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COVID19 – Instincts Required for Survival

Finding one’s Instinctive Advantage (IA) is all about maximizing opportunities and minimizing risk. Our IA is our continuously developing traits, characteristics, and/or inclinations that have become imprinted in our core. They are typically hard wired inclinations but through conscious effort, anyone can develop them as soft-wired tendencies. These inclinations are exercised most often without conscious thought and can be both positive and negative results.

1 Blog COVID19_ThinkDifferentNation
Courtesy of Anna Chvets.com
COVID19 represents an ideal opportunity to focus consciously on what’s most important, the health of both yourself and your family. That is, to exercise our IA.

As we all hunker down to a life in self-isolation with occasional trips out to forage for supplies it’s important to recognize that we have more control over our future than we think. This is especially true if you haven’t been exposed to the virus.

I travel a great deal, as a matter of fact weekly and I began to recognize my power in this space just by doing what I consider to be a core component of my Instinctive Advantage. What is it that I have a tendency to do? Observe everything. My eyes are naturally drawn to pick up on anomalies from what I am accustomed to seeing or in the case of CORVID19, it’s what I see that we should not be doing. Hands in the face. I like the rest of the world, no longer travel but as I sat in restaurants and bars during my evenings away from home I knew that the number of infected persons was increasing country by country even while the USA continued to deny its existence as a threat. I was present and conscious – attuned to what was happening in the world.

That state of being present also prompted me to look for behaviors that were not in our best interest. We’ve all looked around a room and have seen how many people were staring at their phones while sitting with friends or acquaintances who were also staring into their phones. But by being aware of the virus’s growth, my attention turned to seeing how people conformed to safety practices concerning exposure to the virus. It was alarming to see how many people were chatting about the impending challenge while at the same time licking fingers, touching their eyes, mouth and yes, even digging in their noses. I know this because on any given day in years past, I most likely would have been doing the same thing – but not digging in my nose. This however changed 11 years back for me during the first impending pandemic, the Avian Flu. If you recall the avian flu scare happened back in 2008 – 2009 and was even more foreboding because it emerged from the same animal as that which killed over 50 million people globally back in 1918. As corporations prepared for the potential of a pandemic my task was to learn how to prepare the facility with over 1300 employees, to shut down during the spread and where possible, conduct business in as normal of a way as possible. During that time I however also learned that the virus was completely avoidable if one practiced very simple short term practices of washing hands, keeping hands away from ones face and isolating oneself self from others for a period of time before infection had the chance of truly spreading.

With CORVID, we missed that opportunity back in February of 2020 to avoid wide spread infectious rates but now our increased knowledge of the spread has provided us with an a second opportunity to avoid the contagion – by being consciously observant. This must become an instinctive advantage that everyone must learn if the intention is to avoid being infected. One’s instinctive advantage can work in two different ways – to maximize opportunities and to minimize risk. In this situation with regards to the virus, it’s all about minimizing the risk of infection. How does one take advantage of this instinctive advantage? By consciously adopting the connective tendency to use one’s eyes to watch the people around you. What to watch? Other people’s behaviors. Why is this important? Because you will begin to notice how often people forget the need to practice proper conduct by keeping their hands away from their faces. It’s very normal for us to unconsciously scratch our faces and put our hands over our lips and eyes when tired or even scratching the rim of one’s nose. These are however exactly the ways by which the virus finds its way into our bodies. By consciously watching how people continually break the rules required for survival, you will begin to be more conscious of what you do with your hands. Once you are more conscious, you can change behaviors and once you change behaviors consciously, those new behaviors become soft wired as an instinctive advantage. You will also begin to be more proactive at alerting loved ones to the need to also be conscious of what they do. Five million eight hundred thousand years ago we were all driven by instinctive behaviors and even today our latent instincts as a species creates fear and anxiety around snakes and spiders. The examples of the power instincts have over us can be found in any number of situations of everyday life. For example we have all noticed how some women have a tendency towards brash and aggressive men. Scientist believe that the man’s low agreeableness is an indicator of someone who could potentially rise to the top of the social hierarchy and thus the association with that man is considered to be in the best interest of the woman as well. Or from a biochemical standpoint how young ladies in college dorms will unconsciously sync their menstruation cycles to follow the most socially dominate woman around them. It’s believed that it’s the abundance of certain chemicals such as hormones and pheromones that guide this instinctive behavior. You couldn’t stop it if you tried which makes it a hard wired physiological inclination.  

Since the first bacteria appeared 1.5 billion years ago, its total goal was to find a host in which to grow. As the permafrost continues to thaw in the North there are many more viruses yet to be discovered. Viruses will continue to emerge and will create additional pressures on all species to adapt in order to survive. While all other animals are unconscious to the existence of the impact of a virus let alone the existence of a virus itself, we are homo-sapiens. Thinking people know this and we must be willing to adapt in order to survive. Charles Darwin, an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution, once said “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. How will you change to minimize risk and to maximize opportunity? We have answers at Think Different Nation.com