Panic is a non-resourceful state that makes it impossible to deal with adversity in a constructive manner..
Apparent calamity is a time for calm determination. Step back from the problem, regain your composure, and deal with adversity after you regain an objective state of mind.
Panic causes you to lose your perspective, and taking precipitous actions in a panic-stricken state is likely to make your problems worse.
When you feel panic welling up inside, it’s time to stop acting and start thinking.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t take immediate action when there is a life threatening emergency; just be certain what you’re doing is appropriate, and it actually makes the situation better rather than worse.
In 2004, there was a massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed nearly 200,000 people and washed millions of tons of debris out to sea.
We had to sail our yacht from Thailand through all of that debris in order to reach the Mediterranean Sea.
There were three large debris fields, and the only way to get across the Indian Ocean was to sail through all three. It was scary to sail blindly at night wondering whether you were going to run into floating logs or even whole trees.
The first two debris fields off Thailand and the Nicobar Islands had smaller size debris, and except for floating logs, weren’t too much of a worry.
South of Sri Lanka, it was a completely different story.
There were hundred foot trees floating in the water and if you hit one of them, they could easily sink your boat.
When we talked with other yachts on high frequency radio, we heard tales of them sailing over logs in the night causing damage to their rudder. This was a real opportunity for the voice of fear to fill my mind with panic.
Fortunately, panic never got the upper hand.
In fact, we kept panic easily at bay by simply taking down our sails at sunset and drifting alongside the debris all night long.
After sunrise the next morning, we again raised our sails and carefully worked our way out of the debris field, sailing past giant trees that could have damaged or sunk our yacht.
If we had panicked, and irrationally sailed at top speed through the night because we wanted to escape the debris field as quickly as possible, we probably would have sustained serious damage to our yacht. Panic could have had potentially lethal complications.
When adversity pays an unwelcome visit, make sure you don’t let panic come in the front door.
You can handle adversity and setbacks as long as panic stays away.
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