The COVID19 Shift, Normal redefined

As we are now cornering in on...

Apr 29th, 2020

Israel Ellis Headshot

Israel Ellis

The COVID19 Shift, Normal redefined

10 Min Read

As we are now cornering in on a reference in time that is now measured in months, in this strange new world of “lockdown”, I am thinking increasingly of the number of dynamic shifts forced into focus.  Otherwise flourishing businesses have been brought to a screeching halt.  Jobs lost. Plans altered. The changes to our lives have happened with massive speed, the adjustments tough, the impact outright scary.  The single question on the tip, when will things get back to normal?  There are lots of discussions now about what the exit door should look like.    I expect that the normal will be a redefined shift.

COVID19 has changed the societal playing field.   The playbook is being written, edited, and revised in real-time.  Efforts by most governments worldwide to stave off the potential for mass infection have been profoundly disruptive.  No one wants to leave a legacy behind that bears the responsibility of unnecessary deaths.  And perhaps in the near term, these actions are plausible and responsible,  but for how long and at what costs?  These are practical questions lingering in the air in front of us leading us into a host of moral and philosophical debates.  These discussions will no doubt shift our thinking.   But maybe it’s not about a return to the way things were, rather more about a shift to living our lives differently moving forward.

I am proud of our humanity in the face of this pandemic crisis.  We have unintentionally entered into this massive human experiment that will have far-reaching fodder for environmental, economic, societal, and human study.  The domino effect and the complexity of social distancing and legislative intervention is huge.   If someone were to have turned to me months ago and foretold of our current situation, I would have thought them to be somewhat off.  However, there have been predictions very close to this surreal reality.  Between Hollywood’s different creative versions of what a pandemic could look and Bill Gates predictions, very much on point;  Do we listen?  Do we take notice?  It is hard enough to fight an enemy that cannot be seen when it is in its full force, let alone be proactive and plan for it.  Another shift in how we think about that which we cannot see.

China’s silencing of  Dr. Li Wenliang who first identified COVID in December cost the world critical weeks of added exposure adding fuel to a grievance that is now starting to play out on the world stage.  Questions regarding our reliance on China moving forward are becoming louder.  And they should be.  We find ourselves in a bizarre situation where we are benevolent to the very nation whose secrecy and lack of transparency may have put us here.  However, this did not happen without our own push towards greater and unbridled globalization.  Perhaps, we have to take some responsibility for the compromise of a blind eye in favor of our own demand for cheap goods.  This crisis may very well be the single event that will shift back the manufacturing base to greater self-reliance.  Will we make that shift?  A question for the future to be answered in the looking glass of history.

The interrelationships between everything that exists has a natural order.  The classic result when interfering with nature is like pail bailing a leak to keep your boat afloat.  When we introduce a foreign species to offset a natural threat or artificially alter our ecology in the name of progress; the benefits often cause disruption that will require more intervention and so on and so on.   The coronavirus-driven collapse may have far-reaching and unpredictable consequences for a long time to come.  Or will it?  We, humans, are a capable bunch.  Circumstances of necessity breed great periods of inventive creativity.  On the flip side of this crisis, will be massive innovation.  Our resilience and creativity will find ways to enhance our lives with the new norms (wherever that pin drops) because that is the history of the human race.  We are driven by primary objectives to survive, thrive, and multiply.

I read about companies shifting their focus overnight.  A leather wallet manufacturer flips its process to manufacture face masks, and retired engineering unearths 30-year-old designs for an easy to make ventilator using a domestic supply chain.  One group out of New York launched a site that sells “bonds” in hotels – a 50% return on investment is guaranteed to use against your future hotel stay.  A 17-year old using his 3D printer is making critical, potentially, life-saving supportive devices.  The list goes on.  Drug therapies, testing, technology;  These people who have quickly adapted. They figured out where they fit into a new reality and actioned their ideas.   My 5th-grade teacher, Mrs. Ellison, would wave her shaky finger at one of us if we tried giving excuses why our work wasn’t handed in on time;  “young man, where there is a will there’s a way”.  Old Mrs. Ellison was not far off the mark.   Shifts in innovation are always possible to deal with almost any situation of necessity we just have to accept, adapt, and act.

