Hot Topics     Home and Family    

Should we be shutting the doors?

One dad’s opinion about social distancing and remaining isolated

COVID-19, social distancing, safety, Peter Shankman

Happy Tuesday from NYC, where over the weekend, for the first time, we had ZERO Covid-19 related deaths! That's a huge milestone, and one to celebrate, even though we've got a long, long way to go.

Anyhow, something struck me yesterday that I wanted to share with you. I was going down a YouTube rabbit hole, I found myself watching the final moments of the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) disaster, where the craft disintegrated upon reentry into our atmosphere. I've seen it before, but something struck me this time:

After multiple failed backup "com-checks," the mission director gives the order: "shut the doors." When that order is given, multiple things happen: The doors to Mission Control are locked. No one in or out. Media is locked out. No outside information comes in except for what they get from their own data streams. The goal is multi-faceted: Preserve the information they have, create a "clean" audit trail of everything that's happening, uncontaminated by the outside, and most importantly, focus on the problem at hand.

Occasionally, we need to give the order to "shut the doors" to ourselves.

Over the past four months, I've been watching my Instagram feed full of people heading out of the city, to their second (or in some cases, third) homes. I have some friends who, when this whole thing blew up, took off for Mexico, or Bali, or Australia... Me? I stopped flying (not by choice) and am a full-time stay-at-home single dad. Not what I anticipated when I shouted "Happy New Year" back in January.

So of course, when I look at my friends and others enjoying the world, it hurts. So, I've decided to "shut the doors." I'm focusing on ME. I'm focusing on exercise, on planning for my Ironman in February. I'm focusing on giving more virtual keynotes to companies around the world, from the comfort of my kitchen. I'm focusing on learning how to play Chess, so I can play with my daughter, who already knows. I've shut the doors on trying to see what everyone else is doing, and wondering if I'm keeping up with them. Instead, I'm focusing on being the best I can be. Why? Because that's all I can control.

Perhaps it's time to shut your doors for a while, and spend time working on the things that are holding YOU back?

Enjoy the rest of the week, my friends. And remember, it's ok to shut your doors every once in a while.

Peter Shankman is an entrepreneur, an author and a trainer living in New York City. He is a stay at home dad as well.

Become a public relations guru with Peter Shankman’s  massively discounting my Master the Media PR course! Because people still have a lot of time at home, and want to improve, his $757 Master the Media course is still just $99! Get it before the price goes back up! Over 1,500 people have downloaded the course, and they're all getting better media placements! Why not join them?

Other articles by Peter Shankman

  • Four years ago today

    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. read more »
  • "Perhaps it's my destiny to be fat..."

    Peter Shankman shares his epiphany

    I went to the doctor late last week for my physical. I had to stand on one of those demon scales, the ones that send electrical impulses up your body to measure your body fat. I'd rather put out a campfire with my face than have to stand on that scale, but there I was. read more »
  • Avoidance feeds anxiety

    Motivational speaker Peter Shankman gives us some advice

    Take some action today, and kill some anxiety. Trust me. You'll be glad you did. read more »
  • They're already looking...

    Embrace who you really are

    Only when you embrace who you really are, can the magic really happen. Remember: Weird is simply a side effect of awesome. Never, ever forget that. read more »
  • Go out and make some happiness today

    Happy Wednesday morning from NYC, where the sun is shining and the skies are blue! One quick thought for you today that might prove helpful. read more »
  • How to slow that Ferrari brain we've all got inside our heads

    So of course, 2am this morning found me and my race car brain unable to sleep, focusing on everything I had upcoming over the next five days. Since I was already up, I got on the bike, and while riding, dictated ten ways for you to slow down your brain and decrease your anxiety, so you don't find yourself on the Peloton at 2am tomorrow morning, too. Here we go. read more »
  • The value of your time = The value of your mental health

    What is your time worth to you?

    Your mental health and your time are closely related. If you're constantly running around complaining that you don't have enough time, that has a negative effect on every aspect of your life. If there's an easy way to fix that, I can't imagine anything in the world more worth the spending of a few extra dollars. read more »
  • I turn 50 tomorrow

    Here's my birthday wish for you

    (If we've been communicating for longer than a year, you've received this before. But that said, it's good to reread. It's good for all of us to reread every once in a while. (And I added a new one at #10.)) read more »
  • What to do When You're Having "One of those Weeks"...

    Just breathe and realize you can't control everything

    Ever have a truly horrible week, where within the first 12 hours, you know it's not going to get any better? Yeah. That's me this week. read more »
  • Lessons from the African Plains

    You don't know your own power until you use it

    We don't know how strong we are until we're called on to be that strong. We don't know our power until we stand up to a bully, until we stop caring what others think of us, until we demand better service, until we raise our prices, until we stop allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of. read more »