In October, I think Halloween, and in November, I think Thanksgiving. And these two holidays frame up the two poles across a mindset spectrum to contextualize and understand the challenging year of 2020. This week, we explore a proper mental framework to approach and engage the last two months of the year 2020.

I discuss history, natural selection, and a resilience mindset and encourage all of us to take a proactive, positive approach to not only persist these challenging times but come through stronger than ever. It's not enough to just survive; we're here to thrive and take over.

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Halloween and Thanksgiving are the two main holidays coming up. And on one hand on one pole, we have the eeriness, the spookiness, the nightmarish horror of Halloween. And on the other pole, we have the thankfulness, the gratitude the abundance of Thanksgiving.

And I think that offers a nice frame in terms of how to think about 2020 actually. So pretty serendipitous timing in terms of thinking about 2020 in a retrospective and then offering a prospective thought to potentially guide and inspire or motivate or just have, and start the conversation. So Halloween Erie, spooky, horrific vibes. And if you wanted to use those terms to describe your 2020. I agree with you the loss of life, the loss of livelihood has been terrible, but if I step back and think from a historical or a detached perspective, what I think is actually the most eerie and most scary part of 2020 was just realizing how brittle our social construct, how brittle civilization, how brittle our society actually is. Rewind back to March 2020-April, 2020 at the peak of the pandemic fears, millions of people were potentially at risk of dying of this disease.

And there was run on the grocery stores where toilet paper was stocked out, hand sanitizer was stocked out,  that we wear masks or not wear masks. And it was definitely an era of hysteria and fear. And that survival, that anarchic survival feeling is contagious. I think we potentially all saw if that hysteria tilted a few more degrees along the side of anarchy, it could have gotten really, really bad. And as I step back and reflect on just six months ago, that is definitely spooking Erie, our way of life, the way we interact with a stranger on the street, the way we interact with our grocery store, the way we interact with our governors, our mayors, the policymakers, the health public safety officials, the way we interact with almost every aspect of society has completely changed. And we're really redefining a norm of what should be the expectation of modern living.

So that is incredibly eerie and spooky in the sense that in front of our eyes, a lot of the social understanding of what it's like to be a citizen of America or a participant in our neighborhood or what it's like to be a family unit or a community unit that is all evolving as we speak. So one of the things that I think is especially useful as a lens to interpret new information, is to try to take the look from a scientist or a historian perspective. So for example, it come with this thought experiment moved me where to pretend that we are sociologists or historians in the year 2300. And we look back at the year 2020, and we try to extrapolate what we've learned or what humanity has learned from this crisis. And one of the interesting things that we've all experienced is that this is truly have has been a global phenomenon.

Now there has been tremendous crisises and pandemics famines war that have affected the globe. But I think given the information of the internet, instantaneous communication and the global nature of this pandemic, I feel like this is one of the first seminal moments where all of the world has suffered through something, the same thing together. I'm not sure what this implies for some sort of unification of a global culture, or more, just more tribalism as we devolve into our own factions. But I think it's an interesting historic observation and something that we'll see played out in the next few years, next few decades. So that's an interesting lens to interpret what we've seen to date.

Now, when zooming into being a little bit more practical, do we then realize that we're in a Halloween type spirit in a Halloween type vibe? Do we just accept being in a horror movie? And I think this is where I want to pivot to more of a mindfulness and a mindset and resilience attitude, where there is no doubt that our current environment is challenging. There's no argument about that, but what we have a choice in, and we have an opportunity to focus on is how we respond to that environmental, that exogenous environmental impact of a coronavirus and the social unrest that has come alongside with the current virus that we have a choice in, in. We do not have a choice, but how we respond to the exogenous shock, we do have a choice in, and that choice is either to be the wallowing and fear, uh, devolve into spookiness horror and create the nightmare that we inadvertently just accentuate by giving into fear, or do we take a more thankful, grateful, abundant mindset, an active mindset to make the best out of these challenging times.

And that's where I want to inspire or motivate or start the conversation to think of the next couple months and the next years that we live in this post pandemic world. Do we approach it from a Halloween, a spooky perspective or we take an abundant, grateful, thankful perspective. And that's where I felt like I've been able really central myself stay sane and stay productive, where I feel fortunate that I'm alive. I'm well, and I'm grateful that I get to actually be speaking with you and thinking, and it might seem so simple, but hundreds of thousands, millions of people across the world have died this past year and they don't get to do anything, they're dead. And the fact that you're listening that I'm speaking to you, that there were all existing in this space time, moment, is something to be grateful about. And we take this grateful, abundant attitude and apply that to our challenging times.

I think that allows us to think about silver linings and lessons we can take from the challenging times and make ourselves more resilient, make our civilization maker, culture, maker, communities, more resilient. So that's where I want to be pushing my mind mindset and hopefully our collective mindset over the next couple of months.

How do we be thankful that for the challenge that has happened and learn from it, how do we take this opportunity to actually test ourselves and come stronger after the fact? So that's where I feel fortunate that we can be adaptive. We can think through problems, it's been interesting to transition into a remote working environment. What does that imply? What does that mean in terms of data communication, our relationships. What does that new possibilities unlock just by the fact that the way we conduct ourselves and the way that we conduct business, the way we conduct policy, the way we discuss that chaos, that change is disconcerting, but it also means new opportunity.

