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Be Alert, Keep Calm, Think Clearly, and Act Decisively

fear is a good thing because it highlights what you cherish

Fear is a good thing because it highlights what you cherish.

There is a time and a place for fear. Fear should last for a moment and pass; when fear lasts longer than an hour, its anxiety. I know there is a lot to fear right now, but fear is a good thing because it highlights what you cherish. Holding tight to what is important is what we need to do right now, but that doesn’t mean living in scarcity. A scarcity mindset is desperate and leads to dangerous mentalities. You have what you need to survive within you, in your community, in the nation, on your planet, and within your heart. We shouldn’t be living in scarcity but living by sharing and giving. This is the lesson we must learn now or never. Fear vs love. Scarcity vs giving. Stealing vs compassion. In uncertain times, there is one certainty—that the only way to move forward is to come together and solve problems as a community while coming from a place of love and understanding. There is an opportunity here. We can divide and fall into chaos or we can come together as a nation. Do you remember that feeling right after 9/11 when every American was together on one team? Can you imagine that mindset but worldwide?

During this time of great distress, uncertainty, fear, and scarcity, I want to give you wisdom from the wildland fireline that keeps wildland firefighters in control of the situation.

Be alert

Take precautions: stock up and get everything you need and create isolation where you can. Don’t let the media scare you, but stay up to date. Monitor your self inside and out.

Keep calm

Go inside yourself to find what’s important and focus on that. Meditate, enjoy nature, lay on the ground in the back yard and watch the sky flow by, take time off work, journal, and focus on how magnificent the future will be when we are all safe. Focus on memories that give you the feeling of joy, relaxation, love, and safety. Come back to God, universal consciousness, faith, Buddha, Allah, Jesus, whatever it is, and connect with it. Pray, meditate, and visualize peace. Breathe in deeply and exhale all the stress every moment you remember to.

Think clearly

When you are calm, you can begin to think clearly. Have a plan, but have three backups; in fire we call these primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency plans. Weigh the pros and cons and make sound decisions with facts while trusting your gut. Listen to your heart and look within to confirm your clarity. You want to have confidence, clarity, and certainty before you take action in any direction, right? Be clear, communicate, and be the leader that everyone needs you to be right now.

Act decisively

You can act with confidence, clarity, and certainty after you become alert, keep calm, and think clearly. Align your gut, heart, and mind; then take action. Be ready to focus on your outcome while maintaining situational awareness on your process. When you need to adapt, change your tactics, and move into what’s working. Flexibility always wins, just like water erodes rock. To survive, you have to prevent yourself from taking criticism and failure personally, and instead learn the lessons you need to and move forward. There is no failure, only feedback when you learn the lesson.

“The true survivor isn’t someone with nothing to lose. He has something precious to lose. But at the same time, he’s willing to bet it all on himself. And it makes what he has that much richer. Days stolen are always sweeter than days given.”
― Laurence Gonzales, Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

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