Black swan events teach us important lessons

Photo by Eugene Chystiakov on Unsplash

his is bad, real bad. Bad for the people dying, bad for their relatives, bad for the economy, bad for jobs, bad for travel, bad for leisure and bad for business.

This is a huge Black Swan and we weren’t ready for it. The damage is going to last for a few years and that’s only if we don’t get hit again by another event halfway to recovery.

What can we learn from this?

Any crisis is a correction, and this one is no different. We’ve been doing many things wrong and we knew it: we didn’t prioritize, we didn’t strategize and we didn’t learn from past mistakes.

In a way this is a shock to the system, a kick in the balls and we should use it to be more prepared next time.

In fact, I’m pretty sure this time we’ll learn because if we don’t there won’t be a second chance.

Nassim Taleb predicted the economic crisis of 2008 in his book the Black Swan. There, he explains how important is to be aware of rare events with low probability but vast consequences.

These Black Swan events are almost impossible to predict and yet they occur with certain frequency.

It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when

Right now, we are in the midst of it and all we can do is cut our loses and try to survive. But this crisis can also be a great opportunity to correct the way we think about the future.

Lessons we are learning the hard way

Globalization is great but we need a strategy to cover our asses when shit hits the fan…and right now the fan is covered in it.

Instead of outsourcing everything to China we need to support our local industries, at least partially, even if they are more expensive and produce inferior quality.

It’s a matter of survival.

China is too busy right now trying to survive, so forgive them if they don’t have time to produce your medicines or your toilet paper.

Some sectors are too strategic to be outsourced. Lesson number 1

Black Swans happen very often and their frequency is increasing. Expect one every ten years or so, at least. Next one will be completely different to this one (hence the unexpected) and it might combine more than one event, compounding their effects.

Be flexible, act quickly, diversify, use leverage to your advantage, think worst case scenario. Minimize the downside, increase the upside. Lesson number 2

Be healthy. Lose weight, exercise, eat properly, practice meditation, yoga, breathing techniques, take cold showers.

If you are healthy your chances of surviving any disease will improve dramatically. You know what you have to do, just do it. Your life is at stake, literally.

We are a sick society, we depend too much on big pharma and they depend too much on China. This is a very dangerous domino effect, unless we remove one the pieces, it’s going to cascade down all the way to us.

Be responsible for your own health, don’t delegate that to the government or your insurance company. Lesson number 3

The time bomb is ticking…

The environment. I know, this time we can’t blame global warming but still…

The next Black Swan will probably come from the environment. We are on the right track but we need to act quickly. Do your bit, every little counts. Use renewable energy, avoid plastics, go electric, ditch oil.

If we take this as a warning it may save our lives. Lesson number 4

Be grateful

Apart from learning all these lessons, there is one other thing we should do in order to be happier and more fulfilled. Be more appreciative of what you’ve got instead of taking it for granted.

How much would you give to go back to the previous situation? A lot, right? However when you were there you didn’t fully appreciate it (at least I didn’t)

Being grateful is a great way to enjoy our lives and be present.

Very often, we preoccupy our minds with worry about the future and regret about the past, but the present is everything we’ve got.

Even now, in the middle of the storm, there are many things we could and should be grateful for.

Don’t cry for what you’ve lost, enjoy what you still have (before you lose it)

If you are reading this, you are alive, you speak English and you have access to the internet. Be grateful for that. If you play your cards right, that’s all you need to escape whatever situation you are stuck in. Appreciate what you have and try to achieve whatever you want.

Wake up

You’ve been meaning to start your side hustle, that business venture, an online commerce or a freelance job.

It was never quite the right moment, you’ve been procrastinating and making excuses, you were afraid. Well, no more. This is the kick in the balls, the gun in the head and the wake up call you’ve been waiting for.

Nothing triggers action like survival

You’ve been ready for a long time but didn’t act. Now you have to. There is no more excuses, just go and do it. You know what I mean.

Finally, you have realized that your secure job isn’t so secure.

Your comfort zone, isn’t so comfortable.

And your middle class benefits weren’t so beneficial.

If nothing else, this Black Swan has taught you not to put all your eggs in one basket, the need to diversify, the need for multiple sources of income and the need for passive income.

This time is for real, it’s the call to action that you needed, use it now, take action. It might be your last chance.

Stop watching Netflix.

Stop eating garbage.

Stop going out every night.

Stop drinking.

Canalize all your energy and time on your goals for the future.

You can learn any skill for free on the internet.

You can start many businesses with no money upfront.

You can blog, podcast and youtube and monetize it quickly.

You have plenty of time to achieve all the above.

But above all, You can finally play the game you were meant to play: Your Real Life

P.S. I have managed to write this post without using the C word, kudos for me!

Student of life. Trying to make sense of it all, be happy and help others achieve their dreams. Join me at:

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