Focusing on what is important in times of crisis

I always wanted to be able to write about how to deal with a crisis when I was actually going through one. Everything becomes clear in retrospect, but to actually breathe the advice you give, and to be able to maintain a clear mind within a battlefield, that is true mastery.

The Crisis

So I was turned in a some work to a higher up, and I failed to follow instructions at a very basic level, and so I received a heavily worded email just a few minutes ago. I literally checked the email right after opening up this new text tab. The email was a surprise to me, and so I was not expecting this at all. However, I did not allow myself to panic. And this is a crucial first step.

First you must realize what emotions you deserve to feel, and should feel. In my current circumstance, panic was unwarranted because it would serve no purpose. I could panic all I want, but my problem would not be solved because of it.

Next, I focused on what I could do right now to help solve the problem. This step is even more crucial then the first one. After gaining a cool head, calmly figure out what you should do right now. So I quickly sent back an email apologizing for my mistake, and scheduling a time to meet up, so we can solve the issue.

The next step is to plan out what you are going to do to solve the problem. After easing the issue, and understanding the issue entirely, you have to figure out how you are going to solve it. So what I did next was figure that when I go back home, I would redo the project, and do it correctly this time. That is all I can do, and that is the best thing I CAN DO. 

Quick Review

  1. Do not allow yourself to panic
  2. Focus on what you can do right now
  3. Plan out what you CAN do to finally solve the problem.


If there is no use to be depressed, panicked, or pissed off, if it doesn’t help you solve the problem at all, why be any of those things in the first place? I’m sure you don’t feel that great when you’re depressed, panicked, or pissed off. Those emotions won’t help you solve the issue at hand, and so don’t let them linger. Especially if you don’t deserve to feel those things. But this is getting into the idiosyncrasies of Stoicism. If you want to learn more, I recommend “Meditations” or “Letters from a Stoic”. Or check out Tim Ferriss here

Good luck!
-Sam Choi


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