William Liao

September 2, 2021

The world is probably not on fire

Most incidents appear far more severe in the moment than they do in hindsight:

Your quarterly sales are underperforming (how am I going to recover this?).

A valued team member leaves to go to another company (how are we ever going to function?). 

Your product receives a negative review (how did we get so out of touch?). 

Any combination of these incidents or incidents like these are poised to lead us to the following conclusion: the world is on fire

Or at least it feels like it. 

This is where hindsight can be instructive: if you audit the biggest challenges you’ve faced in the last few years and consider whether they became more severe or less severe over time, the conclusion most of the time will be that things were not as bad as they seemed. 

The reason we’re able to draw this conclusion is because of the our inherent capacity to reason, adapt, persevere, and overcome. 

Moral of the story: the next time the world feels like it’s on fire, remind yourself that it’s very likely not. 

You just haven’t figured out how you’ll respond yet…but you will.