172: What’s Happening in the World?
If you’re like me, it feels like there is a daily barrage of significant issues that seem capable of directly or indirectly impacting us. It can often feel overwhelming to process. I say that as someone who spent his life preparing for and dealing with some terrible situations. Like most of you, I am listening, watching, and trying to understand what’s happening in our world.
We all have questions about what is happening in the world. How concerned should we be? People are asking themselves, “What should I be doing?” In this article, I will cover that by giving you some of my thoughts on what you can be doing now to become better prepared, more self-reliant, and increase your resilience in the face of the uncertain adversity we are all facing.
But before I dive into this, I want to prep you. Please know that what I’m going to lead with may seem depressing and cause sensations of nervousness, anxiousness, and worry. If that happens, know that it’s normal; the stuff you, I, and others are dealing with right now is very heavy—it’s very serious. If that’s what you’re feeling, you’re 100% normal and exactly where you should be given your current circumstances. With that, and as I mentioned, I will provide you with some actionable items that you can use to help make things better.
So let’s talk about it.
What’s Happening in the World
I’m sure many of you are working through the same concerns and questions that I have:
- Is the situation with Israel and Palestine the beginning of a conflict that will spill over into a more significant event and pull us into a larger, perhaps World War?
- What about the ongoing war in Ukraine? Where does that lead?
- There’s the threat of terror cells operating within our nation.
- For us here in the U.S. and for many listening in other nations, our governments are melting down, treading on our freedoms, and sewing mistrust within the population.
- Costs are rising. Wallets are shrinking. Many are worried about providing for their loved ones.
- Crime is on the rise. Society is decaying. The ability to keep our families safe is becoming more questionable by the day.
Yes, that is all happening, and then some. And, as I mentioned, it’s causing people to feel stressed, worried, anxious, scared, and angry. We all do our best not to be a problem. Even though many of us don’t always agree with the actions and policies of our government, we do our best to be good citizens, neighbors, and friends.
There Are Actions You Can Take
Yes, despite the craziness of our world, there are things that you can do to improve your overall resilience. Even better, there are actions you can take right now that won’t cost you anything other than time and thought. And while that may sound easy, it won’t be for many.
That’s because emotionally amplified times like we’re in can feel overwhelming. And that sense of overwhelm can lead to not knowing where to start. Similarly, being in such an overwhelmed, off-putting mood can paralyze us from taking action despite knowing what we need to do.
Fortunately, though, there are, as I mentioned, no-cost, free actions that you can take to improve your situation and to set yourself up for success when preparing for the potential outcomes of our crazy times. With that, here is a list of things you can do to start your resilience ball rolling should you ever find yourself stuck and needing help to get going again.
Things that You Can Do
- Acknowledge Your Situation
- Keep Things in Perspective
- Take Proactive Action
- Practice Self-Care
- Build Your Support Network
1. Acknowledge Your Situation
Acknowledging a situation might seem like a small, easy step. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a step that many people genuinely struggle with. It’s the act of truly accepting that what’s happening is real and recognizing that our emotional reactions are a natural response to this overwhelming world we’re living in.
When we truly acknowledge and accept the situation, something remarkable occurs. We shift from our emotional, fear-driven state to a more rational mindset. This shift allows us to find a balance between our emotions and our logical thinking, ultimately helping us cope with what’s happening more effectively and less stressed.
I’ve experienced this many times throughout life. One instance I recall is as a paramedic in Atlanta, I had two critical patients and no help coming. Transporting two critical patients was far from ideal, and it was definitely overwhelming to me. Any answer was potentially the wrong answer. Staying and waiting for another ambulance to arrive could have cost one or both patients their lives. Transporting two critical patients presented serious problems of their own. It was overwhelming because every solution was terrible, so I struggled to acknowledge and accept the situation. Instead, my mind was spinning.
Once I realized that I was getting jammed up in my thought process, my response was to take a deep breath, reset my mind, and refocus on the problem. Once I did that, I acknowledged, “Okay, this sucks,” and told myself that “I got this” I was able to reset my mind and confidently decide on a course of action. I put both patients in my ambulance and worked my butt off while I had my EMT do his best to get us to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. Luckily, it worked out. But it only worked out because I could recognize my overwhelm, acknowledge it, accept it, and drive on.
