Too much FUD or Too FU***D?

Puru Gupta

It’s been more than 2 years since I wrote something here.

The ubiquity of distractions obviates reflection and time with yourself. But even if you are busy in your ruminations, presentation of those reflections and how it would be taken increased my anxiety levels to blog – and so, all plans to ‘express’ were scuppered before any of the potential stories took some shape.

It took a global pandemic, a national lockdown, a weekend during the “work from home” era and a resolution to get back to what builds me – all forces coming together to key down these few lines. As they say, when you really really want to do something, the entire universe conspires to do it for you (depending upon your obsessions, ‘they’ would be either Paulo Coelho or Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om!)

But while this might smell of insensitive narcissism, the intent is to rationalize the void in this blog, and like every other time, attempt a resurrection once again of my literary alter-ego!

Going by the current ‘theme’, there is hardly any article or news item without the FUD factor – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt – an archaic Marketing term used as a tool for persuasiveness, largely a prerogative of insurance marketers or environmentalists. Incidentally, FUD Factor might drive high consumer attention (and hence, media’s fantasy tool) but not sure if it strongly induces action. The basic flow is to garner attention and increase the “anxiety points” in our lives (another term largely used for CX Designs) which then induces action. While the induced action of “social distancing” is being driven with decent success, is it really addressing the original purpose of mitigating the crisis?

We are getting mentally FU***D up – Talking of anxiety, there is a lot of paranoia – that we are waiting for the inevitable doomsday and about to die or something terrible is going to happen to us. There is one thing about being cautious – but it has taken amazingly terrible heights in the last few days – so much so that ‘cough’ and ‘touch’ are the new cuss words around us!

Is this an exception or is it the new norm? What is more terrible – Covid or impending Recession? Is it actually that serious? Who said ‘working from home’ entailed a better life? Should I worry about my job or take this time to spend with family? Should I Flatten the curve or flatten my belly?

Not sure what is bothersome – the news of Coronavirus or the noise of the news of coronavirus – whichever is spreading faster is the one that needs to be tackled first – the wilder beast is undoubtedly the latter. Maybe we should add social (media) distancing as part of the current protocols as well.

While we need to be cautious, it is our choice – stay FUD up, stay despondent over the impending ‘Pralay’ or get our Curiosity Cells back in action.

How do you stay optimistic in a globally pessimistic environment? How do you ensure you stay curious and keep learning, at the same time, stay committed to your daily work?

Incidentally, I am answering while I am questioning – as always, as has been the case over the past 15-odd years, whenever I want to learn, I get regular in expressing. As Expression is the best teacher because your own reflections sometimes redefine how you look at the world around you.

If Mr Harish Bhat & Bee Gees had to re-word the Stanford 2005 address given by Steve Jobs, they would probably summarize what we all need right now –

Stay Curious. Stay Alive. (Pun Intended!)

#Untiltomorrow

Image Sources – FUD 1, FUD 2, Curiosity

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