how to survive

Pandemics. Mutating pandemics. Never ending campaigns followed by never ending counting. Rioting in the streets. Have a great idea for surviving (on our own terms, of course) in these stressful times?

By Artem Grinblat
Republished with permission from


In order to survive – you want to want to survive.

13 Reasons Why” TV series is a good recipe: Baker films the reasons not to survive. Invert this. Make a list of reasons to survive. Keep working on them, make space, turn this into a project.

Look for unexpected ideas and inspirations in your past and the present. It might be something you very well know, and something you know nothing about, and things you had no time for or discarded.


Keep tabs on the enemy. If it’s a stress, make a file on it. See how you can exploit it.

To give an example, here are some notes on stress: it “drives all activity”; it’s a currency in “affect regulation”; it can be “your friend”; close encounters with the sources of it sometimes help; “stressors are information” (Taleb); “leadership with monitoring, rather than C&C, seems to be a better way to cope with the multi-faceted aspects of uncertainty, change, and stress” (Boyd); it’s a “fatigue of the body and mind under load” (Gary ‘Smiler’ Turner)”; it makes for a “perfect time for training”; managed, it’s akin to exercise.

In terms of Deliberate Practice – we aim at a richer representation of the subject.


We started with 13 Reasons Why. Then added some Hows. Now put up a What (or two).

Define the positive goal. Make a file on it. Draw it. Film. Find symbols pertaining to it. Keep it in focus.

If you don’t know the goal, leave a blank page to it. Find a temporary substitute. Work on it even without knowing it yet.

Having the goal is pertinent to survival.


Ask yourself: How these circumstances can help me towards the goal?

Whether something is construed as good or bad initially, chance is, there is an angle or a sequence that can catch the wind of it and propel you forward.

Make some space and time for catching the wind. Level it up to a habit or ritual.


Keep a pace that’s right for you. Allow the project to be around when next you need it. File and avoid the roadblocks. Put in the touches that would help you enjoy that work. Or turn it into a game. Look for cross-field opportunities, when another project can help towards your goal, or when working on your goal can help that other project as well.

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