Blog - March 2, 2020

I’m Ok, You’re Ok.

There was no way to accurately predict the coronavirus outbreak, and there is no way to accurately predict what comes next.

These are factually correct statements that make you feel uncomfortable.

And that’s OK. They should make you feel uncomfortable; that’s a perfectly natural human response. It’s a powerful evolutionary instinct to seek comfort and safety. When it comes to things like food supply, safety from the elements or dangerous animals – avoiding risks was rewarded by keeping those clever genes that you inherited in the gene pool. The problem is, we live in an uncertain world, and we still need to make decisions.

I once attended a conference where an anthropologist presented on the topic of risk taking and its role in evolution. The anthropologist painted a fascinating picture (I need you all to suspend disbelief for a moment, as the animal used in this example did not co-exist with humans), “When the Saber-Toothed Tiger came into camp there were three groups of people sitting around the fire. The first group of people got up to fight, some of them were successful and lived. Another group ran away, some of them were successful and lived. The third group stood around waiting to see what would happen and they all died.”

The point of the story is to illustrate that our instinct of “fight or flight” is ingrained at a molecular level. Fight or flight played an incredibly important role in keeping our ancestors alive, for generations. This means that even though we know on a logical level that a stock market drop is not the same as a terrifying life-or-death encounter with a deadly predator, our reptilian brain stem can’t always tell the difference. That immediate, anxious response is predetermined.

How can we keep our ancestral programming from eradicating rational thought? Through process.

If we adopt a process for analyzing information or accomplishing a task, we can tailor it to provide the best practical outcome. If you go to the grocery store with a list and a plan, you come home with what you need. If you go to the grocery store after work while you’re hungry and with no list, you end up with the nutritional equivalent of a glitter balloon.

Money can be a very emotional topic, if you let it. It’s the manifestation of hopes and dreams, it’s your legacy, and it’s how you support and care for your loved ones. With so much on the line, it’s important to make good decisions to get the best possible outcome. Process. Sitting down with a trained professional and setting priorities and timelines for economic outcomes will dramatically improve your chances of accomplishing your goals.

Notice that we have not included any mention about reading the news and promptly resetting all your goals & priorities based on the news outlet’s latest attempt to get your attention – all so they can sell your eyes to advertisers. We think that’s bad.

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