HOW I BEAT CORONAVIRUS IN 4 WORDS

For those of you who do not know, my name is Neil Panosian and I was diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 18th. As of right now I am all clear and recovered. Still getting back to tip top physical shape after 3 weeks of inactivity, but that will come. I am no longer contagious and depending on the day, I am considered to have some sort of immunity. Every day I wake up I am so grateful my symptoms were not worse and that I made it through. 10,000 people in the United States so far were not that fortunate and my thoughts and prayers go out to their friends and family.

I want to share with you what I believe was my secrets in making it through. The interesting thing about the 4 words that I am about to share with you is that they not only got me through this virus, but they are the same formula that gets me through many challenges of life. If you are as unfortunate as me and become infected with this virus or know someone who has, please share this information with them. If you are spending time at home as we all should be, you can put these 4 words into practice in your own life to conquer whatever challenges you may be facing.

The first word that I used was preparation. Was I actually preparing to get a virus? Not exactly. I was taking all of the steps you were supposed to. I washed my hands often. Did my best not to touch my face. It is amazing how much you do this without ever noticing. As we did karaoke Margie and I wiped the microphones with disinfectant wipes. (Although someone at our Friday show did use half of our container to clean their hands after eating wings) Still, working with the public and at the Postal Service somehow I managed to get it. What is important to note is how I lived my life prior to coming down with this virus.

My way of living includes going to the gym here in West Allis, where I live, roughly 5 days a week. Some weeks it might be 4 times, sometimes it might be 6 but I go there on a regular basis. When I am there I actually am one of the people working out, not texting while sitting on a machine. I do it for the stress-relieving benefits. After a hard workout the other challenges in my life seem a little easier to deal with. The side effect of all this running, lifting and stretching is that I can enjoy my beautiful lady’s cooking without gaining too much weight. It also means I am doing my best to keep both my heart and lungs strong. Being that I have both asthma and heart issues, this is a big plus. I also do my best to eat right (sans the occasional pizza) and take a few vitamins. Before bed every night I meditate and follow other self-care routines. Couple these with my loving relationship with Margie and you can see I live a fairly healthy lifestyle.

When the virus hit me I was in decent physical shape. My asthma was controlled the best it could be and my heart was as strong as it gets. I liken this to learning to swim. The best time to learn to swim is on the safety of the shore, not when the ship is sinking. If I had waited until I got sick to try and be healthy I believe the virus would have had a far more severe impact on my body. That is why it is so important to use the time we have to prepare ourselves for challenges before they come. The better we are prepared to meet challenges, the more likely we are to overcome them.

The second word that I used to beat the coronavirus may be the most important one. That word is purpose. While waiting for my test results to come back I asked myself 2 very important questions. 1) How can I use this? and 2) What is good about this? I knew if I indeed had the virus I would share my journey here on this website. I would do so with an attempt to calm a lot of the fear that people may have facing this situation. I guess the good would be that having the virus would allow me to speak from experience. I would be going through it. I would struggle with the shortness of breath, the cough, ,the lack of smell and taste and the dizziness. I could tell everyone how tired you would get walking from the kitchen to the living room. If I tried something and it worked to help my symptoms, maybe it might help someone else?

One of the biggest things since I have recovered from the virus is attempting to donate my antibodies to help critical patients. If I can donate plasma and it may help save the lives of two other people, I would be selfish not to do that. I am still waiting to hear back from a few of the places that I called. I guess this process is still a little fluid. Being able to potentially save 2 lives, if not at least help them recover quicker feels like a true blessing. To think of the joy this would give their families and hopefully save them from the sorrow of losing a loved one fills my heart with happiness and gave me a purpose to getting better.

Word number 3 in my healing journey was persistence. When I was not feeling so good, especially the first week, I was tempted not to share my journey. I certainly did not feel like setting up my laptop, or making myself remotely composed enough to go in front of a camera to shoot a YouTube video. When this happened I thought of all the preparation I did that allowed me to be able to keep the symptoms to a level they were at. Most importantly, I thought of my purpose. Why I would use this virus even more than it was using me. I thought of the people who were out there that were scared watching the news and hearing nothing of the people that recovered. I thought about those who would fear what would happen to them if they got the virus. I thought of those, who like me, already had the virus. They may feel alone and scared. Having to be away from family and friends with a sickness that we know so little about. If, by logging on to my website or seeing my posts on Facebook, it helped them to see they are not alone, then I had served a purpose.

