Momentum Podcast: 776
The Gift of COVID (What I've Learned)
by Alex Charfen
Today is day 16 after my diagnosis with Covid. It has been an interesting ride. I obsess over my health and do a ton of biohacking and optimization so I'm very sensitive when it comes to anything that's going on. Covid is unlike anything I've ever had. There were so many twists and turns, it was confusing.
One of the most interesting symptoms with Covid is that for the past five or six days I have been frustrated and irritated. On Saturday I sat down to plan for the first time in almost 2 weeks. It was incredibly frustrating and weird. I teach planning, my company is all about planning, it's something that I'm obsessed with and on Saturday I just couldn't hook in or get excited. It was the opposite, no matter what I wrote and looked at I felt irritated, frustrated, and like nothing mattered. This is not a normal feeling for me.
Over the last few days I have meditated, and leaned into this feeling and it has been a surprise. I feel like Covid has been a massive upgrade, I explain more in the podcast.
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Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum podcast. I want to make an acknowledgment here at the beginning, just just want to jump into this to make sure that everybody understands where I'm coming from on this. So I want you to know and anyone who ever hears this to know that I recognize and realize how serious COVID is. I've had friends who have lost family members. I've had friends who have gotten really sick and have had a hard time recovering on either side. I know that a lot of people have lost me and friends and family members. I know how damaging and challenging it's been for some of the friends I have who owned businesses. My sisters in E.R. Doctor, she has really had a hard time through this. It's like it's been difficult to watch her and listen to the stories and listen to how hard this has been for her. But at the same time, each one of us has our own individual personal experience, and I want to share with you my experience. Facing this on this very intense virus. I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be. You know, I titled this the gift of COVID, what I learned, because I'm on day 16 and I've had some profound realizations and some really some interesting eye-opening understandings that I've gotten out of coping and I want to share them with you because I think a lot of people are going through this right now. You know, more people are getting COVID today than than at any other point in time during this entire pandemic. In fact, I read somewhere that it's like one percent at one point in the past couple of weeks, one percent of the U.S. population was getting COVID every week. That is incredible. It's such a high number, and I think we're going to continue to see people get it. I think it's going to spread even more. I think eventually everybody's going to get it. And so I just wanted to share some insights. And so six days ago, I was sitting actually 17 days ago because I'm 16 days from the diagnosis. But 17 days ago, I was sitting in my kitchen and I started to feel some pain in my neck and some body aches and pains and some flu type symptoms. And I didn't really think anything of it until the middle of that night. I woke up and I had to like, go get in a hot bathtub because I had such intense body pain and I knew I had COVID. I knew I was. I was in the place where I had finally gotten it, and it was a really interesting experience. I'll run you through my my experience really quickly. So for the first four or five days, it was just intense body pains and I had a fever for a couple of days. It went away. It came back for a couple of days. The was body pain and just fatigue and exhaustion like I've never felt. I was sleeping 18 20 hours a day and barely eating. I wasn't even really hungry. I had no interest in food. And then after that, that period, then there was a period where it was just fatigue. I didn't have as intense body pains. I was just exhausted and tired and and brain fog like crazy. Like, I kept thinking, I need to go do something or I want something, or I want to change something. And then I would forget it. And I was even at the point where I was laying in bed all day and I kept trying to watch TV or watch like binge watch something on Netflix or do something. And it was crazy. I couldn't I couldn't focus enough to watch a television show. So I literally that second period of COVID, it was me kind of laying in bed and not doing anything and just thinking and and not really thinking clearly, just like falling asleep, waking back up. Then for the next few days, it was like I got the most intense sinus pressure and sinus infection I had. I was just congested like crazy. I was blowing my nose all the time. I was using some, some nasal inhalers to try and make it go away, and it was just like endless and you might be able to hear it right now. He kind of lowered the tone of my voice a little bit, and that's kind of still been there. I had some sore throat feelings and. And it was it was just an intense physiological experience. But that's not what I want to talk about today. Today, I want to share the psychological experience, you know, early on in this process. It was interesting because I would have a couple of days like I said, I had a fever, body aches, and they would kind of let up and I would start thinking positively. And then the next day I would just get crushed again. And that happened so many times in those days where where I would feel good in the morning, then feel bad in the afternoon or feel good in the afternoon, feel bad the next morning that that that yo yo in effect, really like started to play with me. I was getting frustrated. I'm like, Man, maybe Cova doesn't like positive thinking. Maybe COVID doesn't doesn't like it when you start feeling better. And so that was definitely a huge psychological effect, but not as profound as really the last five or six days. So I got covered two weeks ago on Monday. So this last Saturday, I think that's like, what, 12 days in or something like that? Yeah, 12 days. And I was feeling better. And so I got out of bed and I came down to my office and I started doing some planning. I started doing some writing, just planning, like, what do I want to do? I hadn't been productive in 10 days, so I just wanted to write some stuff down and I couldn't really think of what to write down, like what I wanted to go. So I'm like, OK, what what? I'm just going to write down all the stuff that I have going