to make virtual accommodations for them, where we do something virtually, or if it means I have to move or postpone an event, I’m totally open to that, but I won’t prematurely make that decision when the world’s experts are only forecasting 30 days out. We’ll revisit it very soon, but I think that’s how you also have to forecast.
You forecast based on maybe a 30-day window, and then you revisit. And I think it’s really important for you to say, don’t over knee-jerk reaction in your life right now, because we are facing a historical, unprecedented, unforecastable moment. We are also seeing a situation in my opinion, where there are other things that we know are affecting more people worldwide than this current situation. And while the concern is absolutely valid, the hysteria is overblown. I’m okay with major actions to protect the mass community, but the hysteria around things is usually not that responsible in my opinion, so make decisions when it is timely to make decisions.
I do believe that the world clearly did not act sufficiently and quickly enough with coronavirus. I want to be on record for that for those who think I’m not saying that right now. I absolutely believe we’ve done a horrible job. How do we not as a global community, have had a global testing system in place, that was incredibly more efficient and incredibly more widely available than it is now? That is something that we should have had, no question. So please don’t think I’m not taking things seriously. I’m absolutely taking things seriously. I absolutely think we could have done a better job, but I also know your life and your business, and the future of your family, is dictated upon you forecasting accurately right now, and forecasts are always better on a trend line than in the moment. So let that trend develop a little bit so you can understand what is happening, before you make a knee-jerk reaction for your particular business or for your particular career. I hope that helps think through that. That is my approach to that.
9. Closely Watch the Trendline
Next up, on forecasting, you must find where you, if you’re in business, find where you are spending right now, and you must very, very closely watch that trend line over the next four weeks. And do not make decisions to end any campaigns based on the last 72 hours. I’ve had so many friends who are like, “Oh my gosh, this conversion didn’t work well.” I’m like, “Yes, people were busy buying supplies.” I can’t believe they’re catastrophizing based on the return on ad spend in the last four days. I’m like, you know nothing about your business based on the last four days. Please don’t catastrophize. I think forecasting should be done on a trend line, and I think it’s really important to recognize that you have the opportunity right now to identify, pay closer attention to your numbers than ever, but also if you happen to be in a place, where whatever you are doing, stays steady…
Let me say this again, with whatever you are doing, has stayed steady in the last seven days as a trend, stay committed to that, and if it stays steady again next week, if there is a steadiness over two weeks spanned trend line, in incidents like this right now, I’m here to tell you, consider doubling down, because that means you have, quote, unquote, a bulletproof campaign running. And if you got a bulletproof campaign running right now, and you see that over two, three week period in this moment, especially after next week ends, if it’s stayed, something that is acceptable to you, in terms of your risk profile, double down, like you got a winner that you didn’t even know is a bigger winner than you thought, and forecast with that, with a stronger sense of security than you probably want to. Okay, that would be how I’m looking at that personally.
10. Don’t be an Opportunist During Chaos
With that, I know one of the big questions is, “Well Brendon, how do you think about opportunity right now?” I always think about opportunity the same way. Do not be an opportunist right now who makes major changes in your life or in your business that is knee jerk, just like we didn’t say, “Oh, let’s drop everything we are doing to do this campaign, ’cause we think it’ll make money right now.” I think that causes a lot of chaos and stress that you don’t need, when there’s a lot of uncertainty. So we have another vault video of how exactly I formulaically plan my opportunity all the time, that has given me a trend line that looks like this in my career. I don’t like this feeling in my life, this yo-yo feeling of money, no money, stress, no stress, oh my God.
Instead I like to always be growing by making thoughtful, framework-driven decisions, and I want to share that with you here. This a great long-term framework that will pull you into quarter three and four and in years future, making decisions that are right for you specifically. Okay, with that, roll that Kevin.
How to Evaluate Opportunities
People in productivity always ask the first question: “Brendon, how do I evaluate things? I’m a productive person, but I keep getting distracted. Or, I have two good options; and I’m not sure which one to pick.”
I’ll share with you my shorthand frameworks. It’s my back-of-napkin strategy I can do that really helps me decide between two different things because I get offers all the time. As you can imagine, it can be overwhelming.
Here’s the formula: TERMS < ROI + FV + L + PD
This is my magical shorthand that helps me so much. The TERMS of any deal have to be less than ROI plus FV plus L plus PD. I have option A or option B. I’m going to run them both through this equation, and whichever one wins is the one I’m most likely to choose. If they’re really close, I’ll run them through a second framework.
