People are going “under the bus”. Redundancies were around every corner, but people didn’t see them, well, as usual, people don’t see things until they get touched by it. And now this is the case. This is a lesson for everyone. For the companies, for the people who got redundant, and for those who are keeping the job.
This shouldn’t be a problem. The world faced worse crises. There is a post in social media saying “imagine you were born in 1900….” followed by a list of wars, pandemics and disasters.
The real problem is we are living in an extremely comfort world, and the usual steps to face the situation don’t like anyone. This article in The Caterer explains what is going to happen so that I won’t extend the note on it.
Now it’s time to turn the page. Better sooner than later, and better later than ever. But there is a solution. Keep reading.
Don’t waste your time.
Start talking about companies, what they can do, what they should do, what the Government did or didn’t, or what we should have done, is a waste of time. It doesn’t make sense to blame anyone. What matters now is what WE can do. We must focus on what is under our control (well, this is something that we should always do, regardless).
Everybody start running now. Revamp CVs, Online Courses, contacting and following potential influencers in LinkedIn or favourite social media platform, looking for a job. Business School, which one, how much, what course?
Please, don’t rush
Now it’s time to keep a cool head and thinks clearly our next step. The key is to change our mindset. And I will tell you How to do it.
It’s true, there are a lot of things we should have done before this crisis, but we didn’t. So now, stay calm. First things, first. Our next steps will mark our nearest future, so we must think clearly. What it’s done it’s done. There are no shortcuts, and we cannot go back in time.
At this moment, you are in Panic Mode, an instinctive reaction. You are reactive instead of being proactive, and here we are, in a mess. Panic Mode is useful to run away but not for giving you advice, and you can’t run because you have responsibilities, bills to pay, rent, mortgage, kids & family in most cases, and on top of it, you are looking for a job. Not easy.
The only way is changing your Mode, but how? If you look around There is a specific group of people whose success is due precisely to the Mode in how they live: Entrepreneurs. They are always in Action Mode, always ready to provide a solution, find a resource, work with what they have, and that’s the Mode we need.
I know what you are thinking “I am not an Entrepreneur!” and I am not asking you to become one. What I am saying is that you should
Think & Act as an Entrepreneur
There is a trick, Entrepreneurs use the right triggers to hake their brain and being proactive, and we are going to do the same. But, can we hake the brain? Yes, we can.
But for doing that it’s necessary to understand (at least just a little) how people get into different Modes.
Science plays a significant role in our productivity, did you know that? Well, as an example of that, if we observe our body’s circadian rhythms, which have taken hundreds of thousands of years to evolve into what they are now, will not conveniently change on account of our career/job-centric resolutions, regardless of how much determination and conviction we can feel, right now, in this moment of pure inspiration. In other words, if our brain decides, for whatever reason, that now it’s time to take rest and sleep instead of focus on doing our hardest job, we should listen to it and follow the instructions.
By following the path of our evolution, and what we’ve learned from the past, our bodies, basically have two modes of operation: Growth mode (Action) and Survival mode (Panic). Each is optimized to function within the different environments we are likely to encounter in our lives.
If you like more scientific explanations, there is a fascinating article about Brain & Human Behaviour from Harvard that I recommend. It will help you to see things from a different perspective and to understand better how to change Mode.
But, I prefer a different approach, and it is related to short-term and long-term goals. To face short-term goals, the immediate presents, we use to react (instinctive) instead of planning (reasoning). In fact, a plan is more related to long-term goals as we need to think strategically.
The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt explains in a very elegant way how to deal with the conflict between getting things done and willpower. He uses the metaphor of the Raider and the Elephant; these two characters represent the two main parts of our brain, and how they interact with each other. I won’t tell you the story as I don’t want to take away the fun.
The Raider and the Elephant are fighting most of the time, and guess what, generally the Elephant wins. And if we want the raider to win, well, we need to hack the brain to makes it happen.
“From tomorrow I will wake up early, go for a run and I feel good” Maybe you read a book about all these productive people waking up early in the morning. You have all these rational reasons: “Okay, I can get a headstart in the day. I can be productive. I can get this, that and the other done. It’s going to be so good for me.” Sounds familiar?
You set the alarm for six in the morning, and then what happens the next day? The alarm goes off. You wake up, and now, the Elephant is in charge, especially early in the morning, right? The Elephant basically wakes up before the rider does, and all these future-oriented reasons make you more productive and all that nevermind. The Elephant is just there going, “Listen, the bed is nice and cosy. I feel sleepy. There’s an immediate reward to be had by turning off this alarm, and just going back to bed.”
But, have you ever woken up really hungry? And it’s much easier to get up, right? This is because the Elephant decides that, “Okay, sleeping is nice, but eating is more important right now,” and you get up, and you go get some food.
Or, remember the morning of a vacation trip as a kid. If you’re really looking forward to this vacation, and you jump out of bed before the alarm even goes off, because there, there’s an immediate reward waiting for you, and that’s something the Elephant understand, right? There’s something cool happening. I really want this to happen right now. I want this immediate reward, and this reward is greater than the reward of just staying in bed. In other words, generally emotionally driven instant gratification type of rewards, these kinds of reasons will get you out of bed because they align the Elephant with the rider. The Elephant and the Rider then both agree, “Yes, we should get up early.”
The trick is to define a trigger (reward) to align the raider and the Elephant, and we will change our Mode. Rephrasing it, we need to create a habit. The Power of Habit is a great book to start with, by Charles Duhigg.
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In the next part of this article, we will discover:
- How to hack your brain to be more disciplined and motivated even when you don’t feel like it
- What you need to know about willpower
- How working fewer hours a day can be more effective than hustling until the sun goes down.
- Why most people struggle with keeping their new habits
- How you can create new habits without hating them
- Why motivation is ofter overrated and what is more important for shipping than motivation
- How changing your working environment can have a massive effect on your work ethic