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?
Very.
But does that warrant the level of reaction it has sparked?
Unlikely.

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.

Responding.
And,
Reacting.

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.

New year, old you?

New year, new you.
A very common messaging for this time of the year.
But not necessarily a good one.
I don’t like the concept of “new” you.
It sends the wrong message (implies there’s something wrong with the “current” and “old” you).
It creates unrealistic expectations (puts this huge pressure on you to completely change who you are).
Moreover, it’s unnecessary (your “old” you is pretty good).
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the old you.
The old you survived until now.
If not thrived.
The old you learned useful lessons, and accumulated a lifetime of experiences.
Gained insights that help you to survive, and thrive.
Accumulated knowledge that helps you keep moving forward no matter what, and helps you make a life for yourself.
These lessons, insights, and experiences are of great value.
So why on earth would you need a “new” you?
You wouldn’t be who you are without the “old” you.
The old you isn’t bad.
It doesn’t need to be replaced or gotten rid of.
You don’t need a “new” you.
What you can do, though, is get better.
Life is about growth.
Aiming for growth, and improvement, is a much better goal than a complete overhaul.
Trying to be better is a great goal to have, and it capitalises on the valuable knowledge and experiences you’ve already gained.
So rather than a “new” you, aim for a “better” you.
That’s ultimately the more practical, and achievable, goal.
Not to mention better.
Aiming for better makes your life easier.
And ultimately, improves your life.
So on this first day of the new year, aim for “better” (and not “new”).
Here’s to a better you in 2020.
And an incredible new year.
I am excited for you.

What to do if you want the best results

Your results are directly proportional to your efforts.
What you get is always going to be a reflection of what you put in.
So if you put in your best effort, you are best positioned to get the best results.
Conversely, if you put in just the bare minimum effort, you’ll get the bare minimum results.
The rule is nearly always universal:
Good effort in, good results out.
Bad efforts in, bad results out.
So if you want to be in a position to get the best results, the best outcome, you know what to do…
Do your best to get the best results.

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.

Are you living your life, or too busy trying to make life happen?

One absolute truth about life is the fact that everything in life is temporary.
Nothing lasts forever.
Be it people.
Or things.
Or experiences.

People come and go. Some stay longer than others. But no one will be there forever – be it because some people are just not meant to be there with you for the long haul, or because life sometimes gets in the way, or because death comes for all of us…

Things aren’t everlasting – they are not permanent. Some things perish, others lose utility, while some get lost somehow.

Experiences fade. With time some experiences disappear while others fade, and some just get replaced while others are blocked and forgotten.

The point is, nothing in life is forever.
So it’s important to make the most of what you have right now.

People – Live fully with the good people in your life. Fully enjoy the time you have with them because you never know how much time you have with them.
Things – Make the most of the things you have. Get the most out of them so that eventually when they aren’t there you won’t have any regrets (e.g. don’t just buy things if you aren’t going to use them or enjoy them).
Experiences – Embrace the experiences you have (and seek out). Fully enjoy the good ones, and learn from the not-so-good ones.

It can be challenging, to pay attention to things now because we get distracted, and life gets in the way. But that is what often leads to regrets.
It’s not hard though. Being present in the moment – being mindful – is a great place to start.

Live your life, rather than spending all your time and energy on trying to make life happen.
Nothing in life is permanent, so it is important to make the most of what you have while you can.

Are you mindful of the people, things, and experiences in your life?
Are you living your life, or too busy trying to make life happen?