Acknowledge: What’s Happening Isn’t in Our Control
The simple fact that causes many of us stress is that we’re not in control of what’s happening in the world. We can’t do anything about how the elites run the world or their actions that impact us. What we can control, however, is our response to it, and that begins with acknowledging the reality of what’s happening.
Acknowledge: Life Isn’t Fair
Next, it’s essential to acknowledge that what’s happening isn’t fair. It’s not deserved by any of us, and it’s certainly not within our control. None of us deserve to be subjected to the uncertainty and chaos that have persisted for the past two decades and are accelerating. Despite that, it’s not fair; it is the reality that’s happening and which we need to accept.
Acknowledge: Our World is Cyclic
Regrettably, the cyclic nature of current events means there’s a possibility that things will become worse. I’m not saying that to instill fear but instead to help you mentally prepare for the potential challenges that may arise in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Large-scale problems, like the one we’re facing, don’t have quick fixes. The complexities, numerous moving parts, and competing interests make instant resolutions nearly impossible. Additionally, reversing course becomes even more challenging once a situation shifts from bad to worse, much like boiling water. Once water is warm, reaching the boiling point is much easier, and cooling down takes considerably longer.
So, I want you to take action right now. What I want you to do is, inside your head, tell yourself that you got this. Tell it to yourself with meaning. Yes, the world sucks right now, but as a preparedness-minded, resilient person, you got this. What’s happening sucks, but that’s okay because you are preparing. You are doing your best. You’ve got this.
Next, as you move forward through the days and weeks that follow, every time you feel yourself getting sucked into the vortex of stress, do this all over again. Take a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and exhale. Accept what is happening, and tell yourself with unwavering conviction, “I’ve got this.” And believe it because you genuinely do. Your pursuit of understanding and your willingness to confront the situation is the first step towards preparedness, which, in turn, leads to greater resilience.
Again, as you’re someone who is leaning into preparedness and improved resilience, I know that with regard to the crazy stress of our world, “You’ve got this!”
Yes, you’ve got this!
2. Keep Things in Perspective
Your perspective is your understanding and beliefs of the world. It is shaped by your values, cultural background, and experiences. Experiences include the information you receive and the bias of where you get the information from. All of your values, cultural background, and experiences define how you perceive and interpret the world around you. In other words, your perspective includes all of your biases, judgments, etc., which skews your perspective and removes it from the reality baseline. In managing life’s challenges, one of the keys is to do your best to minimize your biases and errant beliefs and work to keep your perspective as closely aligned with reality as possible.
Pulling Ourselves Back from the Emotional Whirlwind
In today’s digital age, we are constantly bombarded with information, especially through social media and mainstream news. The 24-hour news cycle serves up a rapid-fire barrage of information designed to provoke negative emotional responses, all in the pursuit of more clicks, more views, and, ultimately, more revenue for the so-called news agencies. This constant onslaught of perspective-influencing garbage can easily cloud our judgment and distort our perspective.
To keep our perspective clear, accurate, and as stress-free as possible, it’s vital to pull ourselves back, whenever possible, from the emotion of a situation. That’s because emotionally charged responses are often triggered by our sympathetic nervous system, the fight-or-flight response, which is not conducive to stress-free, rational decision-making. Think about it: how often have you or someone you know made a decision while upset, only to regret it later? Emotional decisions are rarely the best decisions.
Acknowledging Our Emotional Involvement
Given the current state of the world, with its vast array of challenges and the non-stop pounding of biased information, it’s safe to assume that most of us have some level of emotional involvement skewing our perspective of current events. In other words, we’re not seeing the events for what they truly are. For example, we may feel more threatened by a situation that is truly happening. As such, these emotions can cloud our judgment and hinder our ability to respond effectively to what’s happening.
However, once we acknowledge and accept the emotional aspect of our perspective, we are better prepared to take a step back and remove the emotional lens through which we view a situation. This process allows us to refine our perspective and see things more clearly.