With every blog post and every video came not only well-wishes that I was extremely grateful for, but questions. I knew if I was home scared and had a question I would want it answered as quick as possible. This allowed me to persist in logging on every day and answering those questions. I once heard Earl Nightingale say “Persistence is another word for faith. If you didn’t have faith, you wouldn’t persist.” If there was one thing I had through this, it was faith. I am not sure what you believe in, God, the Universe, the divine power, to that end it doesn’t matter to me. What I did know is the creator had me get this for a reason and I believed that reason was to help others. That faith translated into persistence on days when I was tempted not to post or answer questions and just spend the day in bed.

The final word in my healing journey was perspective. Like all of us this virus and the challenges it has brought with us has also brought with it a change in how we see the world. Recently, I went for a walk in the park. This experience was appreciated more than ever. After roughly 3 weeks in the house I cannot explain how good it felt to be in nature. After not being able to do my 5 days a week in the gym, it felt so good to get my heart pounding and my lungs working. Every neighbor, or at least most of them, seemed to say “Hello” or some other greeting as they passed. It is not that I look friendlier than your average person, but I think everyone is just grateful to see new faces. Perhaps they were as grateful as I was to be out in fresh air. I watched the geese, ducks and seagulls on the lagoon and thought how blissfully unaware they were of all the societal drama unfolding around them. I watched the squirrels running around gathering food and attending to their usual spring preparations with a greater regard for something routine.

One of the biggest changes in perspective was how I viewed all of the news. I rarely saw stories of people going through the virus and how they were coping. There were not even that many stories of what to do once you had the virus. I was one of the fortunate ones that made it through, but all I heard were numbers of cases and deaths. Rarely would there be anything about those, like myself, who made it through. I knew it was even more important to share my story and to give people hope to help balance out the fear. As I return to work at the post office and am dealing with the fallout from my illness there, I feel it will be important to share this story too. That way something may be done to protect those workers who face uncertain reactions from both bosses and coworkers once they return.

Preparation, Purpose, Persistence and Perspective. These four word were the key to overcoming the virus for me. They are also my keys to overcoming the daily challenges we all face. I encourage everyone to take a look at there own lives and apply these four words as well. It may very well be the difference to falling victim to a challenge verses having the strength to overcome one. Next post we will look at a secret ingredient that also played a big factor in allowing me to beat the coronavirus. It also allows me to live a life filled with joy each and every day, whether sick or healthy. Be sure to look at that. As always if you have any questions about the virus, my formula for dealing with it or self-improvement in general, feel free to leave them in the comments below. I am here to serve.

TAKE YOUR TIME

I recall a cousin of mine when I was young who was always frustrated at not being able to ride a bike. It seemed they had taken longer than the normal child would to master the skills of balance and coordination needed to go forward without the assistance of training wheels. Eventually, they learned and were able to harness the freedom a bicycle affords you when you are a child.

This would not have been able to happen without their parents there to refuse to allow them to give up and quit, which was a desire my cousin expressed many times. When we are children, if we are in a healthy family situation, there is always somebody encouraging and refusing to allow us to accept no for an answer. It could be a parent, a caring teacher or even an older sibling.

When we are adults this is often not the case. If an adult expresses the desire to give up because the results they are seeking seem just out of grasp who is to tell them no? If you need an example, look no further than me trying to operate with any sort of skill on the dance floor. Another thing we seem unwilling to do as adults is to move outside our comfort zones. Quite often we stay with just what we are good at. There is some wisdom to this. If there is something you enjoy and are naturally talented at, it would serve the world best if you were to focus on that.

