There is an interesting piece of psychology that helps explain why people tend to get hit hard with the change they should have seen coming, and it's called the normalcy bias. Often we look back in history and ask why the people didn't see this big thing coming.
The most obvious example is during WWII. When you look at everything happening and have the benefit of knowing the result, you ask how people did not do something.
How did they not see what was coming? Why didn't they plan better and do something earlier? The answer to a lot of this is that they were all up against the normalcy bias. What is the normalcy bias? It is the idea that everything in our lives will stay the same within a standard deviation of normal. So, things will go up and down, but only a little.
The idea that someone will take over the government and do what Hitler did isn't possible. The idea that the economy will drastically change, or that utility systems like water and power will stop working isn't possible. The problem with this statement is that big things, outside of 1 standard deviation, do happen somewhat often.
If you look back at 1900-2000 we had 2 almost 3 world wars, the stock market collapse and the depression, the Vietnam and Korean wars, the Cuban missile crisis, 9/11, the crash of 07/08, now the Russia/Ukraine issue, and of course the Covid issue.
I'm not trying to tell you to be worried about anything, whenever your brain tells you that, “ehh that big scary thing can't possibly happen," remember it may, and you might want to figure out how to plan for it.
Dr. Matt Chalmers
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