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Wild Despair: Surviving the perfect storm of COVID's medical & economic tolls & racial roiling

Kathe Kollwitz, Wikimedia, Public Domain
Today, we’re buffeted by a perfect storm: medical, economic, racial:

Fear of COVID—Smash!

Having or having a loved-one have COVID: Smash!

Suffering financially because of the COVID economic shutdown: Smash!

Being forced into lockdown for months, with it likely to continue, if only intermittently. Of course, that can bring such sequelae as weight gain, domestic violence, kids not getting much of an education, and loneliness from lack of human contact: Smash!

Racial roiling in the aftermath of the Floyd killing: Smash!

It’s enough to drive some people wild, internally or externally, from cruelty to a loved one to overreaction to strangers you don’t agree with.

Might any of the ideas I offer in my Psychology Today article today help you shelter from the storm?

True Independence Day: Toward replacing lemming thinking with free thinking

No author listed, pxfuel, Public Domain
Independence Day has a hidebound ring to it, evoking an event of 244 years ago. independence Day seems even less relevant in light of today’s growing suppression of independent thinking, yes regarding the deconstructionist triad of race, class, and gender, but far more broadly.

In an attempt to encourage more independent thinking on this Independence Day, my Psychology Today article today offers three other issues on which the marketplace of ideas is being truncated.

Traveling to Gain Insight? You may gain more at home

Luke Stehr, Flickr CC 2.0
To try to gain insight or solve a big problem, many people journey. It could be as short as a quick stroll or as long as a pilgrimage to the East.

Of course, some people return richly rewarded, whether with clarity on the career they should pursue, the relationship they should end, or a broader vision for their life: less materialistic or the converse—deciding that the life of idealistic poverty is more romantic as portrayed in the movies than in reality.

But across my many clients who have traveled for insight, most return empty. Yesterday, a client reported on his solo hiking getaway to June Lake, which is in a remote part of California. He said, "I’m still stuck, completely stuck.”

My Psychology Today article today offers some activities you can do without leaving home that my clients have found more helpful. Note that unlike journeying, in which the person tends to expect insight to just pop into mind, in these activities, you are actively working on the problem and so are more likely to generate something of value. Also, journeying has distractions: nature, tourist sites, etc. Each of the activities can be done at home, making it easier to focus on the problem.

Passing the Baton: The art of succession planning When you want your expertise to have ripple effect after you're gone.

When I was 60, I put a paragraph on the corkboard next to my desk. It urged training a successor. 

Two days ago, I turned 70, reread it, and decided that although I’m in good health, if I wanted what I’ve learned over these decades as a career counselor to live on after I die, it was time to find and train an apprentice and possible successor. 

In hopes it might be instructive to you as you plan your succession, my Psychology Today article today offers what I’m doing:

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