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Have you had this conversation yet? It begins with a recap of recent events (or non-events or headlines or memes) and ends with, “So, what do you think things will be like when all of this is over?” We want to know what’s coming so we can get ready. It’s normal. After some research and reflection, I’m ready to tell you what will happen next. Oh, and toward the end, there’s a brutal personal plot twist.
One of the challenges for us professionally and individually is that no one has lived through anything like what’s happening right now. Uncertainties compound the difficulties.
So, we pay attention to what the experts say. We think that if we could know what things will be like on the other side, we can prepare ourselves. We’d respond better. We’d be ready emotionally.
OK. I’ll tell you what will happen next.
Almost every prediction of what will happen next will be wrong.
Some of the predictions will be so broad that they’re meaningless. (“We’ll become a nation of hand washers.” OK, how’s that helpful if you don’t sell hand sanitizer?) Some predictions will be right, but it’s impossible to tell which ones because they’re mixed in with all the bad ones.
I came to this conclusion after I took a long trip down the google rabbit hole.
I found that following the 2008 recession, big time “thinkers” were predicting that as a result of that recession in the years ahead we’d see:
an end to extravagant materialism,
no more “excess” (an entire Time magazine feature on this),
sane real estate prices,
reduced urban sprawl,
more ethical banking (my favorite),
on and on with logical predictions that didn’t come true.
Ummmm…so what should you do?
What’s a meaningful action, no matter what the future holds? How can you prepare for uncertainty?
I think you should concentrate on your personal resiliency in every way you can.
PLOT TWIST: I kid you not, I was finishing editing this section on resiliency and received some significantly disappointing, scary news. My cursor was blinking at the end of that line above: “I think you should concentrate on resiliency in every way you can.” (It was like I had written a note to myself). I’m still not ready to laugh about it, but it’s funny.
Exactly what this bad news was is not important. But I’ve spent a couple of years working on my personal resiliency, grit and antifragility. And this news knocked me on my butt. It took me about an hour to get functional. No thumb sucking but a significant amount of slack-jawed pacing and trying to get where I could think clearly again.
I’m fine now. I just took it personally for a while.
I need you to hear from me that even preparing yourself and working hard on resiliency won’t protect you from some of the bumps and bruises of this life. You will likely get knocked down. That’s part of being human. The trick is in the getting back up. There’s a fighting adage: knocked down 7 times, get up 8. It’s true. The getting up part is what we concentrate on. It’s part of this life…and this crazy season.
Resiliency is getting up.
So I’ll add one more prediction that will come true. You’ll get knocked down. And you’ll rise to your feet. Again.
Here’s where you can read what I’ve written in the past on grit and antifragile.
Together, we can get back to our feet.
Thanks for letting me know how you’re doing and what you’re thinking. You can reach me at sthomas AT oneicity DOT com
Grateful for you.
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