The world is now convulsed in panic. Headlines scream that the coronavirus is destroying the world, and the media doesn’t hesitate to hose gas on the fire of people’s fears.
The relentless headlines that we read are filtered through our ‘croc brain;’ that most primitive part of our cognitive thinking process that acts as the gatekeeper through which any new information must pass. It decides whether we are in danger, or if we can safely ignore a new threat.
The croc brain is all about emotion, not about rational thought.
And our croc brains are now fully engaged. In my own local grocery store yesterday, the entire long aisle of paper products was completely empty. Not sure where this purchase fits in the doomsday preppers handbook? TP? Really? This is the critical ingredient that will ensure your survival?
The truth is, the virus will pass. 98% of people or more will be unaffected, health-wise. And in the meantime, life must go on.
So here’s a list of things that you can do to be a force for good in this time of uncertainty:
- Encourage your clients and customers
- If you’re at home, use the time positively; build relationships; study, catch up on things you haven’t had time to get to
- Be cheerful on the phone
- Think of ways to provide extra value at no charge, with no strings attached
- Be more active with your business on social media; people will have more time to browse, and their need to buy your products won’t go away
- Ignore your croc mind. Think it through and preach the facts to yourself.
- Be responsible and show care for the vulnerable by not passing germs along unnecessarily
- Look to the future, and tell yourself, ‘this too will pass.’ Because this is the truth
We also need to show courage.
In medieval times, your European town might be visited by the plague every year and be under constant threat of invasion from Vikings or neighboring countries. Starvation was a real possibility. There was little to no medical help. Life was hard. And they prevailed.
And so will we.
When you come to the realization that the media is not necessarily to be believed, and is not your source of rational, objective truth, you’ll be a much happier and wiser person. You don’t sell the news by saying everything’s going to be okay.
Nelson Mandela gets the last word today: