Suffering Battle Fatigue

How I wish for a button like this today more than ever in my life. I am writing this blog so that others who are also feeling this uncertainty will find solace in another who is on that same path with you.

I have gone through many disappointing times and trials through my life.

February 1971 Stanley in Traction from broken neck at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, NC.

In 1971 my year started off with me having to be placed in traction for a month for a broken neck. Four weeks of traction and then another eight weeks as I recall in a body cast.

Body cast for my broken neck

So 1971 I was out of commission for more than 12 weeks.

2020 has surpassed this and created an even more difficult emotion of so much uncertainty. It has created a sort of Battle Fatigue, which is an acute reaction to the stress of battle commonly involving fatigue, slowed reaction time, indecision, and other symptoms.

Friday, June 26th was a difficult day for me. It was the 2nd worst day for number of new coronavirus cases in the US and then the following day it went even higher.

The health crisis is the crisis. Addressing this will address the financial crisis. But in the US we put getting back to work over health. I understand it fully. I need to get back to work as much as every other person.

I don’t know how closely this resembles the Battle of the Bulge where American forces bore the brunt of the attack and incurred their highest casualties of any operation during the war. However that is what it feels like we are in the middle of right now.

I am marketing all my talents to an audience who doesn’t know when they will return to work. They don’t want to spend money now and have to change their messaging again.

I feel like the Grasshopper in “The Ant and the Grasshopper”, is one of Aesop’s Fables. The fable describes how a hungry grasshopper begs for food from an ant when winter comes and is refused.

The ants are looking out and see winter and there is no spring in sight.

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

My Plan

While I do not know when this will end, I do know that some day it will. If I wait until then to start my messaging then I will have wasted the crisis.

“Never waste a crisis.”

Rahm Emanuel

While this is during the 2008 crisis that the White House was dealing with, the quote can be traced back at least as far as 1976, when M. F. Weiner wrote an article in the journal Medical Economics entitled “Don’t Waste a Crisis — Your Patient’s or Your Own.” Weiner meant by this that a medical crisis can be used to improve aspects of personality, mental health, or lifestyle.

Dr. Saj-nicole Joni, chief executive of Cambridge International Group, wrote an artical for Forbes Magazine titled “Never Waste a Crisis” and gave these tips:

  • First, figure out how to survive.
  • Second, ask yourself what you can do now that you couldn’t do before.
  • Finally, no whining.

Those are great tips today. The Small Business Administration is handling the PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM which is a great place to help you survive.

I would change that second tip to “Ask yourself what your customers will let you do now that you couldn’t do before.”

Be like skydivers who check to see if the winds are 10 gusting to 21, many jumpers will choose to sit down because the air feels “dirty” or “bumpy”. Check out your customers and listen to them.

Most of your customers have had their plate cleared of all those projects they were working on before the crisis. They also are grasping for the next big idea. They are more open now to listening to you than ever before.

Remember you are solving their problem and not your own. To do this effectively you need to know their problem as best you can.

Tap the power of purpose in your desire to help others. This is the time to brand yourself as the business there to help their business thrive. If you do this then sooner or later you will thrive as well.