Coronavirus, and the yellow peril hysteria

The panic has set well in.
People are going nuts over Coronavirus.
Just this week alone, world markets have crashed by well over $1 trillion.

Because I’m travelling around South East Asia, friends and family keep sending me messages of concern.
And reminders like “get a mask!”.
I appreciate their concern.
But don’t see the point in panicking.

How serious is Coronavirus?
But does that warrant the level of reaction it has sparked?

This situation makes me think of another big pandemic panic – the yellow peril hysteria of 1880.
That one’s impact, in the end, did not justify the panic, hysteria and uproar it triggered.
Which brings me to the two main ways we act and deal with crisis.


There is a huge difference between responding to a crisis.
And reacting to one.

Responding involves thinking things through.
And coming up with reasonable, prudent, and well thought out options.
The result is a calm response.
One that is, more often than not, effective.

Reacting, on the other hand, doesn’t involve much thinking.
It is all about acting based mainly (if not solely) on emotions, and letting the emotions take over and dictate ones actions.
The result is quite the opposite of a calm reaction.
One that is, more often than not, ineffective.

Responding results in solutions.
Reacting results in panic and hysteria.

Responding helps people find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reacting makes people dig in even deeper.

There is a significant difference between responding, and reacting, to a crisis.
The main one being – one helps, the other one harms.

Coronavirus certainly has the potential of becoming a crisis.
Which makes it important to think before you act.
Because if you respond calmly, you stand a much better chance of getting through it than you do if you simply go with the flow and react with blind panic and hysteria.

As always, it’s important to think before you act.

Act responsibly.
Think for yourself.

Are external factors defining who you are?

It is really easy to let external factors define who we are.
Especially the traumatic ones.
I know, I’ve been there…

There will always be things in our lives that impact us negatively.
Some of them a lot.
And it can be really easy to become bitter or sad and live your life like that.

But here’s the important thing to understand: these external factors, especially the negative ones, they can only define us if we let them.
That’s the key to it.

No one has a perfect life.
Everyone has challenges – some big, some small.
But we all have a choice in how the challenges (and bad experiences) impact us: we can let them define who we are, or we can make a conscious decision about who we are.

We do have a choice.
But only if we exercise it.

Exercise your ability to choose for yourself.
Don’t let external factors define who you are.

How to come up with ideas

Here is a common question a lot of people ask:
How do I come up with ideas?

There is no one answer to that.
There is no one perfect way to come up with ideas.
There are lots of different ways to do that.

But, here is one strategy that you can get started with:
Think up ideas for things that you want, things that don’t exist yet.
Basically, solve your own problems.

Happens to all of us.
We stumble across a problem or get annoyed by something and wish things were different.
Those moments right there are opportunities.
Moments like those are the cause for most of the world’s innovations.

Of course, the more urgent the need the stronger your impulse to solve it.
So usually when we stumble upon something like that, we tend to grumble a bit, but then move on and forget about it.

But what if you didn’t?
What if you started a journal of such moments of dissatisfaction, stuff to think about later, stuff to come up with solutions for?

Life isn’t perfect, and that presents opportunities.
But only if you’re willing to think, and see things from that perspective.

Give it a go.
Look out for such instances, issues and problems.
Next time you are met with a moment like that, consider how you can come up with something (or some way) to improve things.
Maybe that’s what will lead to your world-changing idea.

If something doesn’t work, find ways to fix it.

Failures are not a measure of capabilities (and potential)

Your failures and setbacks are not a measure of your capabilities and potential.

If Edison (or Tesla) used his failures as a measure of his capabilities, it’s unlikely we would have electricity.
If the Wright brothers used their failures as a measure of their potential, we would not have air travel.
If J.K. Rowling took her many refusals as a measure of her abilities, then the world would not have Harry Potter.
If Abraham Lincoln took his setbacks as a measure of his potential, slavery would have carried on for a lot longer.

Failures and setbacks are momentary.
They do not define who you are, and what you are capable of.
So don’t let them define your life.

Don’t deny facts based on your beliefs

Here’s the thing about facts: they are facts.
Only because someone does not believe a fact does not suddenly change its state.
Not believing something to be true does not make it false.
Facts are just information, plain and simple.

Only because someone does not believe of the sun’s existence, for instance, does not stop the sun from shining.
Only because someone does not believe in the existence of the moon does not stop it from existing.
Only because we can’t see air does not mean it does not exist.
And so on.
You get the idea…

Facts are facts.
They don’t change based on whether someone believes in them or not.
They continue being facts irrespective.

So it is better to fall in line.
Because the disbelief just holds you back.
Don’t deny facts based on your beliefs.