Major League Baseball has been back in play for about a month now, with a little more than a month to go in the regular season. MLB’s restart has not been without incident: Many players have tested positive for Covid, and most teams by now have had games, perhaps several games, postponed due to positive Covid tests either by players on their own team or by players on opponents’ teams. Yet, rather than shut down the season entirely for all teams, MLB has opted to continue to play through the positive tests, and to make up games previously postponed by positive Covid tests by playing future “doubleheaders”, or two games in one day. This mentality has allowed MLB to soldier through and have a so-far successful season despite the setbacks. Therein lies a lesson for the rest of sports and the rest of the economy.
Play On Despite Setbacks
The lesson is that you need to keep playing on despite the setbacks. In your career, with your children, with your investment portfolio, and in your life, there will always be setbacks. Rather than to shut everything down when a setback occurs, you have to deal with it and keep moving on toward your goal. Your life is about more than just one thing. If the one thing isn’t working right for the time being, then walk on your other three legs while the fourth one heals. In MLB, rather than to shut down the entire league as Covid cases presented themselves, they shut down only the players and the teams directly affected, and then only for a relatively short period, like a week or less, depending on the severity of the outbreak. Plenty of available Covid tests are key to this strategy. Once the affected team heals, they are back on the diamond.
For us, another lesson is that we all have to be able to compartmentalize, meaning that we have to deal with the various aspects of our lives in different ways according to their order of importance at that particular time. Struggling with something at your job? Perhaps you can put that on hold for a bit while you go and work on a different task. You have young kids at home running amok and you are still trying to earn a paycheck? Unless you need to, which is a big Unless, put the job on hold at least until you get your kids back into some routine so that you can work. Took a hit in your investment or retirement portfolio due to the Covid shutdown? Hopefully your portfolio has recovered somewhat s the indexes have risen, but if not, then think about why you have lost money and make some adjustments to the way you invest. And, as difficult as it might be, if you are mentally down due to one aspect of your life, you cannot let that bad taste affect everything else in your life. Otherwise your entirety will suffer.
Back to the MLB analogy, if you have put an aspect of your life on hold, go back and double up for a short period of time so that you get that aspect back on track. For instance, if you took time off from work to deal with your family during Covid, maybe you can go back and finish what you put on hold once you return, or at least you can get back up to speed quickly and hit the pavement running. Making up for past negligence often don’t take nearly as much time to make up as it would have taken in real time. Perhaps you already know what the final score is and you just need to get your task to that final score.
Perhaps now is the time for you to address your address your financial planning needs, or perhaps even to create a financial plan for the first time. If so, it might really help to signal to your bullpen and call in a Certified Financial Planner® such as me to help with the planning process. In any event, the point of this blog is to exhort people to keep pushing forward despite the obstacles life puts in our way. The process by which Major League Baseball has held this very strange season is just the latest real life metaphor for this piece of advice.