Saying that 2020 was a tough year is pretty much the understatement of the decade. Many of us were stuck indoors for months on end, had limited personal interaction, and the loss of the physical, emotional and mental investments we made towards our goals have left us scared to commit to anything new. Many people I know lost something too. From businesses and loved ones to countless other aspects, this pandemic has touched every facet of our lives.
Over the past few months, I’ve had several people asking me to speak to someone about “bouncing back” and it took me a while to find the right angle and questions, but this is where I landed:
The last year has been much like a street fight. We’re beaten and broken, but, as is the case with anything in life, we need to get up and fight another round. So, it was with this in mind that I asked previous guest, Sensei Mario, to share some advice on mental strength and resilience.
We cover everything from how limiting our access to information is a form of self-care and why “bouncing back” is not something to aim for to asking for and receiving advice.
Quote: “Everyone is struggling mentally, even if they don’t want to admit it.”
Quote [about having a purpose]: “Maybe it’s not the goal you want because COVID has taken that opportunity away, but there are things available that you can change. So, I think what the goal is is not important. I think what is important is choosing something and working towards it and having it as something to look forward to.”
Quote: “Sensitivity might have this negative connotation, especially for men, that you have to be a sensitive person. Sensitivity is a super power… We [martial artists] know that if we can develop sensitivity, and be extremely sensitive to the other person’s movement, to the other person’s actions, we can react very quickly… But if we’re only focusing on ourselves [and] all we think about is “what am I going to do next”, we miss out on so many opportunities.”
Quote: “People have lost the ability to notice what’s going on around them. To be aware that other people are struggling, and to be sensitive [to it] – to feel it… Because you’re so obsessed with yourself, and you think that COVID has attacked you – not the whole world, just you – you can’t put everything in perspective because you’re comparing yourself with what you had. Whereas if you start looking outward, and noticing that this person is also struggling, you have a better understanding of your problems because other people are going through it as well.”
Quote: “This is not the time now to rebuild. Right now we must focus on survival. Survive. Get through this. Have something to save [after COVID].”
Quote [about “bouncing back”]: “”Bounce” sounds like it’s an instant thing. I will do this, this and this and then tomorrow I’ll be fine. I’ll will be “bounced back“. I think you should crawl back… You should claw back…. The fact you want everything today, and you want to feel better today, is not going to happen. I don’t think bounce back the right word because it sounds like it’s instant. I think you should claw back… Keep moving – preferably forward.”
Quote: “Advice is no different from giving a beggar money… You must give that money with the intention that what that person does with the money is none of your business… You have given them ownership of something, [and] now they must make decisions for themselves… You don’t give with the intention of controlling the person down the line.”
My intro / outro music was created by Joseph McDade