If, however, like most adults, you have a yearning to master a skill you are not quite proficient at don’t let the speed of which those skills seem to be coming to you discourage you. It seems the fear of looking foolish, or even not talented in front of others is a fear most of us are unable to leave in childhood. Comparing yourself to others around you will rarely serve you. As a quick reminder, the harder you have to work at something, the greater the victory when you finally accomplish it. Keep going my friend.

UNWANTED TO MVP

Have you ever felt defeated? Have you ever felt that everything you worked for might not work out? Have you ever felt like all the signs were pointing to the fact you should give up?

The picture above is of Nick Foles. After working hard in his youth to become a great professional football player, he had to wait until the third round to hear his name called. That could give you a feeling of being unwanted, watching player after player being picked before you. Knowing teams thought this player was better than you.

Nick didn’t give up though and joined the Philadelphia eagles. Eventually Nick earned the position of starting quarterback. Time to feel great right? Nick did not hold that position long and was traded to the Rams. Again, he was not wanted.

Nick didn’t give up though. Playing the best he could, often in the back up role. Soon, however, the Rams cut him from their team. Not even wanted as a back up.

Nick did not give up though. Soon he was resigned again by the Philadelphia eagles. This time, he was once again a back-up quarterback. Watching a younger player take the team to the top of their division and into the playoffs while he sat on the bench watching.

Nick did not give up though. What did all of this persistance get Nick Foles? A terrible injury took out the starting quarterback and suddenly he had to lead the team against the best defense in the league. Knowing if he were to lose he most likely would hear if they still had their starting quarterback they would have won.

Nick lead the team to a victory in the championship game, and into the super bowl. Now, on the biggest stage on the world against a team that had already won five super bowls in recent years.

Nick did not give up though. On super bowl Sunday Nick Foles went on to not only lead the eagles to their first ever super bowl victory, but was named the most valuable player as well.

You see my friends, sometimes when life seems to be giving us every reason to give up it is really just preparing us and giving us strength for a greater test and greater victory if only we were to hang on for one more day.

Never give up on yourself, and one day, just like Nick Foles, you will find you are the MVP of your own life.

CELEBRATE THE OVEN, EVEN WHEN YOU WANT THE MICROWAVE

Success is a funny thing. Earl Nightingale defined success the best I have ever heard it done. He said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” Meaning if you have a worthwhile goal and are working towards it, by definition you are a success. This is all well and good, especially in the 1950s and 1960s when Earl made that statement. Today’s world is a lot different. We can do everything in a nanosecond and with the push of a button.

This can make focusing on the big picture rather difficult. It can feel discouraging when you are working towards a ‘worthy ideal’ as Mr. Nightingale so wonderfully described, and you do not seem to be getting anywhere. How do you keep going? How do you stay motivated and inspired?

Allow me to use myself as an example. My goal is to become a best-selling author. I would love to get my books in the hands of as many people as I can. In this way, I can share, teach and inspire people to reduce their stress, increase their joy and become the best version of themselves. It is my dream to have a world full of people who can see the beauty in themselves, others and the world around them. To that end, I have done author festivals, started this website, and even started making YouTube videos for all of those who are not that keen on reading. Still, some days it feels as if I hit a plateau and that nothing is working. What do you do then? You celebrate!!!

Celebrate? Yes, make sure you take time to celebrate each and every little success along the way. For example, that is a copy of my book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. (the bright yellow one) Even though my book is available online there is something special about seeing it on the shelf of a major retailor. It is my hope that people who need this book the most will be drawn to it and it will benefit their lives as they need. Even celebrating your so-called failures will help. Approaching them with a “I’m glad I got that lesson out of the way.” spirit will go a long way to helping you keep your chin up. Remember even a mistake, as awful as it may seem, is one step closer to success.

Success can be like cooking something in the oven. It takes a while, but cones out so delicious. A lot of us would like to throw our success in the microwave and have it come to iss right away. Much like microwave food, the reward for that can be not worth having.

Celebrate each and every day leading up to the achievement of your final goal and you will reach it quicker than you can imagine and you will do so with a smile on your face!

FIRM IN YOUR GOALS, FLEXIBLE IN YOUR APPROACH 

Be firm in your goals, but flexible in your approach. That is a mantra i have heard many times! This morning while occupied at my day job a fine example of this occurred to me.

