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Health: 2 Ways to Control What You Can

Yes, I admit that I am a political junky, and I love spending time reading and writing about growth strategies and opportunities in current energy transformation, – yes, nerdy; I know- but in a time where Covid-19 has turned our daily lives upside down, I am also a runner.

There is enough stress in life in any normal year, but Covid-19 has meant that many of us reading this have had to work from home, if you’re working at all, much more than ever. In a time where we are focused on watching/educating our kids and doing our best to keep or secure new jobs, one area of our lives has taken the biggest hit of all- our health.

Stress, weight gain and lack of regular exercise will lead to our next societal woes, and I would like to share some of my thoughts and strategies with you, in the hopes of motivating readers.

I don’t think I have had any different spring and summer than others reading this. I was in the middle of closing funding for my new startup- EnerStream Ventures Inc. – and like many things, the reaction to Covid-19 caused signifiant delays in moving processes to close. I was certainly ready to grow our market share of energy-as-a-service industry, but external factors changed my plans.

In addition to watching the news every hour and becoming increasingly depressed with the growth of the pandemic, I tried to create additional alternative work opportunities. But, as I quickly figured out, companies were trying to protect the businesses and jobs they already had, and none were interested in bringing in new people to help grow. I get it.

Personally, I found that the presence of the pandemic sucked the air out of every room, and for many of us, including me, it caused the reality of the situation of not having much of any work to be under the surface, but not the real focus of each day.

You find yourself getting deeper into a depression around “when does this end” and “how will I survive”, and really things were changing so quickly that it was really hard to try and lay out a smart strategy when the grounds were shifting daily.

As you are reading this, like me, you’ve already forgotten that I mentioned running, earlier. I found myself in a lonely place wondering what exactly can I do to survive and more importantly be ready to pounce.

You can get knocked down, but how you get up is more indicative of who you are as a person, and what that leads me to is the following; I can put my focus on things that I can control.

Before I get into what I did to control what I can control, I have to indicate that the Canadian Federal Govt support and having a brilliant wife who was very actively employed during this period were key components in allowing me to focus on what I needed to focus on.

I decided that there were two things I can do to improve my health (mental and physical) and ensure that I will be ready and able to contribute to the energy world when we come out of this global crisis.

I decided to use my blog and vlog to convey my ongoing thoughts on energy transformation. I knew that it wasn’t about getting immediate work or mandates. But I knew that if you’re not top of mind or on your game, now, then who exactly is going to want to work with you when several other millions of people are looking for work and mandates at the same time.

Do what is in your control!

But that is but one part of sustaining my sanity. Sharing my words with really anyone allowed me to operate in my world as if the world wasn’t changing in front of us. I felt useful, which made me feel better. I published several vlogs and new blogs about dozens of topics, and it was a form of brain dump that actually generated some new relationships for me.

Then I ran!

Still not sure what I’m running from, as the saying goes, but running a few times per week gave me a good focus. You don’t realize it, but in the most minute ways our minds need successes, no matter how small, and beating personal bests over spring and summer and now fall, kept giving me the small wins that I needed to stay focused and positive. I reached my goal of running a half marathon, again, and I actually ran 24km a few weeks back. I hope to run 30km before the running season really slows down.

Once you start rolling the rock down the hill, you pick up speed, and I start to eat better, sleep better, lose weight, overall feel better about myself. Soon enough, as I thought would happen, things start changing that are outside of my control, and I start picking up mandates to keep me busy.

Do I think for a second that positive things could have happened without me improving my odds for them to happen; no.

Creating video and blog posts that ensured I was relevant in industry conversations gave me hope. Running gave me endurance and focus.

I am in a great place mentally and physically, and it’s literally because I did my best to design that. Anyone can do it, but it is the hardest when things are controlling you.

There is a way to control what you can control, and I encourage all of you to be masters of your own domain. Good luck!