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Event + Response= Outcome

On February 17, 2022, my father passed away. He had been suffering from various chronic health issues for over a decade. He was 83. Two years prior to that, we didn’t think he was going to make it another 2 months. He had nine lives and every day after that was a gift. It was finally his time to be with my mother.


     On Saturday, February 27th, we were to travel to my hometown of Cherry Hill, New Jersey to bury him next to my mother. My sister was still recovering from COVID and could not attend the wake the previous week. She would not make it to the burial either. As luck would have it, my sister-in-law would call me in the morning to notify me that their oldest son, Matthew, my nephew, had inadvertently eaten some milk to which he had an allergic reaction. It was a potentially bad situation. So, they thought it best to take Matthew home in case there was some sort of a complication. They had to miss the burial. This left just my family, my father’s partner of 17 years, his two long time friends, my best friend, and his sister. 9 people in total.  We arrived at the cemetery and didn’t immediately have enough people to carry my father’s casket to the plot. We had to call the office and have one of the maintenance men help us. We, the few men there, got it done. Once the casket was in the proper position, we all gathered around. I read a few prayers including one sent by my sister-in-law. I did the best I could given the circumstances. A little while later, we lowered the casket to be covered up and headed back to our respective homes.

Here is the thing. Two of my father’s children weren’t there, his youngest and oldest, due to circumstance beyond their control. When I got the call from my sister-in-law, my first thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I got off the phone and was initially upset but then the businessman in me took over. I have a problem that needed to be dealt with without allowing the emotions of the moment to get in the way. I was going and so was my family. That was the only thing that mattered.

      How you respond to a particular situation has everything to do with the outcome. When things get emotional, you must not make rash decisions. Emotionally based decisions almost never turn out well. Instead, take a moment. Take deep calming breaths. Think through the situation and the objective. What is the objective and how do I obtain it? Life can throw all sorts of curve balls your way. The outcome of any event has very little to do with how it started. It has everything to do with how you respond to the situation. Dwelling on the problems and blaming it on any number of people or factors does not lead to a positive outcome.

     Success in business, relationships and the pursuit of any goal is based solely on how you respond to failure and obstacles. Unsuccessful people blame the people in their lives, financial situation, lack of education, bad parents etc. They take the easy way out and use all sorts of excuses to explain their failures. Successful people understand the principle of taking 100% responsibility for their life. If things are not going their way, they look within and make the necessary changes to progress forward. They change their way of thinking, their way of communication and the images they hold in their mind because these are the only things they have control over.

     I opened my gym 2 months before COVID and had to close my doors due to a nationwide quarantine. This was a devasting event. What would your response be in this situation? I chose to be grateful for the ability to go straight to virtual training and still had dedicated clients which needed my services. I still had one coach that was willing to stay with me and continue the fight. There were many other events and challenges along the way. Some of my responses were good and others not so good but the main reason we were able to come out of the pandemic and thrive was because I remained fully committed to making the business a success. I did everything I had to to deliver a great experience to the current clientele, and it paid off. I took control of my thoughts and emotions and the results showed in the outcomes.

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