We are living in one of those moments in time that will likely define the beginnings of significant changes. Our future will divide into what was before and came after.   As 9/11 dramatically altered our sense of security.  COVID19 will create new social norms, introduce new technology, and renew an urgency for manufacturing independence.  What part will you play in this new shift?

“One way or another this darkness has got to give”.  The Grateful Dead

Israel Ellis is the author of Moving Through Walls (2019), CEO of AdvancePro Technologies, and Co-Founder of 365 Investment Partners. visit

Moving Through Walls contains practices, philosophies, attitudes, and anecdotes that will challenge one’s assumptions and inspire them to commit to new, transformational practices. Israel Ellis takes us on a journey to explore how we limit ourselves when instead we can optimize our potential.

– Aubrey Dan |

I thought I was going to breeze through this book on a flight– but I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly touching and powerful the content was. I found myself immersed in the story, the teaching and coming away from each chapter in deep introspection for how to re-align my life and be more present. Now, 7 days later after having finished the book, I feel reinvigorated and inspired. Thank you, Israel, for so vulnerably sharing your truth and takeaways! #LivingMyLifeOnMyTerms

– Liz J. Simpson |

In Moving Through Walls I have narrowed the answers to four foundational principles. These ideas are tools to achieve the life you want to live. Embrace them and make them your own.

– Israel Ellis


I wrote Moving Through Walls out of a purpose to share what I have learned.

If you have a deep desire to find that road less travelled to your greatest self. Then you have likely come to the right place.

author section_Israel_portrait


Submit your Hero Story

Lets make the HERO WALL happen Be a hero, change the world! Tell your Hero Story Here

Feel good, safe, open, smile, express, learn, experience, hope, dreams, strengthen @ .

YOU are the hero that will change the world!

Related Articles


10 Min Read


This is a series of essays on the COVID19 impact.  If you find these articles...

Read Blog   

3 years ago


Read More Articls

Accelerators are the fuel for greatness. With every personal and professional project that we commit to and bring to the finish line, we increase the confidence we have in ourselves, the faith that others have in us, and our abilities to achieve larger tasks. But to open those doors, it starts with commitment. It starts with taking the shot. Just do it! as the famous ad campaign goes.

Mrs. Ellison, my grade five teacher, who at the time seemed older than God, would single me out because I did not have my lunch or because my work was not completed. She would hear no excuses. It did not matter to her that at ten years old, I had no one to make me lunch or that I would come to school in pretty bad shape. She would look me straight in the eye, a tremor in her voice, point a shaky finger at me, and say, “Young man, where there is a will, there is a way.”

In retrospect, I have to thank her for her unwavering lack of empathy for me, even if the appropriate action might have been to call a children’s aid society. She drummed that phrase into my head and it stuck. When I find myself in front of what appears to be an impenetrable wall, I recount her words, often saying them out loud in a chant-like fashion.

This mantra has kept me pushing and persevering over the years. There is always a way to move through walls. I have moved through many in my journey, and I will move through more. The commitment to moving through walls reminds me that by keeping stock in my faith and asking the universe to deliver, I will find that crack in the dam and a trickle of opportunity will make its way through to lead me to the next great place on my journey.

Challenging ourselves and pushing the boundaries of what we think we’re capable of is a powerful accelerator. Accelerators related to physical endeavors can be particularly powerful. By persevering through physical discomfort, we learn to access new sources of confidence and motivation. Not to mention, it keeps you looking and feeling great, which is an accelerator all on its own!

Buy the Book

Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to tell a story in six words. He came up with the famous six-word story: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Inspired by this story, Larry Smith of SMITH Magazine challenged others to try to write their lives in six words.

