The Normalcy Bias/Analysis Paralysis

Created on Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:33

In a previous article I stated that the ignorance and denial with regard to the true state of the US economy (click here for the US economy special) and the inevitable collapse of the US dollar never cease to amaze me. People simply don't understand that they will never -as in NOT EVER- get the straight story from the mainstream media.

Logic alone will tell you that countries and individuals cannot borrow their way out of debt.

I thought it would be a good idea to elaborate on the above mentioned denial by summarizing three articles about a condition called ‘The Normalcy Bias’ or 'Analysis Paralysis'.

The denial that I mentioned earlier can be ascribed to this condition and is well known to psychologists and sociologists. It refers to a mental state that individuals enter into when facing a disaster or pending danger.

Normalcy Bias leads people to underestimate and minimize both the possibility of a catastrophe actually happening, as well as it’s possible consequences to their health and safety. It often results in situations where people fail to prepare for a likely and impending disaster. The condition leads people to believe that since something has never happened before, it will never happen. It also leads people to underestimate warning signs and to inaccurately reframe information in order to project an optimistic outcome.

In short, it's kind of a ‘reality-killing drug'. Like an infant with a security blanket people have a tendency to cling to their habitual, repetitive and 'normal' way of life despite overwhelming proof that serious danger lies ahead. Just as people in Pompeii watched for hours as the volcano erupted without evacuation many people do not react until it is too late.

The Nazi Holocaust provides the best example of Normalcy Bias in a way that is most applicable to what is beginning to happen in America. The Normalcy Bias explains why so many Jews ignored and underestimated the omnipresent signs of danger, even after they were forced to wear identifying yellow stars, possess a J stamp Identification Card and discriminatory laws were passed which targeted the Jews and their businesses, of which many were destroyed in The Night of the Broken Glass. Many of the Jews who could have afforded to move out of the country stayed and were subsequently exterminated because they mistakenly thought ‘that things wouldn’t get much worse’.

If you don’t suffer from Normalcy Bias it should be clear by now that Normalcy Bias can have severe consequences. When people don’t face the facts of an imminent disaster such as a financial crisis or loss of liberty and fail to protect themselves, their loved ones or their assets from danger that might be developing around them, the negative effect that the disaster has on them is much greater.

People who face the situation early and start taking measures to alleviate the impact that the disaster has are more likely to survive it.

Normalcy Bias can be beat with the following approach to dealing with an emergency or unforeseen event. 

1.    Face the facts.
2.    Sit and make a plan for a few scenarios that you think could take place.
3.    Check through possible options for dealing with the emergency/disaster.
4.    Choose the best option and take action immediately.

You may never have to use any of these plans but, should you have to, it’s better to be able to act without having to think. Better to be able to take the information you prepared and be ready to go within the shortest amount of time possible, instead of walking in circles making phone calls.

Knowledge is power. It is my hope is that you will use this information to educate and empower yourself, so that you and your loved ones are protected should the worst case scenario indeed occur.


7 Sexy Character Traits of Happy People

Created on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 20:49

 1.  Moral Courage

Happy people stand up for what’s right and don’t get pushed around by peer pressure into the newest fad or trend.  They have the courage, conviction and inner strength to do what’s right, even while others reshape themselves into ever-shifting expressions of someone else’s standards, becoming shadows of other’s values.

Chameleons are not very sexy creatures. Real men and real  know what they believe and value, and stand up courageously for those beliefs and values.

2.  Self-Confidence

Happiness requires a degree of confidence that allows us to believe we have value, that we are worthy of love and friendship and success.  Happy people have faith in themselves and in their ability to develop the skills and qualities needed to become highly competent at living life well.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s not the pseudo-confidence that hides insecurities under cocky exteriors that shout their accomplishments and exaggerate their strengths and experiences.  It’s a humble self-acceptance and self-love that genuinely feels comfortable in their own skin.

3.  Thoughtfulness

They say nice people finish last, but that’s just not true.  As a matter of fact, jerks are never completely trusted or respected by people who respect themselves.  Happy people are thoughtful people.  They consider the needs of others.  Making a difference, in fact, takes center stage in their lives; it’s an important part of their self-identity.

