Response to part of one of "The Laws of the Twenty-First Century"

found here:

One law states "Plan for the worst case scenario. Act as if you're walking into the best case scenario. It's always easier to dial back your crisis plans than it is to come up with better ones on the fly."

I want to extract and consider "plan for the worst case scenario", even though the second sentence is arguably more important.

I've heard this advice since I was at least 13. My friend used to say "expect the worst, plan for the worst, hope for the worst, and you'll never be disappointed" -- it's probably too melancholic for me to employ but they weren't wrong.

What does planning for the worst look like?

I've always had the problem of receiving a piece of wisdom, parsing it, forming an opinion on it, and promptly forgetting it. I see it, smell it, taste it, but don't metabolize a single morsel of wisdom. It seeps out of me in my sleep or I drown it a few hours later in something fun to drink or in my constant submission to the Desires.

So before even asking what planning for the worst looks like, I need to answer the how of internalizing knowledge of a fact, or agreement with an opinion, or the praxis of a decision. In business, after a consensus is reached, those interested sometimes create "action items" that will be "followed up on" to track progress against "initiatives" that will "drive improvement in the KPIs". Perhaps these concepts could be used as fruitfully in digesting decisions as they are in business.


Initiatives / What do I hope to accomplish?:

I want to be prepared for anything.
"Do your worst, for I will do mine!"

Action Items:

  • Create a list of core life domains in which I would like to be reasonably secure
  • Create a list of scenarios which could threaten any of those life domains. Scenarios should be both extreme worst-cases (I go blind) and reasonably possible occurrences (I am fired from my job)
  • Create a list of responses to those scenarios, and an objective way to assess whether I responded appropriately or not (KPIs)

Follow Ups:

  • Ensure each of the above Action Items is complete by next Friday, June 26, 2020.
  • Assess the security of core life domains on a weekly basis thereafter
  • Maintain a log of my assessments

That seems like a reasonable approach, I guess. As inimical as the business jargon feels to the business of living, it's not entirely useless. I could just call them something nicer haha, using the jargon of life. My dreams, my plans, and my self-reflection. =D

Back to the previous issue, one of my greatest strengths is my ability to read something and understand it. One of my greatest weaknesses is internalizing what I understand. Maybe this is why I forget the plots of the books I read and the movies I watch -- consumption without digestion. How to digest media, though? I can read slowly and think about each thing I read but will that help? Maybe something like Anki would, but the effort there is at least 30-50% that involved in reading the book. For every hour I read, I would need to make notes for at least 20-30 to cover what I want to preserve from it and then I would need at least another hour of reminders in the future to actually preserve it.

That's an intimidating amount of work and I should probably start simpler. Imagine I were Tolstoy's "A Calendar of Wisdom" (currently sitting on my desk, read only haphazardly when I wake up in a pleasant mind). Oh boy, what a tractable mountain of worthwhile work.

I've never planned for the worst and it seems like a good place to begin when turning a life around -- make sure the foundations are solid. I can move on to the joy of Tolstoy's joyful wisdom after.

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