I thought this idea was quite the challenge. How could you encapsulate a life in six words? I was struck by both the brilliant simplicity and the enormity of the challenge: sum up the total sense of who I am and what I believe and package it in a six- word micro-memoir.

I was stumped. For several days, I considered what impact these six words would have on how I value myself. Six words does not allow for any excess; it requires the writer to focus in on what is most important. The exercise took on a new challenge for me. I realized it was asking me to distill my life down to my core essential truth.

When I eventually committed my six words to paper, I felt a great wave of relief come over me. I was calmed by its truth: Living my Life on my Terms. In six words, I captured the feeling of the gratefulness I felt and how far I’d come to understand what a gift life is. Every time I see these words they continue to strengthen and inspire me.

Try it yourself. What are your six words?

Buy the Book

A point of caution here: Stories of grievance have a shelf life. There is a point of repetition where you risk becoming a broken record. No one has the patience to listen to the same grievance over and over again. Grievances can also eventually manifest themselves to include things that did not happen. People who have chosen to dedicate their lives to bearing crosses often become so obsessed that they lose the connection to what really happened.

Don’t become trapped in this cycle. You get a limited number of passes before your story of grievance needs to evolve into one of “heroism”—and this is the story you can tell over and over again. No one gets tired of hearing about heroism. It is motivating and positive. A story of overcoming hardship gives strength to others, and every hero deserves to share their story.

Buy the Book

“If you are meant to be on the path that you are on, the universe will find a way, even when you can’t. When you realize this fact, you will have stumbled upon one of the secret ingredients for success; if you focus on “what” you need to happen—you articulate your goal—the universe will supply the “how.” That is the power of faith. ”

Buy the Book

“If you put your best foot forward and do everything within your power, you will come to a place that is your destiny. “Believe” that you are loved. “Believe” that you have value. And “believe” that you are an important part of this vast universe, one that is a far better place because you have chosen to pursue your greatness, and in doing so, have affected the world in ways that you may never become aware of.”

Buy the Book


"People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of."
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

It’s a beautiful summer morning on the ocean, and the perfect wave is coming in. You’ve spotted the wave, paddled hard to be in the right position to catch it, and now you are on the top—on the crest. You lean in, commit yourself, and tip the board forward. You invite the surging force of the breaking water to take over, and the result is a massive jolt of acceleration. Looking back, it seems as if everything that happened was pre-destined, there is such perfect harmony between yourself, your purpose, and nature. In that moment, riding atop the surge, is acceleration. 

"I have trust in my intuition, powered by the confidence that comes from past achievements. I have done it before; I can do it again.”

Buy the Book

“Foundation 4: Forgiveness

The final foundation is forgiveness. When an injustice has been perpetrated against you, it can be incredibly difficult to heal and move forward. That said, when we hang on to the anger that resides deep within us, it tarnishes the soul and blurs our ability to envision and realize the future we desire. To move forward, we must prevail and overcome. But how? How do you move on?
The chapter on forgiveness was the hardest and most personal for me to write. For a long time I struggled to forgive people who had hurt me, but in my journey I realized that only through forgiveness can we unlock a future in which we become the best versions of ourselves. That future is worth the discomfort of being vulnerable. ”

Buy the Book

“What I call the four foundations—openness, faith, future, and forgiveness—are principles that we can use to change the way we interact with the world. These foundations will be the topics of Part One of this book. Our perception—how we see the world around us—is shaped by our life experiences. In our earliest years, we form many of the biases we carry throughout our lives; these biases often predict how we react to the world around us and prevent us from making the changes necessary to living our greatest lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We all have the potential to become mindful of our biases and loosen their grip upon us. With conscious effort, we can achieve a state of being that aligns with who we want to be, not where we came from.People often say that change starts with altering actions and behaviors, but I believe this statement is a case of mistaking means for ends. We start the change process by having a vision of who we want to be or what we want to accomplish. Only then will our actions and behaviors change to accommodate that vision.”

Buy the Book