Take yourself back a year when someone cut you off in traffic, causing you to miss a turn and making it certain you’d be late for your VERY IMPORTANT meeting. In a not-so-genial state, you tried to find some Zen by asked the age-old question, “Now, really, what’s the worst that could happen?
Consider that thought for a moment.
Well, we could get hit with a global pandemic that shuts down the world, tanks the economy, pulls the rug out from under our businesses, closes the doors on our favourite bars and theatres, cancels the NHL season, even makes it a finable offence to hug someone in pubic. Oh, and anyone one of us (or our family members) could get really sick or die.
I’m not sure I could have coped with the answer even if I could have known. And yet, here we are.
So what’s the worst that could happen?
Some have experienced one or more “worst that could happen” times in their lives and see similarities. Thinking about a catastrophic situation ahead of time is very different from living through it. When you have no choice (and you get over the shock of it all — remember how we felt at the end of that second week in March?), we put one foot in front of the other and somehow continue to live our lives. We put on masks, we wash our hands, we dutifully master Zoom. We learn to cut each other’s hair (or not) and bake bread (or at least, stock our cupboards with lots of flour and yeast).
We’ve also witnessed innovation in real time with companies large and very small, which have responded admirably, and (dare I use the word), continue to pivot to meet the changing needs.
This past week, I was inspired by one such entrepreneur, Erica Ehm. Speaking at an online summit, Adapt Invent Thrive, Erica challenged her audience to try something new, do something completely different, take a big risk. After all, she asked,“What’s the worst that could happen?”
The worst, it seems, is perhaps a poor Internet connection during an online meeting; but the best? New ways to communicate, sell, add value, reach out to others, build relationships, finally fix what’s not working (fill in our own examples).
Not too shabby.
So when you’r struggling to stay asleep in the middle of the night or wondering why you feel somewhat out of sorts, know you are not alone. We’re all in this together, living a “worst that could happen” scenario, and somehow, when the worst that could happen happens, humans have the resilience to keep going.
We all need a big safe distancing pat on the back.
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”—Christopher Robin to Pooh, A.A. Milne