Don’t Flatten Your Curve

*language warning*

Throughout my life, I have been criticized for my lack of “knowledge” regarding movies or popular TV series, and for not knowing who some of the world’s most famous celebrities are. But here’s the thing: I’m not studying to become an actress so I don’t need to focus on any of those people, their patterns, or their behaviours. Those people have honed their craft, they have become experts in their field and that is fantastic. They are experts in the field of performance, and they are paid very well for it. They have dedicated their life to intentionally focusing on their craft to become the expert that they are today. Truth be told, I have not watched a horror, drama, or violent movie since the year 2006. I have not watched or listened to the news since March of 2019 and I do not have a TV subscription or gaming system of any kind in my home.

I have spent the last decade and a half incredibly selective about what and who I allow into my psyche because every single piece of information we let into our mind impacts the way in which we view the world, how we interact with people, and also has a direct impact on how we perform and achieve goals; and as we are all very aware, since the introduction of the pandemic, the abundance of distraction is endless. I have been intentional about choosing not to allow those distractions to take me off-course. I intentionally seek out information that feeds my soul and passion; I choose not to aimlessly scroll through the abundance of negativity that robs me of joy and feeds me calculated media hype that I cannot do anything about.

This may seem dramatic, and it may seem like overkill, but this intent is driven by a concept called Neuroplasticity. This term refers to your brain as being like a muscle — like any other muscle, your brain will perform as it is trained to do. If you perform an activity over and over again, your brain believes this is a necessary activity and creates neural pathways (basically brain highways) that always get you to whatever it is that you have been focusing on.

If you are a frequent news watcher or social media scroller and have chosen to focus on every new development of the pandemic as it unfolds, you’ve basically spent the last two years drowning yourself in a world of negativity. You watch negative news (apologies for the redundancy), you ‘like’ and swipe’ on toxic positivity. As parents, we spend time wallowing in our sorrows because managing parenting and households and jobs and homeschooling all at the same time is hard AF… if you were lucky enough to be able to even keep your job through all of this. Here’s the thing; without a very conscious effort when inputting, your brain doesn’t know the difference between social media gossip, fact, or just plain auditory bullshit. So, for people who have unintentionally spent the last two years practicing the same thing, every single day, you have trained your brain to be really good at being pissed off at the world and blaming the government or anyone else who is in the line of fire for the shit outcomes within your life. You have fundamentally changed the way your brain works and how you view the world. You have programmed your neural networks to seek out the bad in every situation. You have spent two years becoming an expert in the world of negativity and self-pity.

Typically, at the end of each year, as we ring in the new year, I will do some kind of social media post about what I’ve accomplished and what I’m hoping to do in the following year. I didn’t do that this year. And it wasn’t because I didn’t want to share — it was because I logged onto social media for the first time in over a month and I was inundated with negativity over the most recent Ontario lockdown. I was absolutely astonished at the number of people who seem to believe that contributing to the “group bitch session” with zero insight or positivity is acceptable. It almost left me feeling like doing any kind of post of positivity might get a negative reaction. That’s not a world I chose to live in. I chose to live in a world where I surround myself with people who are positive, forward-thinking entrepreneurs who default to supportive yet logical responsibility during times of chaos. It is important to note that it would be completely ignorant of me to not acknowledge that there are a great number of people who are struggling desperately to stay afloat with little to no support, and I am not discrediting or attempting to minimize any of their struggles. I will, however, shut you down in a hot second if you choose to not take responsibility and remain a victim of your circumstance expecting everyone else to save you. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am known for saying “you get 5 emotional minutes and then we gotta figure out what we’re going do about it” — successful people focus on solutions, not problems.

The good news is if you have been locked in the loop of negativity over the last two years, remember, your brain is like a muscle: you can retrain your brain to see the good in all things!

You cannot wait for life to change. You must choose to make the best of the life that is now because you don’t get a do-over. I would challenge you to be intentional about your consumption of “information” and stop drowning yourself in negative, unnecessary information. You can spend your time being worried about the world and arguing about the practices and perceived realities of the pandemic but the reality is, you aren’t going to change it. It doesn’t matter if the pandemic is a result of some underground conspiracy, political agenda, is completely real, completely made up or even the result of Jeff Bezos secretly smuggling a shit load of TimBiebs into his outer space dick ship and tossing them into the universe in an attempt to replace human logic with fragments of Canadian doughnut crumbs (don’t think that’s unreasonable – have you not compared the shape of a TimBieb with the Corona Virus?!). The state of the world right now is its state, and regardless of what you think or feel about it, it is only you who can take responsibility for your life, even in times of chaos.

So, if you have spent the last two years miserable because the world is doing this “to you”, it may be time to reevaluate what information you are feeding your brain. If your job or your relationships aren’t the way you want them to be, figure out what you want them to look like and start focusing on how you want your life to look. Create a space that allows you to be unapologetically authentic in a way that is so infectious it makes others happy. Believe in your ideas and your purpose, not the hype of the media. Become an expert in something you create yourself and bring joy into your life. You have worth, you have brilliant ideas, and you deserve to take up space in the world and influence it in a way that is positive.

 As far as my accomplishments in 2021 are concerned, I just ended the most successful year of my career to date, and that’s only going to get better. I dominated the investment world with the highest number of transactions I’ve ever done, I traded nearly $10 million in sales, I was appointed by my municipality to sit as a housing specialist for the town. I met amazing people, I failed and learned a lot, grew my business more than I ever thought possible, and am moving into the first half of 2022 ready to scale again in a big way. I attribute the majority of this success to focus, intention, and my circle of five. I have said it once and I will say it again — hard as it is to understand, your time here is finite. So yes, there is urgency in the (first?) lockdown of 2022, but that urgency has nothing to do with ‘flattening the curve’. Tune into you, turn off the garbage you feed yourself, and scale in an upward motion. Choose Wisely. We are all here on borrowed time. Don’t flatten your curve.

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