Plan For The Worse, To Be Your Best

David Trammel's picture

I tend to look at a problem and imagine the worst that can happen. This has lead to arguments with my sister, because honestly she lives in a world that always is there to fulfill her needs. She get angry when things go wrong and doesn't understand why this is happening. I think too many people are like her now. Maybe its because modern society and the leech that is capitalist advertising sells more products when it constantly tells people "The world is here to provide everything YOU want!".

We here at Green Wizards and those of us who read John Michael Greer know that the World doesn't care what your wants are. It will give you problems just as easily as it will give you rewards. It is how we react to each that defines who we are.

The Stoic philosopher Seneca said "Fortune behaves as she will".

One of the misconceptions people make of my attitude is to assume my planning for the worst outcome, is that I desire the worst outcome. Nothing is so far from the truth. I love it when things go as plan, when the harvest from my garden is plentiful and not beset with pests and disease, when a project comes off without a hitch, instead of me having to redo multiple parts of it. But when a problem crops up, I'm not invested so much in the positive that I let the negative get me down.

"The unexpected blow lands the most heavy", Seneca also said, and "The most unacceptable excuse is I did not think this could happen".

Three times in Seneca's life he faced huge adversity. He came down with tuberculosis at a young age just as his law career was taking off. He spent nearly ten years recuperating before returning to Rome. Then once he was becoming successful in politics he ran afoul of the Emperor and was exiled. He returned once things calmed down and then later was exiled again for his positions by a second Emperor.

The Long Descent as civilization collapses is going to be full of problems you have to deal with and predicaments you will have to just live with. With each, you can only choose how you respond. Spend your time moaning about how unfair things are OR look to the good in each situation while dealing with the bad.

I plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Reality is somewhere in-between.

Contingency planning means you've at least thought of what might go wrong.
Saying that "Failure is not an option" is idiotic. Failure is ALWAYS an option.

Yes, I know that plans fail the minute the enemy arrives, but again, at least you've thought about what might happen and planned around it.

Remember P7:

Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.