#1. TERMS: Time. Energy. Resources. Money. Sanity.
This means the terms of any deal have to be less than what I think I’m going to get out of it. It’s a very utilitarian value. If I’m going to put a bunch of stuff in, I better get more out. And what I found is that if I have a deal, and I’m going to put a bunch of time, energy, resources, or money into it, I better get more out of it.
But what my magical thing was, was the S. This is the one no one ever thinks about and everyone screws up. Utilitarian-minded, logical, strategic people make decisions based on time, energy, resources, and money. They forget the S in the equation.
You have to think about every bad decision you ever chose versus something else and found yourself thinking: “I wish I didn’t do that.” You just did not consider this thing called sanity. Consider this: How much time, energy, resources, money, and sanity am I going to have to put into this thing?
How many of you have ever done a deal where you had to work with someone who drove you insane? There was great money and great output, but the input was your own sanity. Entrepreneurs especially make this mistake all the time. They don’t think about how much craziness is going to go into something. They just get attracted to the time, energy, resources, and money. They’re not thinking about the lifestyle, community, or other things that could really shape how sane the endeavor is.
That’s one thing I’m proud of doing with CHPC. We make this a very sane, calming, and comforting community. We do things step-by-step. It’s not scary. I think it can be easy to get attracted to things that drive you insane. It’s important for you all to care about your sanity, so you can bring the joy!
#2. ROI: Return on Investment
So whatever time, energy, resources, money, and sanity I put into something, has to be less than what I get out of it in terms of ROI.
You know what that means—return on investment.
So this is a straight one-to-one. Whatever I put into it, I better get that out of my investment. It better save me some time, build my energy, build my resources, or my money, or I don’t want to do it. That’s straight up return on investment.
#3. FV: Future Value
And then FV is where most people fail to have strategy. FV stands for “future “value.” Never do anything just for ROI.
This is where they wreck kids in business school. They wreck them because we’re still teaching straight-up balance sheet mentality in the world. That’s why our relationships are wrecked, because we’re trying to have a balance sheet scorecard with our spouse.
We’re trying to equate things out with our spouses. How’s that working for you?
We start ruining our relationships because we’re trying to get that balance sheet just even, and in real life, we want future value built into deals.
If you’re going to do something, I want you to be able to look out in the future and say, “Wow, that’s going to benefit me in one year, two years, three years, four years, five years. I can see how moving that piece right now, that’s going to be a building block that’s going to serve me later on.”
And if you can’t see that, whatever deal you’re doing as a stepping stone, don’t do the deal. And especially don’t get trapped in the idea of thinking whatever deal you’re going to do is a final stepping stone.
If you’re starting out, you might say to yourself, “That deal will change my life. That’s it, that’s all I need. I’ll be good for life.” That means you’re engaging in short-term survival thinking, not strategic growth thinking.
When you start thinking about future value, you make very different decisions.
It makes you write different books. It makes you build different programs. It changes the way you sell. It changes the products that you build in your company.You’ve got to go back to future value thinking, including every little thing that you do. If you hire people, don’t hire people to fill in a short-term need. Hire future value players.
Date future value people. Don’t have short-term friends just cause you need to lean on somebody who’s a complainer. Create friendships with future value people.
Your job is to always be honoring, protecting and standing at the gates as guard and champion of your future.
You’ve got to look past the short-term situations, and go for the long-term plays. Why? The long-term value will change your life.
#4. L: Lifestyle
If entrepreneurs typically suck at sanity in their evaluations, then on the other side, they always fail on the big L – Lifestyle. They’ll take the deal because it’s a good time, it’s energy, it’s making a lot of money, and it’s not too crazy. “It’s not too crazy, I can handle it.” But they’re not thinking on the other side: “Boy, if I say yes to that, that means I’m going to be working 20 more hours a week.” Who’s ever said “yes” to something that made you work 20, or 30, or 40 more hours a week, and you didn’t anticipate it? I’ve been there too. When you make decisions, and you’re not looking to the future value or thinking lifestyle, no wonder your short-term productivity is wrecked.
Why is your productivity wrecked? Because you said “yes” or jumped into something that wasn’t your thing. It wasn’t of your character. It wasn’t who you are. It wasn’t the lifestyle you wanted to embody. It wasn’t who you wanted to become.
