Decisions Based On Fear And Other Emotions

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to make an investment into Pluralsight’s stock. I was talking to Troy, a friend of mine who is also a personal financial advisor, about the opportunity. He told me something I’m guessing all financial advisors say and know, but it was probably new to me. I don’t remember his exact words but they were something like this:

“It’s critical to decide NOW when you are going to sell your stock. What is your price point? You want to make this decision NOW, when there isn’t emotion involved, because later there will be a lot of emotion, and you don’t want to make an emotional decision. That’s when people lose money.”

Scenario: buy stock for $20/share. Think you’ll sell it when it hits $100/share. A couple of years later some previously-unheard-of virus comes along and shuts the world down. Stock goes to $2/share. Better sell it now before it goes to zero, right?!?

fear unknown


Better stop going outside to get some sun, right?

Better stop doing the job search because no one knows what’s going on, right?

Better stop ____________, right?

What we should stop doing is coughing on one another. And do social isolation. Not out of fear, rather because it’s prudent in today’s world.

Here’s what you SHOULD NOT stop doing:

Working: If we are headed for a recessionary time, please don’t let your lack of performance put your name at the top of the list for first round of layoffs. Prove your value, do your work. This won’t ensure you won’t lose your job but it will help make you feel good about your contributions. Work is rewarding, and you need some sense of normal in your life right now.

Learning: Do not, I repeat, do not crumble into a ball or go into fetal position. You are going to come out of this… let’s say it takes a year to get back to some kind of normal. You can be smarter, more learned, have some certifications, with some new skills… Or you can brag about finishing every single series on Netflix ever known to mankind (and probably be a little brain dead because of it). Take this time to be better. If you want inspiration check out the #100DaysOfCode hashtag on Twitter, to see the hundreds of people who are improving their skills RIGHT NOW, day by day.

ALSO: I just learned that Pluralsight opened up all of their conference talks FOR FREE. Go check them out here: Pluralsight Tech Conferences

Growing:¬†Take what you learn and practice. Do things. Get better. Take learning to the next level… from consuming information to actually applying it. This might be one of the greatest opportunities you have to really become more proficient in your skills.

Loving: Human relationships are critical, even if you are an introvert. We need to love, and we need love from others. Find it and offer it, however small it might feel. I guarantee there are people right now you could help in an immeasurable way by just showing them love (perhaps with a phone call or text).

Creating: Take time to create something. Write an letter, a blog post, an article, or an ebook. Make something in your woodshop or kitchen. Fix those closet shelves, or learn to do drywall patching. Make, do, build. There is a great sense of accomplishment in creating things, and it’s wonderful practice to improve whatever skills you have.

Living: We simply can’t stop living because of this scare. Maybe you’ll adjust what you do, but kids still gotta play, pets still gotta poop, you still gotta eat. Please don’t let the fear paralyze you and shut everything down. If that happens, shut off media (TV, internet, etc.) and get back to life. Consuming all of the analysis shouldn’t put an end to your daily routines, even if you need to shift your routines.

Serving: People need help. Some might need you to shop for them, others might need a phone call, or help with something. Anything.What can you do to share hope and love? When we serve others, we are usually the ones who get more out of it. A note to those who need to be served: LET OTHERS SERVE YOU! Ask for help if you need it. There are plenty of people who will be willing to help, but they need to know how they can help. I know this is hard, but get over yourself and ask.

Networking: I mentioned phone calls. If you need to get a call with someone for human interaction, they probably need it too. We aren’t used to living this way, and just reaching out and being human can really help people through their tough times.

Moving: Please get out of your chair or bed, or off the couch. Your body needs to move. Walk around the block if you can. Or do yoga, or anything. Move your body. If it’s true that 80% of us will get Corona, we want to be healthy going into it, right?

This morning my daughter asked, wide-eyed: “Where were you during the swine flu?” Like it was the Bubonic Plague, or the Spanish Flu. I told her that no one really felt impacted. These are unprecedented times. And it’s our time to thrive and survive. This doesn’t have to be the beginning of any kind of end. Let’s come out of this healthy, and better. For sure, brighter days will come.

JibberJobber Brighter Days