The anxieties are real, but anxiety describes the future. Now is where we are. Now is when we must act.
The human brain doesn’t do exponential well. We are built for a more linear and gradual world of change. The exponential growth of a novel global pandemics are more than enough to overwhelm our ability to understand and manage any situation. Add potential disruption to our health, families, colleagues, travels, businesses and futures and the situation means we are more than likely to be grappling with complex concerns.
The thing about anxiety is that its grip is real now, but the events haven’t happened yet. We are worrying now about an uncertain future. The threatening future events that grab our attention may never happen. They are just one path among many. We all hope the toilet paper hoarders are embarrassed in weeks to come. We all hope governments find better ways to lead us and work with us to mitigate the situation. We all hope for better. We all hope now.
We need to stay present today. We can’t allow our anxieties to paralyse our ability to accurately perceive the world, to connect and share concern for others, to manage our present situation and to choose our paths forward. We need to acknowledge our concerns, mitigate our risks and use the motivations, but we can’t let them overcome us.
Today we can still act and shape the kind of future we have. Today is the only day we can act. We’ve lost our chance to act yesterday and we can’t act tomorrow yet. Anxiety is not a reason to wait. It is a reason to act now. We can only have a bias to act now. The challenge is to find and do the most constructive actions.
That is our work now. That is the work we can do together. Let’s start now.
What do you want to do today?