When I read the recent Time cover story on surviving a disaster, I first felt I was reading things I've heard before. Miracle survivors of airplane crashes, boat sinkings, earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters are not often "miracles," but are actually individuals with a certain mindset. According to the article, when faced with dangerous situations, say a predator, the basic primal instinct is to freeze, and in fact, in many situations, people, in fact, freeze, do not head towards the life raft, do not run to the door from the fire, and sadly perish. Those that survive "against the odds" are those who react and instinctually react to the situation, often motivating others to get going (often, ulimately to their demise, as they often perish after rescuing others). Apparently, some of us are just hard wired for paniced situations, often showing great reserves of emotional and physical strength.
Other than being a good reminder to think during disaster, I didn't think much about the article.
With oil going up more than it ever has in a single day and unemployment rising more than is has in TWENTY TWO years (well before I even worked), we can safely say we are facing an economic disaster. I first caught myself panicing, afraid for my well being and feeling, albeit briefly, paralyzed by the situation beyond my control.
Then I remembered the article. An economic disaster is similar to a physical disaster. Some freeze, others fight. Those who try are the ones with a chance to succeed, often against what we think are the odds. To give in now, and say I can't do anything during this time is to give up and let the worst happen to me. However, to marshall my strengths, my reserves, and perform at my peak, this will give me-and others-a shot at amazing success, despite the odds. To believe I will make it and go for it--that's what this time requires. Rolling over and accepting the fate is not an option.
While Time never discussed the concept's applicability to every day life, it's clear it is quite applicable, and quite inspiring, to believe in being a survivor, no matter what lies ahead.
I've always said you have two choices in life: to believe in what is possible, or to be a skeptic. Never be a skeptic.