5 Hacks to Survive & Thrive in Times Like These

Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to what happens. It’s a leadership lesson I keep repeating because it is so true, and also so relevant in times like these. Yet, you may ask yourself, “fine and good, but how am I supposed to react”. I have a confession. That’s not easy for me either. I don’t always react appropriately and stress makes it harder for all of us to act and react well.


Here are 5 hacks I use, really 5 leadership lessons that we teach at KMMA, but that are more important than ever as we strive, survive and thrive in the new reality:


  1. Only focus on that which you’ve control over. There exists a hypothetical circle that contains everything that you care about and another than contains everything that you can do something about. We teach our students only to invest time, energy and focus on the intersection of these two. In this coronavirus, quarantine world, there is so much we have to be concerned about and so little we have control over; but it is more true than ever that focus and energy is only useful when applied to the things we can control that we also care about.
  2. Be driven by your purpose and goals instead of your fears. Everyone experiences fear; it’s a natural reaction and a universal feeling. Sometimes the fear is real and sometimes only perceived. In either case, the important thing that allows us to proact rather than cower is to focus on our goals and to focus on our why. You may even create some specific guidelines to focus on so that you know how to act under our given contingency. I sat down with Team KMMA the day we knew we needed to close our hard facilities. Of course I was scared, but I knew from my military and martial training about the leadership responsibility I’d been charged with and it was time to lead. So I briefed my team on our goals and priorities during this challenge. These serve as our daily purpose today while we continue our mission of empowering lives through martial arts virtually.
    1. Continue to pay my key leaders,
    2. Serve our students, customers and other shareholders even better than we have before,
    3. Use this time to complete all of the important leadership, admin, systems and other initiatives we usually don’t have time to do,
    4. Stay positive, stay powerful and use our platforms to lead from the front. We are a leadership organization that also teaches ficus, fitness and self defense and now is the time to use the skills we sharpen daily to serve our community even more.
  3. Have and spread your positive mental attitude. We are socially distanced from one another because of the highly contagious nature of the coronavirus, but there is something just as contagious that we need to be careful about, and that’s attitude!  Positive or a poor attitude will make your kids, your spouse and any and all others around you or looking to you feel better or worse, weaker or stronger and more confident or more afraid. Use your positive attitude to inspire and encourage others and watch how that empowers them to do the same!
  4. Capitalize upon the gift of time. Grace Family Church Pastor Matt Roden gave a great message last night about the “gift” we’d been given of time to fix some things. I think this is an awesome perspective. I know I have been guilty of never “finding” the time for much of the things that I wanted to do. Well now I’m getting back in shape, writing my book and spending more time with my kids and grandson, as well as all the things I continue to do daily to continue to serve my KMMA community. Sir Isaac Newton “discovered” gravity while quarantined from the plague. Like all things, this opportunity (what we call problems in the positive mental attitude community) will be an excuse or a reason for something in your life. You get to choose.
  5. Stay connected to your community. This is why my leadership team and I at KMMA are doing everything we can to stay connected with our students, parents and KMMA community at large. My church is doing the same. Many great organizations are. And, on a smaller but no less important level, we facetime my mother daily. Isolation is a wicked enemy because the enemy begins to play with your mind.


Stay positive, stay connected, stay productive and engaged and stay in touch!


Lead With Confidence!


Your friend,

Stephen Del Castillo

Founder & Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts