As COVID-19 closes schools and shops, cuts salaries and jobs, and separates us from our loved ones, even the most positive of us succumb to gloomy thoughts about what comes next. What will the future hold? Will my family I and be healthy tomorrow? Will I be in lockdown for the next few months? What will the impact be for the following years?
Pandemic can be overwhelming… “Unprecedented” is clearly the word of the month as most of us experience this for the first time. A similar experience from the past that we can refer to helps us make sense of what is going on. It gives us comfort that we can overcome it again as we did before. Without such a reference point, we might feel lost and insecure.
Change like this can be overwhelming… We had to replace the behaviour that was comfortable for us with new behaviours. We have to control ourselves not to get back into old habits. It takes a lot of mental resources and is exhausting.
But also, choices can be overwhelming… I was usually overwhelmed by the number of choices in supermarkets, until the last couple of weeks, when my choice process got much easier thanks to nearly empty shelves.
Opportunities can be overwhelming as well. We never know for sure what chances are waiting for us when we decide to go pursue one option over another.
All these situations, some posing risks, others – opportunities, have something in common. Uncertainty. There are so many things outside of our control! Our natural urge for certainty and comfort suffers.
But how do futurists deal with it? At the end of the day, these guys manage uncertainty for a living… What are the tools from futures studies that can help us to go through this turbulent time?