The Importance of an Accurate Perspective
As should be obvious, having an accurate perspective is paramount in preparedness and personal resilience. It enables us to grasp the true nature of a situation, which is vital for effective preparedness. With a clear understanding of what’s happening, we can make more informed decisions about how to respond.
This objective understanding of a situation empowers us to take practical steps for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s the foundation upon which we build a plan for dealing with life’s challenges, ensuring that our responses are well-informed and rooted in reality. That’s why I promote using objective risk assessments in our preparedness.
To help keep your perspective aligned with reality, remember to periodically check your perspective, remove the emotional lens, and strive for a clear and accurate view of the world around you. You can do that by asking yourself, “What if my perspective is wrong? How could it be wrong, and how can it be more right?” Doing so is crucial in cultivating resilience and navigating the complexities of the modern world with wisdom and composure.
3. Be Proactive
Let’s start with a simple yet profound truth: you have time. It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to lose sight of this reality in life’s chaos. There’s a notion that if you haven’t started preparing for the unknown by now, it’s too late. People often fall into the trap of thinking, “If it’s all going to happen tomorrow, why bother?” Well, let’s debunk that myth.
First, the world hasn’t ended in our lifetimes, nor the lifetimes of our ancestors. The truth is that tomorrow will probably come and go just like yesterday and the day before it did. Not taking action because you feel like there’s no point is a defeatist attitude and doesn’t lead to improved preparedness or resilience. Instead, it leads to worse feelings of depression, loss, anger, hatred, etc.
The lesson here is simple: we all have to start somewhere, and the only way we make progress is one step at a time. So, if you feel it’s pointless, take that first step—take that first action. When you get that action done, make the next step forward happen. Soon, you’ll string many actions together and will have a result, which will be increased resilience and self-reliance. That equates to increased power, confidence, and ability to be the master of your universe.
What Are You Doing to Improve?
Now, let’s talk about improvement. What are you doing to enhance your situation? As you’ve heard me state, our capability to do anything is based on my capability formula. Mindset + Ability + Luck = Capability. The two factors of that formula that you can control are Mindset and Ability.
As you are here, you’re already working on your mindset. Also, because you’re here, you’re working on your ability, which is made up of your Knowledge, Skills, and Resources. Right now, you’re working on enhancing your knowledge. As you physically work on things, that will increase your skills. And, over time, as you acquire things, you’ll improve your resources.
In the end, becoming more resilient comes with costs. Costs to your time and wallet—mostly costs in time. Right now, listening to this is a cost in time. You can be doing many other things, but you’re choosing to increase your capability by spending your time listening to me.
Consider this: you can slowly and steadily build your skills. The internet is teeming with resources. YouTube alone has a treasure trove of tutorials on various subjects. Whether you’re looking to learn and improve a new skill or broaden your knowledge, the possibilities are endless. The point is that you are taking steps in the right direction. Setting out and searching to better yourself—improving your capability- makes you less vulnerable, more prepared, and more resilient.
Ignore the voices (external and internal) that say, “It’s too late,” or “It’s all happening tomorrow.” These narratives often serve an agenda, trying to sell you something in a hurry. Don’t let fear and anxiety dictate your actions. You have time. So, please do your best to make the most out of it.
Start by examining your situation. Ask yourself, “Is there room to improve your mindset, knowledge, skills, or resources?” The answer for everyone is “Yes!” The best part is improving your mindset and knowledge, even many skills, only costs time and effort!
So, start chipping away at it. Seize this opportunity to improve yourself. It might not be flashy, but it’s a practical and effective way to secure your future. Embrace self-improvement as an essential part of your preparedness journey.
And remember, you’ve got this!
4. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is a lifeline to bolster our preparedness, resilience, and self-reliance. Self-care involves doing our best to be as physically and mentally healthy as possible.
Work on Your Physical Health
Maintaining good physical health is a cornerstone of resilience for several compelling reasons. Firstly, physical health provides the body with the stamina and vitality needed to withstand the physical and emotional demands that life’s challenges can bring. When you’re in good physical shape, you have more energy to tackle difficult situations, both mentally and emotionally. This extra reservoir of energy can be a game-changer when confronting stress, adversity, or crises, enabling you to stay focused, think clearly, and make sound decisions.
