notes from the field: preparing for nasty surprises

nasty surprises

Cooler again on the Four Beasts this morning. Fresher, too, thanks to the overnight rain, though that meant a few slippery spots to negotiate on the way down. A timely reminder that no matter how well you think you know something, you must never become complacent. There will always be nasty surprises somewhere along the way.

The same rule applies of course to all aspects of life. Just as you think everything is going fine, an unexpected problem or issue occurs that even the most sophisticated AI prediction tools didn’t see coming. The key is to be able to pick yourself up from any setback as quickly as possible rather than wallowing in the unfairness of it all.

nasty surprises

It can be very easy to overestimate your ability to recover quickly from a setback, particularly if you have haven’t had to deal with one for a while. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from ramping up my exercise program this summer is that it takes a huge amount of self-discipline and effort to build up even basic levels of physical fitness. Developing similar levels of mental fitness is even tougher, not least because it is so difficult to set tangible goals like climbing a mountain or walking a few thousand steps a day.

Given the (I am being polite here) lackluster response of national and global institutions to Covid19, all of us will need to foster much higher levels of individual resilience to deal with the ever more complex challenges we will face in the future. This isn’t going to be easy, but the longer we postpone facing this new reality the harder it will be to handle the nasty surprises that will inevitably come our way.

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