#5. PD: Personal Development
And that’s because you didn’t take into account personal development either.
You didn’t think: “Does this grow me? Does this make me be who I want to be?”
Is the deal, what you are doing, going to help you grow into the best you? You can’t keep saying “yes” or keep evaluating things like: “Well, that sounds good,” just because it’s good.
Does it serve who you want to become?
Okay my friends, I hope you enjoyed that terms framework that I just gave you, because the thing I wanted to point out to you there is you can clearly see I’m always thinking about where is my time, my energy, my resources, my sanity is really going, and I won’t put that into anything that won’t lead to some real personal development or lifestyle growth. It’s why right now, that I bring this up specifically, ’cause people are like, “What should we opportunize? What should we take advantage of in this emergency pandemic?” I’m like, “Don’t.” If you didn’t see the opportunity prior as something that you are passionate about that brings purpose and growth and future value to you, then why? Never do something in the short term if it doesn’t lead to real future value or joy or growth for you, because that just means you’re a hyena, and there’s no reason for that. Like live as the lion, proud of what you are doing.
Okay, I’m going to jump into your questions. I’m so pumped by the engagement you guys have given today, and the value you just added for this community and sharing some ideas. I appreciate that. So far today, I’ve talked about staying centered amid the chaos. I’ve talked about not complaining. I’ve talked about understanding fear and mitigating the fear. I talked about staying steady on the 80’s. Steady 80. Steady 80 means find the five things that are working the most, your 80% of what really moves the needle, and stick there, double down there, focus there. I talked about how you maximize opportunity with the formula I just gave you. But I also talked about forecasting. Develop your daily rhythm, and let your daily rhythm and your hard work forecast. Making sure you’re forecasting based on quarterly historicals and trend lines versus the immediacy knee jerk of the moment.
Find, in the next two to three weeks, if you had something that was working, and it made it through this, then double down or really shore up, or emphasize those things, ’cause those are working and it worked through this. I guess my real themes of today are really taking control of your emotional center. Keep a long-term view and do things on a daily basis that bring you joy, purpose, confidence, courage, growth. You know those things you can control.
So Jen was asking, “I feel role modeling works very well long term, but staying calm doesn’t always seem to be enough. How do I help those around me get to a calm space when they are caught up in the craziness?”
Number one, please, you guys are all in this community. Play this for your families. Watch this with your families again. Have a conversation about what we talked about. I think that will really help. Two, Jen, grab up the people who you love who are close to you, and take them on a walk. Get them out of their house, out of the media, take ’em on a walk. I know people are going to say, “But Brendon, I’m not supposed to leave my house in this area, or that area.” If that’s true, then walk them around your living room. I mean, like take a break from it all, in whatever way that works for you, and talk about things that you care about again. Talk about the future. Plan about the future. Pick people’s perspective about now, and talk about things. If your kids’ college just got canceled, it doesn’t mean you still can’t talk about what their major is, and what they’re excited about when they go back to school. About the friends that they’ve met in school that they can’t wait to see again when they get to go back to the dorm.
We get to choose the topics in which we explore with our loved ones. That’s how you choose calm. You talk about things you are passionate about, things about, that are coming up in the future that are good, and when you are sensing anxiety or stress, you help them take a break from it, and you remind them to take a break from it. Limiting screen time for people right now, usually we got to do that for kids. Maybe you ought to do that for your husband, who’s just checking the thing too much and having the conversation. Jen, I hope that helps you, and I appreciate you being a role model for those over the long term. Tell people to stay calm also.
Luke is asking, “What virtual knowledge industries/services do you see set for greater growth given this time and this scare? What is about to take off?”
Luke, all things that facilitate people communicating virtually. Obviously that’s the big thing. I mean Zoom and Vimeo and other video conferencing modalities are going to have their greatest seasons this year. When you think about, think about all the losses, where the losses are, and how do you mitigate that with a new technology or a new service? I actually believe right now, as people are hunkered in home, personal development is going to be a huge growth area. I think livecasts like this are going to be a huge growth area. Facilitating and running Facebook groups or groups that can be virtually hosted, led, or contributed to, I think that’s going to happen and take off, but I also think, right now, the hidden thing that people forget all the time, commodities, that basics are going to go right now. I mean, look at the sales of paper towels and hand sanitizers and basic supplies, are going to see a great… I mean Proctor & Gamble’s going to be super stoked. They’re going to sell the crap out of cleaning supplies. The basics, right now, are going to be important. Comfort foods are going to be important to people.
