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Four years ago today

Meet your challenges and come out stronger

Meet your challenges and come out stronger

March 12th, 2020 was a clear Thursday morning in NYC. I'd woken up super early, having been invited to the media launch of the new Peloton studios in NYC. Getting there and touring the facility with about 40 other reporters and media, we took the first ever class in the studio, taught by Robin Arzon. It started at 8am, and we were all sweating heavily and breathing all over each other. 45 minutes later it ended, and we walked out, high-fiving and taking selfies.

There was supposed to be a 10am media class, too. It never happened. We walked out of the studio at 9:15am, onto an EMPTY 10th Avenue. Walking home, it was like that scene with Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky. No one was on the streets. An hour later, Mayor De Blasio said that as of that afternoon, schools, theaters, malls, bars, pretty much the entire city, would be closed until further notice.

And so it began. We all lost people from our lives - some from the virus, some from having to cut them out due to their values no longer aligning with our own. We all learned to bake bread. We hunted for toilet paper. We taught our parents how to use Zoom and Facetime. I learned that all my daughter's teachers had lied to me - She wasn't a pleasure to have in class. :)

Somehow we emerged on the other side, though, and we're here today.

But my God, how different things are now. The biggest mistake I made was not realizing how my speaking pipeline would be affected by Covid. When all my keynotes went virtual, sure I missed being on a plane, but what I didn't understand was that when I come off a real stage, the mob of people who come up to talk to me fed my pipeline for my next ten speeches. The same can't be said when you hit "end" on Zoom. I'm still feeling the effects of that today. My speaking is coming back, as is travel, but damn, the last two years have been brutal. When a Neurodiverse brain is deprived of the one thing they love the most, it's like being deprived of oxygen.

READ MORE: Embrace your fear

But somehow, we've all learned to adjust. Just like survivors always have - Adapt or die. Sometimes adaptation means wearing a mask. Sometimes, it means uprooting everything you know and restarting - in a new career, in a new town, in a whole new environment.

We're survivors. We've done it before, and we'll do it again. Just remember that none of us can do it alone. Rely on others. Check in on your friends, or that person down the hall in your building, or down the street in your town, who no one else might have checked in on. Allow yourself to be helped when you need it, as well. It's the only way we're going to survive.

It's been a long road, and there will be more challenges to come. But I do believe we'll continue to come out stronger on the other side. I mean, really... What other choice do we have, right?

Keep fighting the good fight, keep taking care of yourselves and each other, and reach out to me if there's ever anything I can do to help you.

Peter Shankman is a best selling author, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and a trainer living in New York City. He is a stay at home dad as well. Check out his blog.

Much love,


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