Before I share this example with you let me begin with a question. Have you ever heard somebody say “I’ve tried a million different things but it just won’t work!” It always amuses me to ask them to name the million things they have tried. After which they usually reply “well ok it has been hundreds.” When pressed to name them we usually discover the individual has tried a few things, usually things they have done in their past, and they didn’t work. This always makes me question the importance of the issue at hand. If it is a problem with their relationship you would think they would keep trying until they return to love.

When a baby is trying to walk they just keep at it. Why? Because walking is that important to them. Perhaps it is all the disappointment we experience as adults that lowers our level of persistence.

Here is another way to look at this. As I mentioned earlier, I was working at my day job when I started thinking how much I’d like to go to Fiji. My thinking is my lady and I would fly there first class and spend time relaxing and mixing with the local culture. What would happen if I was invited for a speaking engagement there? Maybe instead of flying I win a cruise? Perhaps Tony Robbins invites me to his resort to work on a project together? Would I say no because it was not exactly what I had envisioned? Of course not. The goal is to get to see Fiji, how it happens could vary.

My point here is you have to keep trying until you find something that works.  It may seem impossible at first, but so did walking as a baby. Just keep trying and you will succeed. Oh, and if you happen to have an extra ticket to Fiji…

STAY COMMITTED 

This can literally change your life! Earlier this week we discussed the importance of what to focus on. When you are chasing a dream or working on a goal you can meet with all sorts of obstacles. Do not let this distract you. Perhaps you have labored for several days, maybe even weeks and all your efforts were in vain. It can be a tall challenge starting over. That is why it is very important to have a strong ‘why’ or reason to begin. When life throws you a stop sign do just that, stop access the situation learn what you can and move on.

Often we are tempted, myself included, to throw in the towel after what seems like a defeat, but we cannot view life that way. Take the light bulb for example. Mr. Edison tried over 1000 different objects for a filament. If he would have just thought to himself “How can I get cotton to work?”. I might be writing this to you by candlelight or maybe not at all.

Sometimes the way we think is the best is not always so. We often push so hard on the journey we forget to focus on the destination. So keep your goal in mind. If you run into what seems to be a dead end ask yourself “How else could I try this?”. That is why it is often helpful to ‘sleep on it’. Perhaps there is something we missed, a lesson we have yet to learn. Either way if your goal is something you are passionate enough do not give up. Perhaps you need more time, more information or to meet someone new. Just keep trying and keep an open mind. Success is sure to follow. Remember it took Edison over 1000 times, but he changed the world because he didn’t give up and so can you!

Feel free to share this blog post as well as your ideas for staying persistent in the comments below.

 

THE POWERFUL P WORD

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What if you could do something to guarantee you would not fail? How much would that be worth to you? Knowing going into any project or setting any goal that you would succeed. How good would that feel? How would it change your attitude when you start out? Well there is such a power. It is the power of persistence. It was Babe Ruth who said “It is hard to beat the man who never gives up”. He went on to set the record for home runs. There were days that he struck out, days he couldn’t seem to get a hit, but he just kept swinging.

So if this power is a guarantee why doesn’t everybody achieve all of their goals? The reason is this, although persistence is a sure fire way to succeed it is not easy. After all who wants to keep going after they “fail” at something. Who wants to get up and try again? Still, Edison did it 10,000 times while trying to perfect the light bulb. Who would keep asking after you hear “No” again and again? Still, Walt Disney did it after being told “no” by over 300 bankers when trying to money for Disneyland. Can you imagine life without those two things?

I am not Walt Disney or Edison you say. Obviously that is true as they have both passed away and you, my dear friend are alive and reading this. So how can we develop determination and persistence like those two? This is how, by using the P words we have learned so far. Discover your purpose. Then, list what you will lose by not achieving it and gain by doing so. In other words, give your self a dose of both pain and pleasure. Then increase your knowledge and why in the subject to fire up your passion. Then rest assured in the knowledge that if you persist you will not, in fact you cannot fail.