When there’s an emergency, people love less innovation than they do comforts. And community. So think about comforts and community, and think about skill development. Because people are going to be looking for new opportunities to grow their businesses because they’re facing losses in the marketplace.
Mark is asking a great question. “I am feeling some fear based on the drop in my retirement accounts, especially since I am now in my 60’s. But I know that enough time will bring it back. However, my wife has A LOT of fear about it. How can I convince her that everything will be much better in the future?”
Mark, great question, but also, Mark, you’re awesome for being here. I mean, everyone give Mark a high five. He’s in his 60’s, and still doing personal development at this level and at this commitment level, man. You’re my dude, you’re awesome. Thank you for being here. I aspire for that myself. I always wanted to be learning through my entire life. That’s so awesome. He’s in his 60’s, and his retirement accounts are taking a hit. I really believe that right now, things are taking a hit, but a lot of people didn’t see the news over the last, literally 24 hours, of an injection of $1.5 trillion into the marketplace. And there’s been a vast underestimation of what that will mean in the future. The people who don’t understand economics right now, are saying, “Well, we injected $1.5 trillion into the market in the U.S. and it didn’t even make a blip.” No, no, the announcement was made. And it didn’t make much of a blip amid the markets, ’cause the markets are smart. It doesn’t matter until the funds actually hit bank accounts. You don’t make decisions til funds hit the bank account. Those monies have not yet been distributed or even fully allocated yet. So when we understand that, it’s like, “Oh, okay.” I don’t know if you all remember. I want to give everyone a historical perspective.
When the market collapsed in 2008, do you remember the bank bailouts? Some of us have a history, remember? Remember the bank bailouts? At a certain point in time, the bank bailouts were only $900 billion. Now I can believe I’m actually saying out loud, only $900 billion, ’cause that seems like the most amount of money of all time. But the bailouts were at that point at one point. We injected $1.5 trillion. So that’s a lot more than $900 billion. So there is a steadiness that will happen back to the marketplace over a period of time, and I would recommend that you and your wife keep that perspective right now. This is a terrible time to even worry in terms of what might happen. There is no guess over the next six-month mark.
And so what I would say is, let’s ask, let’s be patient and see where this goes. Let’s see where this goes, and let’s not see where it goes on an hour-by-hour basis, per se, let’s see where this goes on a trend line. Because markets work that way, and capitalism works that way. And the injections of relief always take a serious amount of time to know what they’re going to do. So I know that retirement accounts are hit for everybody right now, but let’s be patient. If you can, reallocate for a safer play, over the next couple of months, without affecting the retirement, meaning you’re not taking penalties, I would consider that, but please recognize, I am not giving financial advice. I’m not a financial advisor. I highly recommend you consult your own. And then, everything else I shared, Mark, with your wife in this situation, please share with her the replay of this.
Everybody, I would really encourage you if you have a spouse, a partner, a teammate, somebody who is really struggling right now, and they’re really caught up in this, please have them watch this, because when they realize they can be their own emotional center, and then can be a role model, and they could be somebody who chooses to command their own sense of security right now, based on their own actions, and they can give a long-term view, I think we’ll all do well for our community.
Okay, Lumie is asking, “Brendon, I am very close to my father, he is 82 years old and healthy. He is my best friend. I am constantly worried about him dying lately. I think about it so much that it has been affecting me. I can’t imagine my life without him. I’ve been feeling this since I was little. I’m a grown up woman now and would like to be stronger. How do I deal with this fear of mine?”
Lumie, when you state that this has been a fear of yours, since you were little, and it’s affected you since you were little, I can only recommend seeing a therapist on this topic. And I think it’s really important for this community to hear me say this. When you have something that affects you, when you have a fear of an inevitable reality, and it affects you over duration. In her case, decades. It is important to see a therapist on that. That is something that is worthwhile to go and have a conversation with because it’s something that has developed over decades. It is something that is real. It is deep, and it is something that needs real processing, and it needs a professional. That is not something I can give a pat answer with. I think first and foremost, you must go see a professional.
