CYOC – Create Your Own Certainty

Maximum uncertainty is a new fact of life. So, what’s the antidote? It’s simple but it isn’t easy.
CYOC – Create Your Own Certainty

Hi, this is Mike Lipkin. It’s Tuesday, April 7 and like you, I’m LUMU. L.U.M.U. that means Living Under Maximum Uncertainty. No-one can provide forward guidance in this environment. The experts are trying to plot where we are on the curve but what does that really mean? For the first time, we’re all connected by exactly the same craving – we want our lives back.

Maximum uncertainty is a new fact of life. I don’t just mean being unsure about what’s going to happen next. I mean not knowing what to do. Not knowing what we don’t know is the primary source of fear. The suspense is killing us.

So, what’s the antidote? It’s simple but it isn’t easy. Do what you know. Don’t be derailed by what you don’t. We’re into the second month of lockdown. It’s time to CYOC – Create Your Own Certainty.

So, here are ten ways to CYOC in specific order.

  1. Align yourself with the current realities. Come to terms with your shock. Corona is like a continuous car wreck, but we have to keep driving in the right direction. Don’t expect it to get easier. It’s only going to get harder. We can feel exposed, afraid and determined at the same time. Actions lead feelings not the other way around. I’m as shaken up as anyone, but I’m getting this out. And I’m feeling better already.
  2. Discipline your distraction. Living Under Maximum Uncertainty can make it very hard to concentrate. The Corona catastrophe is a riveting topic. Hourly infection rates and death stats make for mesmerising viewing. Netflix, iTunes and Prime are always there to lure us into oblivion. Social media can suck us down the rabbit hole. So, commit to doing the work that must be done. Strengthen your mental muscles. Now is the time to become unstoppable.
  3. Be informed, not obsessed. Being informed empowers you with the essential facts. Being obsessed means filling your mind with worst-case scenarios. Read, listen or watch the news, but don’t be hijacked by it. So, my media of choice is the NY Times, CNN, CNBC, Globe & Mail, Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. I spend two hours a day consuming it. I look for the dark clouds and the silver linings. For example, on the one hand, I could lose a lot more money. On the other hand, breakthroughs are being incubated in every category. The present is painful, but the future will be phenomenal.
  4. Believe that you will survive and succeed. Believe means to accept as true. Like gravity, It’s undeniable. So, I don’t just think I’ll get through this stronger and smarter. I know it. I’m living it. I did what I know in March. I’m going to do what I know in April. I’m excited about how I’m going to exponentiate my capacity. What a great word – exponentiate! I believe I’m designed for this environment and so are you. Now find ways to prove it.
  5. Get physical. Overcome your inertia. Inertia literally means doing nothing. If you do nothing, you cannot do what you know. So, get moving. Go for a walk. Pump those arms. Pound that Peloton or whatever bicycle you have. Work those abs. Challenge yourself to get ripped not wasted. Exercise alone will make you smarter and stronger. It increases the oxygen flow to every part of your body. It will also raise your mood. Don’t go to pot or get stuck in the weed. Pun intended.
  6. Create a financial plan. Even before the crisis, money was a major source of anxiety. Now it’s #1. Confront the brutal facts. Don’t procrastinate. Unsubscribe to what you don’t need. Access the help that the government is offering. Navigate your way through your options. Talk to your bank or your advisor. Protect your credit rating. Take things one month at a time.
  7. Build your brain. Use this time to multiply your mind. Sharpen your most vital skills. I’m learning even more about coaching by reading and watching the great ones. Master new technology. I’m learning how to master Zoom and my iPhone to create impactful video communication. Read a great book – here’s one: The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson. Journal your ideas and insights. Make a video – you’ll be amazed at how many people want to hear about how you’re doing.
  8. Grow your relationships. Isolationship, (yup, that’s another new word) should not prevent you from nurturing your relationships. Take care of the people in your inner circle – your family, your closest friends, your most valued colleagues and clients. Reach out to mobilizers and opinion leaders in your industry. Earn their attention by offering them valuable insights – just like I’m trying to do here. Become known as a net-giver – that means you add more than you subtract. Everyone knows what cannot be done. Become someone that shows what CAN be done. Then help people do it.
  9. Experiment with new approaches. 2020 has been a year of utter devastation. But it will also be a year of miraculous reinvention. To experiment means to test something in order to discover if it works. We are all starting from scratch in a post-Corona world. Start small. Think big. Act now. So, I’m experimenting with virtual motivational programs and leadership assessments. I’m also trying out new things in my conversations. What can you do?
  10. Become a walking essential service. The government of Ontario has defined 44 essential services in terms of function. No people are mentioned by name. However, ask yourself: what would it talk for me to become an essential service? How can I become a model of what’s possible? Where can I find the inspiration and strength to empower others to carry on? If you seek the answers to those questions, everything else will take care of itself.

This is Mike Lipkin and I hope I’ve helped you CYOC, create your own certainty. Pass it on.

4 thoughts on “CYOC – Create Your Own Certainty

  1. John Mason

    Thank you for the uplifting and practical suggestions. It’s so important to become empowered by the opportunities Covid-19 is providing, rather than adopt a victim mindset. Your 10 insights are much appreciated! Stay well

  2. Jeanine Jollineau

    I think you forgot one….that is to find the silver lining in your living situation too. If you have already been following good planning in your life, then you may have a decent place to shelter, a few month’s income set aside, a way to continue to communicate in various ways and exercise at home. GRATITUDE! Thanks Mike, you echoed all of my thoughts and as of yesterday, I have decided to drop the negativity and rebuild. I am one of the lucky ones with alot in place and yes, a bit of an essential service….for now! 🙂 Glad you put this out there. We’re all in this together.

  3. roz usheroff

    Mike – You are, as always, so inspirational. I really like the concept of “net-giving” because it helps people to make the best choices and sets the tone for building meaningful relationships. It reinforces that human touch, which is the glue that bonds people and builds community.

  4. Michael Tremblay

    Mike – Thank you for your timely thoughts on the current situation. I had an accident in late December which forced me into “physical distancing” through to the end of February. Literally, the day my surgeon gave me the go ahead to start moving around and get out of the house, Covid19 struck. It was like getting punched in the stomach!

    The last month and a half have been quite a journey. I have seen myself go through some of the stages that you noted. For me, family and personal relationships have risen to the top. It has given me a renewed sense of purpose during these uncertain times.

    Thanks for your optimism. Stay safe and be well!


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