All systems have limits. So do we, unfortunately. In today’s very busy world there must be a plan to cater for these times—for ‘too much’ is a situation we’ll generally have, some of the time at least.
What is our ‘break-glass’ plan? What are we doing to manage better the uncertainties of life?
When our mental processes begin to fail, what shall we do? Like the computer processing unit that has an overload of incoming data, and then locks up leaving us stranded and set to ‘hard boot’ it in order to return, we also need more strategies these days in reconciling the mental equivalents; when too many divergent things are going on at once.
It’s called chaos.
Not many of us really appreciate chaos—and certainly not for an extended time period. Like the business continuity plan we too need a plan to organise this chaos in case things become unplugged on us.
Our mental ‘business continuity plans’ must also have ‘hot site’ capability. It’s that time when a set of circumstances renders our mental states unserviceable. Yet, we can’t bow out. There’s a rapid response needed to keep things operational.
When issues become clouded and pressure is brought to bear, much needed resilience is required. A strong and capable response is what our world expects. How do we give it to them?
- We keep up. And we do try this. At times we’ll fail. More often we do succeed but then the key is to take time out to reflect on what just went on—a hot debrief where we can ‘download’ and process the data; a.k.a. the ‘data dump.’ Too many times we endure crisis after crisis—in series’ of them—and only then after a prolonged period of overload do we suffer breakdown. System integrity is compromised. Instead, we must choose the data dump.
- We get frustrated or worse, angry. The odds can’t be dealt with so there’s an emotional response. This is, of course, not optimal.
- Acceptance is the ploy. When a computer locks up on us we go off and do something else. Likewise, when our mental states reach overload, is it fair to expect them to still keep up? No. We back off.
Perhaps the trick to keeping up in these rapid times is to become appropriately vapid, blasé or ambivalent when things are ‘too much’ rather than fight it. This is a situational option.
An appropriate, adult and sustainable response is the key. It’s simply a case of survival.
© 2009 S. J. Wickham.