Secondly, physical well-being is pivotal in bolstering the body’s immune system and overall resilience against illness. A healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, can enhance the body’s ability to ward off infections and recover more quickly when faced with health setbacks. This is especially crucial in times of crisis when a strong immune system can mean the difference between a swift recovery and a prolonged struggle.
Lastly, physical health is intricately linked to mental well-being. Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, a healthy body often fosters a positive self-image and self-esteem, improving mental resilience. When you feel physically strong and confident, you are better equipped to face life’s challenges with a resilient and optimistic mindset. In summary, maintaining good physical health is not just about looking and feeling good; it’s about building a robust foundation for resilience in the face of life’s ups and downs.
Mind Your Mental Health
Maintaining good mental health is a cornerstone of resilience in facing life’s inevitable challenges. First and foremost, a healthy mind is a solid anchor point in times of turmoil. When individuals are mentally well, they possess the emotional fortitude to confront adversity with a clearer perspective and a more balanced outlook. Instead of succumbing to overwhelming stress or anxiety, they can navigate difficulties with a sense of composure and adaptability.
Furthermore, good mental health fosters effective problem-solving and decision-making abilities. In challenging situations, individuals with sound mental well-being can approach problems with creativity and rationality, devising strategies to overcome obstacles. They can better discern between what is within their control and what is not, thereby allocating their energy and resources wisely. This mental clarity allows them to make informed choices and persevere in the face of adversity, enhancing their overall resilience.
Lastly, positive mental health contributes to a robust support system. People with good mental well-being tend to cultivate healthier relationships and are more adept at seeking and offering support. This interconnectedness with a supportive network of friends, family, or professionals can be a lifeline during tough times, providing emotional reinforcement and practical assistance when needed. Maintaining good mental health is not just about personal well-being; it is a crucial foundation upon which resilience is built, enabling individuals to bounce back from life’s challenges with strength and determination.
5. Nuture a Support Network (aka Build Your Community)
Nurturing a robust support network, also known as your community, is a cornerstone of resilience. In times of adversity and overwhelming stress, having a reliable group of friends, family members, or like-minded individuals can make all the difference. First and foremost, a support network provides emotional safety and physical support. When you face challenges or difficult situations, knowing that there are people who understand, empathize, and stand by your side can offer a profound sense of comfort. It validates your feelings and experiences, making you feel less alone in your struggles. This emotional support can act as a buffer against the negative effects of stress, helping you maintain a more positive outlook.
Furthermore, a strong support network offers a practical lifeline during tough times. Your community can provide essential assistance, whether it’s a financial crisis, a health emergency, or any other unexpected challenge. From financial aid to helping with daily tasks, the tangible support from your network can help you navigate hardships more effectively. Knowing that you can rely on others for practical assistance can reduce stress and allow you to focus on finding solutions or recovering from setbacks.
Lastly, a supportive community fosters a sense of belonging and connectedness. This feeling of being part of something larger than oneself can enhance one’s overall well-being and resilience. It provides a source of motivation, purpose, and opportunities for personal growth and learning. In essence, a strong support network helps you weather life’s storms and empowers you to thrive, adapt, and evolve in the face of adversity. It’s a source of strength that can transform challenges into opportunities for growth and resilience.
The Bottom Line
In a world filled with turmoil and uncertainty, cultivating resilience is essential. We must acknowledge our challenges and understand that our emotional responses are normal reactions to the chaos around us. Amid this chaos, we can take actionable steps to bolster our resilience:
- Acknowledging our situation
- Keeping things in perspective
- Taking proactive action
- Practicing self-care
- Nurturing our support network
These steps empower us to navigate challenges with strength and composure. Remember, you’ve got this. Each step brings you closer to a future where you are better prepared, more self-reliant, and equipped to face life’s uncertainties.
What are your thoughts on what’s happening in the world? What do you do to handle it? Tell us in the comments below.
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