Minimizing Shocks In Life

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image: doylestownautorepairs.com
Our ability to withstand shocks weakens as we grow older. So if you want to be kind to your future self then you need to have a shock minimization strategy (SMS).

What is a shock minimization strategy?

It is a two prong approach to reducing both the frequency and impact of shocks in your life. There will always be unpleasant events that will shake you, and many of them will come when you are least robust to absorb such shocks. 

The first prong is about building up a base level of preparation.

Personally, my approach to doing this is by taking all my difficult decisions early in life and subjecting myself to some form of frequent shock drills (the same way safety obsessed companies carry out fire drills regularly). I constantly think hard and decisively about my life, the paths available to me and the pay-off of each of those paths. My starting my own business was the result of that thinking. I have once been retrenched (downsized out of job) and I hate that feeling and the sudden hopelessness it comes with. Everyone said it was good it happened when I was very young and had no family. So I told myself that if it feels this bad already and would be much worse if I was much older with a family, then I don't want to face this type of risk unprepared again. That period forward I was always doing side hustles and finally decided to have my own business where I won't ever need to worry about being fired or facing a career ceiling. And now that I am run my own business, I am constantly evaluating the risks I face and how to mitigate them. Part of the results is my decision to have operating arms in Abuja and Port Harcourt, and my current drive to spread to other West African countries. Also, despite my good run in the training business, I am more focused on going into software product developments. All these make me face challenges all the time, and ultimately give me some level of preparation and skill in facing unexpected tough challenges, shocks. I also save up massively for the stormy days. I don't celebrate project wins or reward myself for a job well-done. I keep my lifestyle as minimal as possible and don't ever feel like I deserve any fancy expensive thing. That way I can cope with more types of inconvenience than most people with similar income.

The second prong is being anti-reckless.

If I have to pick between having a friend I can call in times of need and who can also call me in his times of need, and having no friend at all; I'll go for having no friend at all. Okay, that's an extreme way of illustrating what I want to say though it's very close to the truth of what I actually do. The point is that I work harder at avoiding sources of shocks and emergencies than I do trying to court opportunities. It is very easy for other people's problems to sink you than for your own problem to sink you. I have spent more on other people's emergencies than on my own and usually when they cone out of those emergencies they don't repay me (money and/or kind). Sometimes, their own emergencies create emergencies for me. So I don't just stop at not being reckless on my own part, I go further to insulate myself from other people's recklessness. I am anti-reckless, though in an unusual way. You also have to find your way of minimizing ripple shocks, shocks that do originate from you. This will greatly reduce the frequency of shocks you face in life.

And those are my own ways of being prepared to better handle shocks and also reduce the amount of shocks I'll have to face.

I don't recommend you follow my own approach to minimizing shocks in your life. It won't be proper if everyone starts avoiding all their extended family members and needy friends. What I want you to focus more on is having your own SMS (shock minimizing strategy).

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