I have a mantra that I say whenever there is a possible, pending, imminent or active crisis going on in my life – prepare for the worst while praying for the best. The mantra is not just words to help me get through the crisis, it is a game plan that has never failed.
I have used this mantra in many situations including challenging financial times, the imminent passing of family, my ischemic stroke to my spinal cord and every severe weather event, including tornado watches and blizzards that dumped 21 inches of snow, when our local weatherman predicted only 6.124 inches.
Prepare for the worst
There are several things you can do to prepare for any crisis in your life:
- Stock up for the long haul: If the crisis requires you to hunker down or shelter in place for an extended amount of time, then stock up for that event. In general, it is recommended that we always have at least 3 days of food and supplies in our home for any situation. There will be times you will need more for an extend amount of time. Determine what you will need and get it. Buy just what you need, do not hoard – especially if the crisis may impact more than just you. Remember, sharing means caring.
- Ensure you are financially ready for the emergency: Do you have an emergency fund? How much is in it? Money guru Dave Ramsey recommends that your emergency fund should have at least $1000 in it. Along with an emergency fund, I believe that you need to know exactly what you have available from all sources. Check your checking account, savings account and what amounts you have available on any credit cards and 401K’s etc. Credit cards should be used as a last resort and most money experts recommend you avoid raiding your retirement funds unless you are in dire need of money. If you know these numbers before a crisis, it will reduce stress during the crisis by not worrying so much about money.
- Don’t put off getting work done. People like to put off paying bills, getting work done on their cars or getting a medical procedure done – thinking they have all the time in the world. I believe this is always a bad strategy. When a crisis occurs everything else may be put on the back burner and those dreaded “chores” may get left undone and either cost you more money (late fees and dings to credit scores) or pull you away from the crisis during a crucial time. Stop putting things off and take care of your business now, so you will have less to worry about during a crisis.
- Review emergency plans. The emergency plans I am talking about are either how to get help if you need it, who to contact for help if you need it, where to go to get help if you need it and emergency routes you may need to know – just in case.
Pray for the best possible outcome
- Pray. A lot of people pray as a last resort or say that praying is the least they can do. These people are wrong. Praying is the most you can do, and it should be done before anything and everything else. Prayer often brings comfort and calm during chaos.
- Reach out to others. Don’t go through tough times alone. Lean on your support circle of friends, family and others to help you through it.
- Remain positive. I firmly believe that we shape our own futures by our thoughts. If you perceive things will be bad, then they will be bad, because you are looking through negative glasses. If you believe everything will work out for the best, you will see opportunities to turn the crisis into a positive experience. The key is to never give up hope that things will get better, remember only death is permanent, everything else is temporary in life.
If you follow my mantra, I can assure you that you will feel more prepared for anything that comes up in life.