Panic is a jungle response. It makes you want to either fight, or flee. In business, neither of these reactions is often appropriate.
These days, business panic seems rampant; it’s the go-to response for many faced with their very first recession. What’s the proper answer when you start to feel this business panic?
It’s probably the most difficult advice I’ve ever given: ignore it.
Use the one faculty that makes us different from all the animals: your ability to choose your response.
Decide that you will feel the panic, but that you will neither fight nor flee. You will, instead, calmly face the situation — and refuse to be reactive. Some concrete steps to help you do this:
- Get some exercise every day.
- Cut out the sugar and caffeine.
- Cut out television, and media in general.
- Focus on your primary mission as a company, as an entrepreneur, as an artist-as a “whatever it is you are”.
- Wait. The Japanese, in particular, seem to be very good at this. Often, simply waiting is the very best response when you’re in a state of panic.
- Finally, remember the timeless advice of Douglas Adams: “Don’t panic.”