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The 5-letter word that will put you back in the driver's seat during the pandemic

Best-selling author and motivational speaker Janine Driver reveals the struggles she’s faced during COVID-19 and what she’s doing to overcome the odds.
Body language expert Janine Driver at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco on Dec. 1, 2018.
Body language expert Janine Driver at the Know Your Value conference in San Francisco on Dec. 1, 2018.Miller Hawkins

Editor's note: Mika and Know Your Value want to hear about your life resets during the pandemic. Send your stories to Mika at:

Imagine how your life might be different if you knew with 100 percent certainty that there’s a silver lining behind the fun moments you’ve had these last few months, like when:

  • You yelled at your son while he was in his Zoom school class AND his mic was on;
  • You told it like it was and ended your friendship with you know who;
  • You packed on the pounds from too much pizza or chocolate;
  • You binge watched too many Netflix series;
  • You fell in love with TikTok and all their videos about tiny microscopic bugs in strawberries, how to use a filter to spot ghosts in your house, and nonstop “I’m a Savage” Carol Baskin dance videos.

COVID-19 has been a real peach, right?!

Perhaps like me you have a family member who died from the novel coronavirus or you know someone who knows someone who died from the virus. Maybe you lost your job, the love of your life, your apartment, or your sanity?

But what if you and I are simply on what the great philosopher Joseph Campbell called, “The Hero’s Journey”? What if this moment in time is what he dubbed, “the call for adventure”?

Let me back up for a minute. Here’s what’s been going on in my life recently, maybe you can relate?

In February...

I ask my husband of 17 years for a divorce, we told our three sons, ages 5-15, and they all cried.

My heart broke.

In March...

I lost every one of the 2020 speaking contracts I was negotiating – all within four days. I’m a keynote and motivational speaker and the pandemic killed live events.

I felt punched in the stomach.

In April...

I was -$4,672.00 in my bank account and I dropped to my knees praying to God for a miracle. I made Him my best friend.

I felt powerless.

In May...

I don’t want to brag, but I think accidentally broke the Guinness Book of World Records for gaining the most amount of weight in the shortest amount of time: 104.7 pounds in five months.

I felt full of shame and embarrassment, so I stopped talking to friends and family. I was imploding.

In June...

I had to pull my two youngest sons out of their private schools for the 2020-2021 school year. Plus, the cold-hearted murder of George Floyd linked somehow in my body all the other evil I’ve witnesses over the years, like 9/11.

I think I had a mental breakdown on a Facebook Live, and by think, I mean I did!

In July...

I had to borrow money from my 75-year-old dad to pay my mortgage. And my dad’s uncle, who was 92, died of the novel coronavirus within a week of getting it.

I was scared.

RELATED: 7 personal finance concerns in these uncertain times — and a plan of action for each

In August...

I had my car repossessed at 10:35 p.m. one night while my kids and I were sound asleep. I had to reluctantly sell my dream camper in Maine to pay for the car and the health insurance for my sons, ex-husband-to-be and me.

I felt empty and dead inside.

But by September...

Everything began to turn around and I believed I could make a comeback. I thought of the lyrics in Danny Gokey’s hit song, “The Comeback”:

After a season of night falls and push backs

After the heartache of wrong turns and sidetracks

Just when they think they've got you game set match

Here comes the comeback

Just cause you lay low got up slow unsteady

Don't mean you blacked out or bought out you're ready

Just when they think there's nothing left running on empty

Here comes the comeback

It happened during one of the many days where I stayed up all night. I remember sitting on my couch watching endless TikToks and ordering crap on Amazon that I didn’t have the money for.

I was feeling bad for myself. And had you been inside my head you would’ve heard me saying things like, “How could I have not been more prepared? How could I not have seen that losing my career was possible? Why didn’t I have money put aside in the bank for these types of emergencies?”

For the love of God, I’m a MOTHER!

RELATED: How I found strength after being told I was 'disgusting to look at'

'Finding Joe'

After throwing a pity party for myself, I decided to do a “reset.” I use this ridiculously simple 5-letter tool with my three sons all the time, i.e. if they are not:

  • Being kind to one another
  • Gentle with themselves when they fail at something
  • Thankful and grateful

As you might imagine, a life or attitude “reset” is literally just like what you would do if your PC had some serious hard drive problems. You’d reset it to the factory settings, right?

That morning, I decided to pull the plug on the corrupted thoughts and actions I had allowed to take over my life. I upgraded a new software called, “work in progress.”

RELATED: How emotional intelligence can score you more money, promotions and happiness

Before I went to bed, I watched one of my favorite movies of all time, “Finding Joe.” In that moment I realized I had been called for an adventure. I am on a hero’s journey. And slowly but surely my life started to change. For starters, I:

  • Got my minivan back;
  • Lost 11 pounds (still a way to go #committed);
  • Created a live webinar, “Emotional Intelligence Made Easy: 7 Levels of Reading and Influencing Human Behavior” … and now I have a waiting list for companies who want it in 2021;
  • Have an awesome co-parenting relationship with my future ex-husband, who lives 2.8 miles from me;
  • Love homeschooling my two youngest sons, one in kindergarten and one in the first grade;
  • Found joy again!

I still have a long, long way to go.

But here’s the deal, because I know my value and believe I deserve a comeback, I’m committed to doing as many “resets” as necessary to reach the finish line. And because I believe you deserve a comeback too, my hope is that you’ll join me on this journey!

Over the next few months, Mika has invited me to share my life’s resets with Know Your Value: my losses, my wins, my strategies, and my mentors’ life-changing insight. And we would love to hear about your resets too!

Let’s cheer each other on as we reset and pull the plug on negative thinking!


Next week, you’ll learn all about how “Finding Joe: The Hero’s Journey” can bring you more moments of joy as you get closer to your comeback. Please watch this powerful film, it’s on YouTube for free.

In the meantime, remember:

  1. You deserve a comeback.
  2. You have been called to an adventure.
  3. You are on your Hero’s Journey.
  4. And I love you!

Editor's note: Mika and Know Your Value want to hear about your life resets during the pandemic. Send your stories to Mika at:

Janine Driver is a New York Times best-selling author, her newest book is titled, “You Can’t Lie to Me.” She is a body-language expert, motivational speaker and retired federal law enforcement officer. Follow her on Twitter @janinedriver.