on kind of get clear on it because it's been two days since, it's been 10 days since I've been involved with really anything. I was barely checking in with my team, barely getting anything done. It was pretty, hugely challenging and really, really frustrating. And so I started trying to write things down and then my wife and I were going to get an IV drip, and I spent about an hour and a half in my office planning, writing down stuff, trying to figure out what's going on and just understand like my company is all about planning. I'm all about like strategic planning for yourself, personally, for your business, having a roadmap, knowing where you're going like, This is what I do. This is what I'm obsessed with when I started planning. I get excited. And it was crazy because the more that I tried to write things down and the more I tried to process, the more apathy I felt, the more I felt like I didn't care, the more I felt frustrated and irritated, like I wasn't excited about anything. And I had some pretty exciting suffering down. And I'm like, What is going on? Why am I so irritable, irritable? Why am I so frustrated? Why am I so apathetic? Why don't I care? And Cadey and I were on our ways to get a way to get IVs. We went got any drips that Saturday, which definitely helped, and I was tired of Cadey. I don't know what to tell you. I'm like, not excited about anything. I'm apathetic. I'm frustrated, I like. I don't know what's going on. And you know how sometimes you're like in this place where you feel stuck and constrained and it's frustrating and then like an angel comes along well, that that happened on Saturday. Our friends, Lee Noto and animation on Cadey left him a message. I think he might have just left a message there. There are a couple of birds. You might have just lovely a message and said, like, Hey, we're getting through this, we're getting over this. And Lee left a message back in. In her message, she said like, Hey, we're a few weeks out and things are better. You know, our lungs feel better. We feel better. And if you start getting the mental stuff where you feel like nothing matters and you don't care about anything, you're you're not excited about anything. Just know that that passes. And Cadey played the message for me and I'm like, Oh man, what a relief. I thought something was happening just with me, knowing that it had happened with one of our friends and that their past did really kind of shifted my perspective immediately. I'm like, OK, all right. So this is part of it. I'm just going to like, deal with it because it's part of it. And over the course of the last few days, it's continued. I keep feeling irritated and frustrated. I look at something I'm like, Oh, it's not what I want it to be. And so instead of fighting it, I started thinking about another friend that I have Dane Thomas, who recently had COVID, and he made a post, and he said he felt like an upgrade to him. And I'm like, OK, if this was an upgrade, what would it feel like if I was treating this as an upgrade? And so I started just meditating and thinking like, why would frustration and irritation be an upgrade? And I started thinking about frustration and irritation for an entrepreneur are massive motivators. As an entrepreneur, when I get irritated or frustrated, that's when I change things, when I get irritated and frustrated. That's when I move things around. That's when I get more motivated. That's when I when I really want to dig my way out of something as entrepreneurs, when we're comfortable, when we feel good about something, when we're in momentum, when things are going well, we rarely try and change everything. In fact, that's when, you know, when, when, when those conditions are present. We rarely change anything because we don't want things to change. We're in momentum. We want to keep going. So I'm like, OK, what will this irritation and frustration be telling me if it really was an upgrade? And so I started writing some stuff down. I started making some some notes, and here's what I realized. Increase irritation and frustration is really increased sensitivity. It's increased sensitivity to what's going on. It's increased sensitivity to how I'm feeling about something where normally maybe something wouldn't bother me. It's bothering me. Now that means that I have increased sensitivity. So I'm like, OK, how could increased sensitivity be an upgrade? And by the way, it doesn't matter what you think about COVID where it came from. Wet Lab, it was released from. What if it was natural causes any of that stuff? I mean, I have my own opinions, but. I do think that this might actually be an upgrade for a lot of people, I know it's feeling like an upgrade for me. Here's why I've realized in the past few days by instead of fighting the feelings of irritation and frustration, I've surrendered to them. And this is funny because Saturday was the day where I started feeling irritation and frustration and I let my my doctor Tammy Morag Magliano out in Seattle, and she was like, Well, this is an exercise in surrender, and there's that word surrender. And then I was like reading something online about COVID. And there was this from a person who I respect. And he said something about, you know, it's an exercise in surrender. So I'm like, OK, there's that surrender thing twice. I keep seeing this surrender to do what's going on. And a friend of mine, Kylie Ryan, said something the same thing. She's like the many gifts of surrender. When I was telling her all the frustration I was saying, she said, like, you know, that surrender is how you're going to get through this. And then I even talked to my friend Govind Jeremiad yesterday, and he used the word surrender. So I'm like, OK, this is something I need to just surrender into and get to the other side of it. So instead of reacting to the irritation and frustration, how can I use that irritation and frustration as fuel? So in the past couple of days, I started, I sat down and I started making some notes, and here's what I realized. You know, I am actually irritated and frustrated, and maybe I've been a little complacent. Maybe I haven't really been looking at those feelings. Maybe not. Maybe I know Cadey and I are comfortable. We're happy. Most of the time we have what we want. We are independently wealthy. We don't really want for anything. We buy whatever we want. Most of the time. And so I started looking at it. And here's here's what I've realized in just the past couple of days. I'm not really happy and excited about everything. I actually have a higher level of sensitivity to