How to Thrive in an Unknowable Future

Unknowable Future

Advice from Derek Sivers

1. Prepare for the worst. Since you have no idea what the future may bring, be open to the best and the worst. But the best case scenario doesn’t need your preparation, or your attention. So mentally and financially just prepare for the worst case instead. And, like insurance, don’t obsess on it. Just prepare, and then carry on appreciating the good times.

2. Own as little as possible. Depend on even less. The less you own, the less you are affected by disaster.

3. Choose the plan with the most options. The best plan is the one that lets you change your plans. For example, renting a house is actually buying the option to move at any time without losing money in a changing market.

4. Expect disaster. If you ever watched a VH1 Behind The Music, you know that like, every single success story had that moment when the narrator would come in and say, “And then, things took a turn for the worst.” So fully expect that disaster to come to you at any time. You have to completely assume that it is going to happen. And make your plans accordingly. Not just money, but health and family and freedom. You have to expect it to all disappear. Besides, you appreciate things more when you know this may be your last time seeing them.

5. Choose opportunity, not loyalty. Have no loyalty to location, corporation, or your last public statements. Be an absolute opportunist, doing whatever is best for the future in the current situation, unbound by the past. Have loyalty for only your most important human relationships.

6. Avoid planning. For maximum options, don’t plan at all. Since you have no idea how the situation or your mood may change in the future, wait until the last moment to make each decision.


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