And everybody, I want you all to hear this. If you’ve had anything that has been impacting you for decades at an emotional level, of something that happened to you or is inevitable, you must seek therapy on this. And don’t be sad about it. We need to have this mental health conversation with people. Seeing a therapist isn’t a weakness. It’s about developing new skills of processing, and you need skill in processing an inevitable reality. We will all lose our parents, if we are blessed to outlive them. We will all see the death of many people we care about in our lives. And we have to ultimately face that, and a therapist can help you skill up for that. Outside of that, I also highly recommend you read books on philosophy. I know that seems like a pat answer. But there’s no philosopher in history that didn’t grapple with the utter realities of life itself. Or struggle with our own existence, and with the inevitable death of that. We must absolutely learn how to deal with that. If you’ve never read William Durant’s book, “The Story of Philosophy,” read that. Because you’ll see how philosophers have grappled with death throughout time, and it really gives you many different ways to access and understand that conversation in your own emotional reality, and I hope that really helps you.
I honor you very much for caring about your father, and I hope he is well, and I respect you for answering that question, and I do hope that you will seek help, and I also would ask you Lumie too, if he’s healthy, which you said he is, and he’s 82, give yourself the gift of asking him, how you should deal with his lifespan. And give yourself the gift of interviewing him.
So Lumie, we’ll make sure that we send you our Life Interview Guide, where you can interview your father and record it, and have that for when is not here anymore, and that’s maybe the best gift I’ve ever given myself, was calling my dad, as he was dealing with leukemia, and interviewing him and capturing that audio and asking him questions. For everybody else, you could access that by Google, just by going and typing in, “Brenden Bruchard, Life Interview Questions.” That should come up somewhere, and you should download the PDF, of the 30 questions I asked my dad. You could ask your parents. I really encourage you to do that. Last question.
Chris is asking, “Brendon, what are your top five priorities right now?”
Well that’s a good one. Top five priorities right now are the same as they always are. I wish I could… I don’t let chaos or sudden things change my priorities. It doesn’t mean I might not have a daily reaction to them, but my priorities have been the same for almost 20 years of my life. My daily priority is to live my purpose, which is honoring and sensing that feeling of live, love, matter. My daily priorities are my wife and my family. My daily priorities are my health. My daily priorities are serving my purpose, and my daily priorities are fighting off doubt and distraction to be steady and disciplined. And those things apply all the time for me, and this chaos has not changed that at all, and I would really encourage those of you who have stable practices in your life to continue doing those. I hope that serves you.
You know, I know I’m a little over my time here with you all, but I just felt like sharing some of these videos from the vault would be relevant today. I felt like this conversation about staying centered amid the chaos, not contributing to the complaining, not over-consuming, recognizing when you’re fearing loss, and process and outcome and flipping those, ’cause instead of loss, what can you do for gain? Instead of hardship, what can you do to develop skill? Instead of outcome concern, what can you do to mitigate and grow? When we talked about forecasting, establishing that daily rhythm, looking at your trend lines, and making sure that you are actively setting up quarter three and quarter four to be extraordinary if you’re taking hits right now. I think all of that is important, but the number one takeaway for every one of you is you can actually be the role model through this crisis. You can set the emotional tone, in your life, but also in the life of your family and your teams, those who you love and who you serve, by reflecting back to people, their energy, by letting them know, “Hey you know what? I see you checking in a lot. Hey, I hear you and you’re really upset about this. Let’s talk about it. Let’s take a break. Let’s have this conversation about things we do love, things that are here, the opportunities we do have, the things we do appreciate about the future.”
You get to set the emotional tone during a crisis. What a gift of this life. With that, I send my love to all of those who’ve been affected by the current pandemic or to anyone out there who’s struggling with any health issues. I know how scary that can be, so listen to this one more time. If you feel yourself teetering on too much anxiety or fear about the situation, maybe we discuss something today, but also scroll through all your friends in the chatroll here, and what they’ve contributed here today. There are a lot of lessons and a lot of wisdom around the world. And finally, I want to honor each and every one of you. In chaos, you chose to develop yourself today. In chaos you chose to self-coach. In chaos, you chose to be with us in this community of worldwide people who are dedicated to improving our lives, and for that, I honor you more than anything else. Even in times of crisis, my wife’s saying still lasts. We can go out there and choose to be ordinary and reactive, or we can choose to be extraordinary still. So my friends, go be extraordinary. Thanks for tuning in today.