In an exchange of comments following this post, my friend and fellow columnist at BIZCATALYST 360˚, the brilliantly talented writer, Laura Mikolaitis, expressed her challenges in coping with the changes imposed by the coronavirus. More specifically, she shared what I took to be her existential angst, brought on by the time we’ve all been given in which to reflect, to explore our circumstances and our possibilities, to determine the proverbial and often frightening next step.

Since many of us spend a significant portion of our lives doing what we’re supposed to do — as determined by parents, teachers, bosses, et al. — it seems as if few of us take the time to contemplate what we want to do.

Given that truth, I’ll share three things with you here;

  1. This, which I suspect some of you have seen before.
  2. This, which I hope some of you have seen before.
  3. The video below, which I hope all of you will see now.

At the risk of appearing to be presumptuous, I’ll offer this piece of advice: If there’s any way at all you can do it, take it easy. That’s right. Give yourself a break. Precious little of any constructive consequence has ever been accomplished under anxiety and stress. And most anxiety and stress is self-inflicted.

This is our time. This is your moment. Take the time to wonder and wander. Make some changes. I can’t predict what’ll happen. But I can promise you you’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself.


Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brien
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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  1. Hi Mark, love this article, and I can say that anxiety and stress are real, and right now with all that is going on regarding the career I was in for over 20 years, I have to keep the stress and anxiety at bay, therefore I am soaking up the oil on my brush and applying it to the canvas. I will also be picking up a guitar soon.

  2. Thanks, Mark.

    We all suffer under the dark cloud of Puritanism.
    H. L. Mencken suggested that “Puritanism is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is happy.”

    I don’t believe in measuring success in global terms – ‘my breakfast, right now, on the porch is lovely’ is good enough for me. But if we felt driven to measure it, how about if we measured success this way: Success means no longer having to measure success.

    Your guitars are lonely. Right now.

    Be good. And well.

    • Yes, Mac. And I’ve missed my guitars. I’m about to part with my Hagstrom Super Swede and my Harley Benton HB35 in exchange for an Eastman T486. My Strats, of course, are going nowhere.

      Thank you for the reminder about the loneliness of my guitars. And thank you for your comments.