The fact that the economy is shifting so much means that really the economy has basically fast-forwarded 5-10 years. Now, should we not be sad that a lot of people have potentially lost jobs or their businesses have become obsolete, and this now very remote, very digital world. And I think there is some solace to be had there, but the opportunistic that the grateful, the thankful the abundant part of my mind is thinking, yes, let's take care of everyone that's in our community, but it's also a chance to renew and rebuild and make better versions of ourselves.

Do we regret or feel bad for folks that have lost their livelihoods making horse carriages when the automobile was invented, that we feel bad or sad about different other types of jobs that were being become obsolete through factory or through internet or through other technological innovations? Yes, I think we should feel bad and figure out how to transition that labor, that talent into the new world. And I think we've stepped back from a historical context, this is the same analogous situation. I feel bad on a personal basis of that struggle. And I think we need to figure out how to stay resilient and push through that struggle. But the previous role is not going to come back. And I think the productive, the grateful, the abundant mindset is to realize the past we can never recover now. It's how do we take advantage and be adaptive and survive and thrive in this new future?

So that's where I think we should be orientating our mindset, our energy, our efforts. Yes, we should pay our respects, pay the right honor to what has stood before us. But part of me is pragmatic is realistic and understanding that the past never comes back. When you break an egg, you can't put it back together. The edge, the direction of entropy is one directional, you need directional. So don't fight entropy and realize that the way to move forward is to actually embrace it and change and adapt alongside with it. So my thought here to hopefully provoke challenger thought is to again, think about the spookiness, the eagerness, that the horror of the Halloween theme of 2020 and realize what were the weaknesses, what were the challenges that this challenge has surfaced up into our individual life or business life?  Were there issues with your communication with family members, with your friends? What did this challenge display in terms of weaknesses in our lifestyle, whether that's not being fit, not having access to healthy food, not exercising, not communicating well with your loved ones, your partner, your family realize that this challenge has exposed those weaknesses, just like it's exposed weaknesses in our government, our society, our culture.

And now again, do we feel bad and sorry about there are challenges and weaknesses and flaws in our personal lives, our family lives, our business lives are citizens of America lives. That's I don't feel bad about that at all. It's just, again, realizing that we all are not perfect. We're all imperfect and we all have areas to improve. So my positive optimistic spin here is realizing, Hey, this exogenous shock was actually a warning call to realize, Hey, here are aspects of life in terms of fitness, in terms of nutrition, in terms of communication, in terms of financial security that I can now actively work on. So when the next tragedy, the next exogenous shock, I'll be better prepared. So that is where I'm focusing my time. That's where I'm focusing my energy is taking an assessment of what has gone wrong this past year. And then building systems, building resilience, building myself up, building my friends up, building my family up, building my company up, building our community up together to be more resilient, more adaptive in the next year, the next couple of years.

And that ultimately is what natural selection evolution is ultimately all about. Natural selection does not necessarily select for the strongest, fastest, smartest animal or organism. It tends to select the organisms that are most adaptable. So I invite you to come and be adaptable as we roll through the challenges and pump power through and get stronger through the other side. So I want to be contrarian or controversial or un-politically correct, but say, Hey, I'm grateful for the challenge of 2020. I'm thankful that I'm here today, alive kicking, breathing, and that I get to do things I get to speak with you. I get to think, I get to strategize, I get to build products, I get to build companies, I get to speak with you, I get to speak with interesting people. These are all things I get to do. And a lot of people, again, don't get to do anything because of coronavirus and they passed away, they died.

So my message here, as we enter Thanksgiving, we enter the last two months of the year is how do we have an optimistic mindset in a challenging time? And that's where we should focus on because that's ultimately where we can keep our agency and we can actually affect change in our day-to-day lives. A lot of things in this role, we cannot control. We didn't have a choice, whether it was coronavirus or not. We didn't have a choice, whether there was police brutality and other social unrest, and also social injustice. Those are not necessarily choices you and I get to make at a global or nation states level. But we get to choose is how we interact with our environment. So that's the message I want to convey in free fatty Friday is that regardless of the challenging environment or situation that we currently are all living through, and I want to be clear that I'm not dismissing or looking down or making this crisis, the strategy, uh, taking this lightly.

That is absolutely not what I'm saying. What I am saying is that our mindset, our approach to live through and conquer this challenge is what we have a choice in. We have no choice of the environment that we were given. We do have a choice of how we interact in that scenario. And I urge, I exhort, I push us all to be proactive, positive, and try to take the weaknesses and challenges as learning lessons of how to improve ourselves, our community and be stronger through the other side. Hopefully this was interesting thought provoking, and I really truly do wish you a happy Halloween tomorrow, get the tricks and treats do it in a, in a, in a safe environment, wherever, uh, is, is your jurisdiction. But hopefully I want to focus on giving things and that should be the mindfulness, the intentionality of what I plan to do over the next couple months. Be thankful that I'm alive. Be thankful that I get to work on projects. Be thankful they get to speak with you and be thankful that we can slowly control the environment around us. And hopefully enough us together creating positive change. I think positively the world can change our culture, our civilization for the better. And we can turn this nightmare into a dream that we all are thankful to be a part of.

Thank you for tuning in. I love to hear your response, your thoughts. We'll probably digest this on the next Free Fatty Friday. Probably also have more of your actual questions as well. So until then, appreciate your thoughts. Keep your questions coming, keep your dialogues, come in. I'll talk to you all very soon. Geoffrey Woo out!