In case you are still having your doubts on your own abilities to do so, here are two more real life examples. The first is a question I will ask you. How long would you give a baby to learn to walk? One day? One week? One month? How long did it take you? Did your parents tell you “Sit down and stop trying to walk, you are just getting in the way and are going to hurt yourself”? Of course not. So how did you learn to walk? You learned to walk but trying, failing and trying again. How long did it take you? That answer differs for each one of us. We rarely apply this thinking as adults. If we try and fail we become discouraged. We look around and compare ourselves to others. “Well they made a fortune by the time they were 30, I must be behind” or “they have found true love and I never will”. What if a baby looked at another baby and said, “Well they learned to walk in 2 days I guess I will crawl the rest of my life”? I dare say the majority of us would not be on two feet. So you have already proven to yourself you can persist.

Here is one more example courtesy of the salesman. Have you ever had a salesman knock on your door when you were home? You ignore him but he keeps knocking. You look over at your spouse and say “can you believe this fool? He is still there?” More time goes by and more knocking. Finally you give in and yell “What do you want?!” A lot of us give up after one or two knocks. We here opportunity inside watching TV but we say to ourselves “Oh well opportunity must have slipped out the back door, I’ll just go home”. I am telling you, just keep knocking! Eventually life will give in and simply ask “What do you want?!” Remember the words of the Bronx Bomber, “It is hard to beat the man who won’t give up”. It is not only hard, it is impossible. You may fail several times, but you are only a failure if you give up.

Please share this post and give faith and hope to those who may be tempted to give up. Feel free to leave your favorite example of persistence in the comments below.

KEEP SWINGING…

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up”

-Babe Ruth

When people ask me the secret to my ability to see the positive side of things and keep a bright outlook I offer them many of the secrets I employ. Most of which I have shared on this site. Still if there was one trait, one thing that has kept me on the right track despite outside circumstances it is this – I never give up – Everyday I see people who give up on a lot of things. Give up on a new idea they were trying. Give up on a new skill they are trying to learn. Give up on the dreams they were chasing. To the worst thing of all, giving up on life itself. No doubt there are days when we need to take a step back and catch our breath, or just recharge, but that is not giving up. Quite often most people stop digging their mines when they are mere inches from gold.

When we think of Babe Ruth what do we think of? Did you know ‘The Babe’ was a great pitcher as well? Most people associate Babe Ruth with hitting home runs and well they should. For quite some time he was the all-time leader in home runs. The home run is baseball’s equivalent to a personal victory in life. A home run does not always win the game, but sometimes it can. It always adds to the joy and confidence of the player hitting it, however. So how about you? How do you feel when you ‘hit a home run’ in life? Be it finishing the project at the office or scoring high on that term paper. Do you not find the things you do following you do with more confidence and enthusiasm? That is all well and good, but let’s face it in our game of life, we can’t all be home run hitters like the Babe Ruth, or can we? Let us look at the opposite side of the coin; striking out. When you strike out in life, you lose a job, you get in a fight with your spouse or luck just seems against you, How do you approach the things following that? If you are anything like most people your confidence is down, your enthusiasm may be lacking. Quite often approaching things with this state becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. By approaching life with a down-trodden attitude we often miss opportunities we would’ve seized with a more zealous approach. So what is the solution? How when we find ourselves in a ‘hitting slump’ can we still keep our attitude up? I think taking a new look at some facts may help us. Did you know every year he played Babe Ruth struck out more than he homered? It’s true. Look it up if you feel the need. Even in today’s game a .300 hitter is considered good. That means that they get a hit only 3 out of every 10 times they attempt. These are the guys getting paid top dollar. What is their secret? How come they do not give up after failing 70 percent of the time? The answer is simple and it is the secret I use to maintain a positive attitude and you can use to succeed in any avenue of life you are pursuing. The secret is this…They keep swinging. Quite often if we persist we demonstrate a faith in ourselves that gives us and everyone around us confidence. “Persistence is just another word for faith. If we didn’t have faith we wouldn’t persist” Said Earl Nightingale. So show some faith in yourself and persist, when you strike out at something in life and you feel like a failure, remember just to keep swinging!