FEAR OF THE FOG
Around every corner of the journey, there’s a dragon in every cave. In today’s gig economy, or for anyone risking to pursue something, that same dragon shows up, snarling and breathing fire in your way, just when the path looks clear. It’s an immortal dragon that we all are going to have to face, and you can bet it will never go away.
That dragon's name is VUCA:
Volatility - The nature and dynamics of change, and the nature and speed of change forces and change catalysts.
Uncertainty - The lack of predictability, the prospects for surprise, and the sense of awareness and understanding of issues and events.
Complexity - The multiplex of forces, the confounding of issues, no cause-and-effect chain and confusion that surrounds organization.
Ambiguity - The haziness of reality, the potential for misreads, and the mixed meanings of conditions; cause-and-effect confusion.
It’s a term coined in the military, an organization that knows something about this dragon very well.
But I wager that we all do. The anxiety of being lost in the fog is very real. I can attest, myself.
So what do we do about the dragon? How to deal with this VUCA, this ever present enemy? This fog invading our vision?
TERRAIN REMAINS THE SAME
The Navy SEALS have solved this riddle.
It’s called the “strike first” mentality. You own your state of mind. Even when the view is foggy, strike first. It puts you in control of every moment of your life. If you didn’t pick the fight, fight as if you picked it. The fog’s presence does not change the terrain. The terrain is still there, the fog is just a trick on your eyes, and you must master yourself to see through the illusion.
It may not always work, but it puts you in control. And if it doesn't work, then you have your answer, and you keep moving.
Defensive thinking is focusing on how unfair it all is. Not being hired because of a work permit issue in a foreign country, not speaking the language, your computer is on the other side of the world, someone wants to destroy you, you can’t count on a payday. It's all unfair, it's all overwhelming. The problem is bigger than you.
That’s how you lose.
Offensive thinking is making every move on your terms and playing it to your advantage. No problem is bigger than you. Want to work in the foreign country? Learn the language, fight for the permit, convince the employer you are the best for the job. Your project is failing, freelancers are dropping out? Find a new path, hire a company instead. Want to pursue a particular dream? Strike first, don't wait. Take a step, even if the view is foggy. Have some faith the terrain is there.
Will you always win? Expect to.
Strike first. And often.
The Journey Continues