“Strange Days Indeed”
When John Lennon sang these lyrics in his song Nobody Told Me There’d Be Days Like These it resonated with millions of people. Why? Simply because, for the majority of people, there is a lack of acceptance that change is a constant of life. And most of these changes are uncontrollable and unpredictable. Yikes, living an uncontrollable and unpredictable life… that scares a lot of people.
It seems that January 2016 has brought us a tidal wave of change. Deaths, loss, economic turmoil, social engineering experiments going wrong, rhetoric beating out science and fact… the list goes on. It has many people shaking their heads and mumbling “What’s Next” under their breath. It seems as if logic is becoming less prevalent in the world right now.
This confusion, and seeming lack of logic, stops people in their tracks both economically and personally. Both of which are not healthy.
The Science – The Next 30 Days of Strangeness
It is a known fact that human brains are designed to be rewarded when we predict or control an outcome. For the science backing this notion, begin with the excellent book “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert. Gilbert’s research on happiness all points to the same unsettling fact: happiness has little to do with what happens to us in our lives, and more to do with how we end up choosing to see things.
He shows that we all have an Gilbert’s theory is that we each have a “psychological immune system,” basically a BS generator where our minds explain away our past experiences, our future projections and our current situations in such a way that we always maintain a baseline level of mild happiness. And it’s when this “immune system” fails that we fall into prolonged depression and/or emotional crises. (ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stumbling_on_Happiness )
Knowing that having the ability to control and forecast outcomes plays a critical role in human happiness, this next few weeks has the potential to really mess a lot of people up. Pushing many to repeat the Lennon lyrics “Nobody Told Me There Would Be Days Like These.”
The Antidote – Forewarned is Forearmed
By the looks of all that is coming, this next period promises to be very “Interesting” to say the least. (as if start to this year hasn’t been odd enough already). World news, strange politics, rhetoric overtaking fact, deaths, economic road bumps and shocks and a number of strange happenings that you couldn’t have foreseen may just have your head shaking.
The good news is, having foreknowledge of the coming confusion is one of the antidotes to the potential negative affects. See, looking back at the science of the brain again, if it is prepared for ‘strange unpredictable occurrences’ to occur in the future, it is the same chemically as if it were ‘predicting and controlling’ those unpredictable changes.
Meaning that forecasting the unforeseeable will help your brain tell itself “Hey, see I told you!” Thus leading to clarity of thought and a general feeling of happiness from what could prove to be not-happy news. Wow, our brains are amazing.
Give Yourself a Natural Advantage
During this coming period, you can give yourself a unique advantage by predicting that the unpredictable will occur. So when it occurs you will be in position to see it not just for the issue it is, but also view it from a more removed position. You’ll be in a much better mental state to analyze the news, then adapt your actions accordingly. Many will be drawn emotionally into the stories, leaving logic behind and freezing them from taking any action. (just watch the social media and blog postings dramatizing the issues more than they need to).
The strategic among us will do whatever it takes to NOT get drawn too deep into the drama. We’ll spend our energy being focused on analysis and adaption. Which leads us back to our 2016 Mantra:
“Stay out of the Fray… And You Will Own The Day”
Science, biology, economics and reality pull at us everyday. It is our #1 job to ensure this combination is not steering us off of our path and if we do that more often than not we will win not only the day, we win in life.
Opening with a John Lennon lyrical quote leads me to closing this article the same way. Always keep in mind another of his observations:
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Knowing this in advance means that you are in a state of expectation of change, so when it arrives it becomes much easier to deal with. And the more observational you become, the less emotional your response.
Come on over to my Facebook Page for more frequent posts on life, real estate and fun (and to share your thoughts, comments and observations) Don on Facebook
You can also get very frequent economic and real estate analysis from me on Twitter. @DonRCampbell