Top 10 List: Reflections On The Coronavirus Economy

Top 10 List: Reflections On The Coronavirus Economy

Now entering our 6th month of quasi-lockdown, it’s becoming clearer how businesses (big and small) are re-envisioning and reshaping how we’ll live, work, and play for some time to come.

And let me just add that this has been the most active and enjoyable week for me since March.

I realized this past weekend that my schedule is becoming more hectic again, I’m constantly rescheduling zoom calls as real-life meet-ups with friends for dinner become the norm. We’re even starting to celebrate birthdays again albeit with small groups of friends but more creatively and beautifully than ever. My friend, Rodrigo, planned a sunset sail for his birthday and it was sublime. Definitely a highlight of the week (see #10 below).

Scroll down to see what else made it onto this week’s Top 10 List.
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Top 10 List And A Kerfuffle About Whether NYC Is Dead. It’s NOT!

Top 10 List And A Kerfuffle About Whether NYC Is Dead. It’s NOT!

Big news this week: dueling op-eds about whether “NYC is Dead Forever.” James Altucher, a hedge funder who recently fled NYC for Miami cast the first stone. Jerry Seinfeld clapped right back.

everyone and their mother has weighed in.

But my favorite response comes from comedian Andrew Schulz, a true, born-and-bred New Yorker:

This “New York is done shit” is pissing me off. No real NYers abandon the city the second things get a little sketchy. I’m tired of yuppies saying NY is done.

Andrew Schulz

For more on what Andrew has to say about real New Yorkers, watch the first 20 minutes of his most recent podcast (Flagrant 2).

Schulz, btw, is considered one of the hottest young comics working today. Somebody commented recently: “isn’t it strange that we now make fun of politicians while listening to comics?” So true!

Scroll down for more on who/what made it onto this week’s TOP 10 LIST.
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How To Maintain A Mid-Pandemic Sense Of Optimism

How To Maintain A Mid-Pandemic Sense Of Optimism

“This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning.”

Winston Churchill, 1942

Churchill’s words perfectly describe these topsy turvy times. We’ve got a long road ahead of us. We need to figure out how to stay positive.

So, what went right this week? What inspired people? What random discoveries were made as people experimented with new ways of working, learning, connecting, having fun?

What new opportunities are just around the corner?

Scroll down and find out what made it onto this week’s TOP 10 List.
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Finally! Something Fantastic To Look Forward To!

Finally! Something Fantastic To Look Forward To!

Two things happened this week that brightened my world. Both are still somewhat tentative but definitely indicate there is light at the end of the tunnel.

First and foremost

“You can see the therapeutic (remdesivir) benefit faster than the protective (vaccine) benefit. I think there’s a good chance we’ll have substantial death rate reduction by the end of the year with the combination of those new tools.”

Bill Gates on CNBC
and then, this!

HI Irma –

Nat Geo reached out and wants to ‘give you the 1st opportunity’ to join the new departure for The Future of Everything: Exploring Global Innovation by Private Jet Trip. It’s from August 21st– September 13 of 2021. The itinerary is planned to be the same –there are minor changes with the instructors but the destinations, hotels, etc remain the same. Let me know if you are interested.”

Pablo Cruz, Continental Travel Group

BEST news I’ve heard in a long while. Of course I replied YES YES YES to Pablo at Continental Travel!

Scroll down to see what else made this week’s TOP 10 LIST.
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The Pandemic Is Turning Out To Be A Marathon, Not A Sprint.

The Pandemic Is Turning Out To Be A Marathon, Not A Sprint.

COVID is impacting everyone and everything. Whether we experience it as a boom or a bust is often uniquely personal, e.g., what industry we’re in (tech, good! hospitality bad!), our age, and ultimately, our comfort level with risk.

What is certain, however, is that the pandemic will be with us for a LONG time (years!). Even Fauci agrees, “there is no end in sight,” he said this past Monday.

And as this knowledge sinks in, I expect we’ll see an even bigger rift between people who buy into the lockdown and those who view it as a diversion to cover up the fact that there is “no plan” – just a waiting game until there’s a vaccine.

That said, people are adapting, adjusting, and occasionally even thriving.

Scroll down for this week’s TOP 10 (make sure you read #10).
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Pandemic Will Be With Us For A LONG Time. Tips On How To Get Ahead Of It.

Pandemic Will Be With Us For A LONG Time. Tips On How To Get Ahead Of It.

