A common mistake when things go wrong is to spend time thinking about how they could have gone. Or how we’d hoped things would turn out.
It’s a dangerous way to think because it pulls you out of the current moment and onto a track that’s not just irrelevant, but distracting.
Once the ship hits the iceberg, the old world and reality are gone. It’s not just a waste of time to reminisce about the cruise you’d been on, or to daydream about the visit to New York you’d been planning, it’s dangerous. Because it will keep you from doing what needs to be done now, in the current reality.
Every moment spent in the past is time you could have been bailing water, finding a lifeboat, or building a raft.
Or in our current circumstance, it’s time you could be planning what your industry looks like without crowds. What your business looks like 100% virtual. What your competition may struggle to adapt to, that you’ve got a leg up on. What your customers might be willing to change about their behavior and how you might serve their new, current needs.
The faster you can update your worldview to match the current reality, the better you’ll adapt and thrive. The more time you spend thinking about what you’d wanted before, the slower you’ll make the necessary changes. There is no before, there’s only now and the future.
Because we’ve already hit the iceberg.
Now it’s about being the person who helps as many other people as possible.
It’s about making sure you put on your own mask (or life jacket) before putting it on another person—because you need to be alive and healthy to help anyone else.
And it’s about assuming that this isn’t the last crisis, it’s just the one we got this year, and making sure you’re better prepared for next time.
Even in countries that have the current crisis more under control than others, we have to assume we’ll be back under lockdown once winter hits. Are you preparing for that? Is your business ready?
We can all say this pandemic, this crash, took us without warning.
But whatever comes next, we’ve been warned.