my business, not where being, where I want it to be. That came up. I've got a few things that came up. I'll share them with you just to give you perspective. So I realize my business isn't where I want it to be, and I talked to Cadey about this. It's not where she wants it to be, either. You know, we have a good, good business. We make really good money. We it's kind of a lifestyle business. We spend a lot of time with our girls. We we drive them to school every day. We pick them up every day. There's a lot of time that we give up there in that way. But here's what I've realized in the past couple days. We're not making the contribution I want to make when we start working with an entrepreneur. It's incredible how much their life changes. It's incredible how they get in shape. They start feeling better. They start moving in the right direction. Their relationship with their spouse changes. They have a tighter relationship with their kids. I'm like, I am not OK. We are not making a big enough contribution. I also realized just by thinking about it, like letting whatever needed to come to me, come to me through the frustration and irritation. And I realize that not there's some stuff that I want to change in the relationship with my kids. You know, there's there's days that I don't connect with both of them on a one to one basis and really understand what's going on. I realize that with my 12 year old, sometimes I'm kind of preloaded and frustrated with her and on my communication is more aggressive than it needs to be. And that that really like stood out to me. I don't want that to happen. My 12 year old's name is Kennedy. I want I want to have a good relationship with both my kids. And I think that just just the dynamic between us and it's shown how frustrated I am with it and how I really don't want it to be like that. I want to have a really deep connected relationship with her. And then I realized, you know, our finances, I'm kidding, are independently wealthy. We could, we could. We could retire today. And if we lived in the right way, we could live forever and never have to spend any money. And so I never have to make any more money and there would still be a ton left for our daughters. But I also realized that I'm not really excited about my finances on a day to day, week to week basis, because even though we're making good money, we're not making the kind of money I want to make the kind of money that I want to be able to invest. You know, we recently bought a property in in dripping springs here in Florida, which is just it's incredible how much attention that area is getting. We just bought a huge 43 acre ranch and we're going to start building it out and I want to be able to just throw a bunch of money at it and build it out and get what we want. And I'm hesitant because I want to do it out of cash flow, not out of our savings. And it's frustrating me that that's not there. And then the last one is even with my fitness now, I'm extraordinarily fit. And I don't say that to brag. I say that because I know the numbers. I actually I'm 50 years old, and when you compare most of my metrics with people in their 20s and 30s, I'm competitive with them. And as far as blood, it goes, as far as blood work goes, as far as the body composition goes. As far as my telomeres, I've got my telomeres tested. They're like 16 years younger than I am, so I am crushing it when it comes to fitness. But I'm not where I want to be comparatively. I'm doing awesome, but I'm not where I want to be. And so I realized all of these things just in the past few days, and I realize that here's this massive gift that COVID has given me. It's increased my sensitivity, and it's showing me the things that I'm not going to be happy with in five years. Looking back unless I change something. And that has been profound. That's actually blow me away, I'm like, Wow, this is what this is teaching me. It's teaching me that if I continue down this path, I'm going to look back and say, Man, I wish I had done something different. And. Here's what I think could have easily happened in the past few days, I could have just continued to lean into the fresh air to just avoid the frustration and irritation, try and get through this, not really see what it means, not do the meditation that I've done and not receive this incredible information. That is, I'm not happy. I'm not where I want to be. I need to do more to move myself in the right direction and to move things through. And so here's the gift of coping that I've received. I have like a massive neon sign now around where I need to put my effort and energy and when I want to shift. I have way more insight into how I want things to move in the right direction in the present. So there in the future, I'm happy with where I end up. And the more that I lean into this irritation, the more that I lean into this frustration instead of saying, like, I just want it to go away and trying to ignore it, like, where's it coming from? What's what's happening for me? Why do I feel this way? Why am I getting these messages? The more I'm getting a literal checklist of what I need to go change so that I can feel better about what's going on. And I feel like this has been a profound, profound gift. Now, if you're interested in understanding more about my covert journey and some of the stuff that I did to correct it, you can go to my Facebook page. I recently made a post called it says COVID is weird, and then I explained everything. And in the comments, I share all the things that I did to get through COVID and all the things that I'm doing to get COVID. So if you're curious about that, you can go check it out. And and so if you're going through this and you're in that frustration and irritation, lean into it, surrender. The book Letting Go by David Hawkins is an incredible resource to understand how to surrender and let go. And it may be life-changing for you. And if you're listening to this and you're not a member of our group yet, go to Facebook and go to simple operations. Operating your business just got simple. It's a Facebook group full of entrepreneurs around the world that are growing their businesses. My team and I are involved there. I do most of my podcasts there. We also answer questions there. We'd love to be able to help you grow and scale your business and join our community on Facebook. Again, it's simple operations. Operating a business just got simple. And if you're going through COVID, I want you to know there's light on the other side and there may even be a gift in this for you. Thanks for being here today.