Their thoughtfulness is measured in how they treat others, including those they don’t know, and in countless silent acts of kindness.  If you’re not convinced that thoughtful people are both happy and sexy, just ask anyone in a loving relationship with a few years under their belt how sexy thoughtfulness is to them and how thoroughly unsexy its opposite is.

4.  Passion

Happiness at its highest level includes living a life of passion and purpose.  Happy lives are directed lives, pointed at something deeply meaningful.  The happiest amongst us are excited about living because every day offers them another opportunity to do what they love, because truly passionate people have many interests, they are rarely bored, adrift or indolent.

Passion and purpose are ‘sexiness’ personified.  Sexy people love life and love people and love what they spend their time doing.  You may know people who are impassioned by nothing, who sit around and waste ungodly amounts of time.  Are they sexy?  Not at all.

5.  Self-Responsibility

Have you ever met a happy person who regularly evades responsibility, blames and points fingers and makes excuses for their unsatisfying lives?  Me either.  Happy people accept responsibility for how their lives unfold.  They believe their own happiness is a byproduct of their own thinking, beliefs, attitudes, character and behavior.

And just as happy people never blame others, external circumstances or the universe for what is or isn’t a part of their lives, sexy people don’t either.  Just think about the epitome of the unsexy: A whiny, sniveling, accusing, blaming, irresponsible victim of life.  Not happy.  Not sexy.

6. Honesty

Liars hide from the truth.  They lack the courage to stand up to the reality of their lives.  They hide behind words and camouflage – their hidden agenda behind a web of stories and verbal slights of hand.  Happy people don’t live that way.  Honesty is a hallmark of the happiest amongst us.  It is also a characteristic of the dangerously sexy.

There is no sexiness in a liar.  They breed distrust.  As a matter of fact, lying is one of the quickest ways to ruin a beautiful relationship.  Indeed, trust is one of the sexiest characteristics of the singularly sexy.

7. Self-acceptance

Happy people are authentic.  They are real and know who they are and what they like.  They are in touch with their feelings and spend time learning and growing and developing.  Self-accepting people may forgive themselves of their own shortcomings, but they don’t excuse them.

They look their weaknesses square in the eye, accept them as they are, then go to work growing and improving and transforming them into strengths.  Self-acceptance is never used as an excuse for stagnation or laziness or apathy by the truly self-accepting.

Someone with that kind of self-awareness and forward momentum is almost universally considered sexy and attractive to others.

Source: marcandangel.com


M. Scott Peck – The Road Less Traveled

Created on Tuesday, 24 March 2009 19:09

By melding love, science, and religion into a primer on personal growth, M. Scott Peck launched his highly successful writing and lecturing career with this book. Even to this day, Peck remains at the forefront of spiritual psychology as a result of The Road Less Traveled.

In the era of "I'm OK, You're OK"Peck was courageous enough to suggest that "life is difficult" and personal growth is a "complex, arduous and lifelong task." His willingness to expose his own life stories as well as to share the intimate stories of his anonymous therapy clients creates a compelling and heartfelt narrative.


Karen Horney – Our Inner Conflicts

Created on Thursday, 26 March 2009 21:16

Karen Horney is one of the greatest of the Post-Freudian psychoanalysts. Horney's concepts of the root causes of neurosis, a basic anxiety, a sense of lurking hypocrisy , an idealized self image, conflicting impulses, are ingeniously insightful and, I have found, correct.

Her paradigm is very useful for understanding human behavior; not only the behavior of those who would be diagnosed with a formal disorder but also of those whose personalities contain elements of neurosis not extensive enough for formal diagnosis. Understanding her concepts can also be valuable for those of us who would like to understand our own neuroses better.

If you want to understand psychoanalysis, read Freud, read Jung, but read Horney as well. Without her ideas, your understanding will be sorely incomplete. Remember, Jung and Freud can be integrated with Horney, synthesis brings greater understanding. Read, learn, and enjoy the benefits.