There’s no end in sight. What started out as a 2-week lockdown to “flatten the curve,” is now well on its way to becoming a multi-year slog.

motifs emerging thru the fog of COVID
  1. We’ll have to wait until 2022 (or even 2023) before we can hope to take a carefree international flight, work in an office, attend a Thanksgiving Day Parade, or schmooze our way through an art fair. Don’t believe any politician who tells you otherwise.
  2. Being nimble is essential for survival. This has been especially noticeable on the food front (examples below).
  3. Living urgently has become a priority. I have to thank Jesse Itzler for putting this concept on my radar. I had never given much thought to my relationship with time. Nor had I considered the importance of building my “Life Resume.” Jesse Itzler’s passion for the topic was fueled by turning 50. It becomes even more important as you turn 60 and then 70 and have to spend your precious time navigating a pandemic!
Scroll down for this week’s TOP 10 highlights from business and entertainment.
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Perspective Is Important But Feelings Are Feelings.

Perspective Is Important But Feelings Are Feelings.

Feelings are feelings.” That’s what my dear friend, Michael Quinn (pic above left) told me this week. And when Michael talks, I listen.

Michael doesn’t know this yet but he has unwittingly become my life coach and I am so grateful. He is the best sounding board. PLUS, he consistently comes up with creative new ways of coping with all this chaotic, crazy sh*t life keeps throwing at us. Everybody needs a friend like MMQ in their corner.

Here’s what I discovered during this week’s FaceTime with Michael

Although I pride myself on being open to new ideas, it turns out I’m not nearly as resilient and adaptable as I claim.

  • I can be stubborn as a mule and too often insist on doing things my way. But the pandemic doesn’t care what I think or how unhappy and frustrated I’ve become with it.
  • Michael listens calmly and then gently reminds me of all the good things I have in my life.
  • He finally got me to see the upside of many of the restrictions I’m chafing against.
  • For example, while there’s no “Nat Geo Around The World Trip” in my future, he got me to consider how many amazing experiences I’ll surely have on my upcoming cross-country road trip, e.g., the FREEDOM of the road, the interesting people I’ll meet along the way, all the fabulous places I’ll finally get to explore.
  • By the time we got off the phone, I was half-way to a mental re-set and could almost envision how post-lockdown could be transformative and provide a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience.
Later that same night, the re-set got another boost.

I watched Joe Rogan’s podcast with Brian Grazer (from Oct. 2019, link below). Grazer’s perspective on leading a life fueled by curiosity is inspiring at any time but never more so than right now.

However, what resonated most with me was Grazer’s retelling of a random conversation he had with a woman at a party who had endured a horrible, life-threatening experience. The only reason she survived was her ability to escape (mentally) into the alternate reality she had created for herself.

  • That random meeting and fateful conversation about survival, changed how Grazer constructed his award-winning film, A Beautiful Mind.
  • The woman was Veronica de Negri, a Chilean activist, who had been kidnapped and tortured for 8-months.
  • She described surviving that horror by slipping into a parallel universe, her alternate reality, whenever necessary.
  • That insight became the narrative device for A Beautiful Mind, Grazer’s film about schizophrenia.

Obviously, my situation during this pandemic is nothing like hers. But I am inspired to figure out ways to develop better coping mechanisms so I don’t feel so dejected and gloomy about the future.

Scroll down for more on Grazer plus a great short video straight from Brad’s AZ Studio.
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Happiness In The Time Of COVID. Is It Even Possible?

Happiness In The Time Of COVID. Is It Even Possible?

Well, YES, it is possible to train yourself to be happy and have peace of mind even in times of great stress! And I must thank Naval Ravikant for being such an inspiring guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast in which he shared simple happiness hacks that have positively impacted his life over the last 8 years. I’ve now listened to his podcast 3 times and get something new out of it each time. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

hacks to happiness

Naval believes happiness is a choice. A choice that remains elusive for most of us until we “uncondition” ourselves from the negative thoughts that linger in our minds longer than positive thoughts do.

He also talks about the simple ways all of us can hack our way to happiness:

  • get more sunlight
  • spend more time in nature
  • smile more
  • hug more
  • stay fit
  • watch your mind and avoid negative thoughts

Let me add the most important thing I’ve done to regain peace of mind: cut out TV viewing. I haven’t turned on the TV in over a month. I keep up with the news online, it’s still stressful but I can be more selective about how much negativity I let into my life.

Scroll down for the link to Naval’s podcast and for two happiness experiences I had this week.
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