We have a choice; living a life of fear, or one of hope and optimism.
Dwelling on fears clouds the mind.
It creates anxiety, emotional contraction, judgment of others and it becomes difficult to make a clear decision about anything. Moving forward becomes arduous because there is so much doubt. Fear sees limitation, lack of options, and darkness of mind – it’s called depression.
When we are in the middle of it, fear seems very real. What I’m talking about is not the kind of fear when someone has a knife to your throat, threatens your family, or if a wild bear is chasing you. I’m talking about the fear we manufacture in our minds in response to something that we have little control over.
When we consider our abilities, good fortunes, and the possibilities of the future, we are able to see windows instead of walls. It’s the place where we have ideas, dreams, solutions to existing problems, and create new inventions.
Yes, currently we are in the middle of some fear-full stuff that is going on. And how you choose to see it makes all the difference.
There will be hundreds if not thousands of new businesses and inventions born out of this present crisis. Perhaps the next Amazon, eBay or Genentech will be leading us into the future. Human beings are very creative. Remember the saying “Necessity is the Mother of invention”?
This is how society, the human race and free enterprise has propelled us forward through the previous decades and centuries. Even Winston Churchill said “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.”
A little perspective
Few of us were around in 1918 when the Spanish Flu broke out – specifically called the H1N1 virus. About one third of the global population was infected with approximately 675,000 deaths in the US. At that time the US population was 103 million making the US death rate 0.0066.
Extrapolating this out using today’s population numbers of 331 Million would mean we would have 2,185,000 deaths caused by this pandemic.
This is a big difference from the roughly 140,000 deaths today and back then during the Spanish Flu, no businesses or schools were closed.
We had the Hong Kong flu, H3N2, in 1968. Many of you were around, including us, through this period. As the name indicates this virus also originated in China and lasted into 1970.
100,000 Americans lost their lives to this influenza. In 1968 the US had a population of 200 Million with a death rate of 0.0005.
Again, comparing these numbers to today’s population count would mean 165,000 deaths. Currently we are at about 140,000.
In 1968 – 1970 no businesses were closed, and we were both in High School, which also did not close.
Woodstock music festival drawing 400 to 500 thousand fans took place in August 1969, with no concerns about the pandemic on either television news or in the headlines in printed newspapers.
I am not trying to discount anyone dying from this virus but it’s important to keep things in perspective.
In fact, neither of us can recall the pandemic in 1968 as we were too busy living our lives. It certainly did not affect our lifestyles nor was there a constant bombardment of information or death count on the news. Our parents did not lose their jobs, and businesses were not shut down.
With a 98% survival rate – today with 24/7 news, instant communication and social media to pump up the fear – this is like a Social Media Virus that has affected our minds and perspectives.
Yes, there have been deaths, but the needless and constant hysteria has been magnified by viral Social Media and emotional, frenzied headlines in newspapers.
Maybe we just need to step back for a few moments to gain perspective.
The world challenges us
There have always been crises.
The world is an active place that challenges us on every level. Will we succumb to fear and contraction? It is well-known that triggering the stress hormones of fear suppresses our immune systems thereby making us more vulnerable to any pathogen, including viruses.
So why would we want to spend long periods of time there?
Taking a different tack, we could utilize our energies of mind to bust through that darkness.
For myself, I want to be on the side of solutions, options, possibilities and opportunities. I’m not inclined to set down roots in The Land of Fear, having my world contract more and more… slowly dying… while things turn uninviting and colorless.
How does that help me or anyone else?
Akaisha feeling the wide-openness!
I’m changing the direction of my personal focus and hitting the reset button. I’m getting into the sunlight where things are clearer, hope-full, and somehow be energized by the future, though I don’t know how that will play out.
I am such an optimist that when I go fishing I take the tartar sauce with me. I refuse to be down for long.
In my opinion, the virus we need to “kill” is Fear.
I want to leave you with another useful quote from Churchill. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. It’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
Personally, I think it’s clarity of mind that will bring us through this.
Trust yourself. Take a deep breath. You will know if you need to stand up and speak, or if you need to sit down and listen. Or maybe it will be a combination of both.
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.