How to Prevent Catastrophes

One of the most stressful aspects of managing your life, job or business are those darn SURPRISES.

For example, you are going along, believing everything is fine, then WHAM! Your son gets arrested. Your neighbor cuts down your tree. Your car is stolen.

Any job can include surprising catastrophes. You get demoted or transferred. Your co-worker falsely accuses you of theft. The boss screams at you.

Management surprises can be the most stressful of all. A key employee suddenly quits. A government agent walks in to do an inspection. A crazy man is screaming at your receptionist and won’t leave.

Odds are good you will be hit with several surprises in your life. As a result, your forward progress can be stopped. Your production can be blocked. Your success can be ruined.

Even worse, the more successful you are, or the bigger your business becomes, the more often you may be hit with surprises.

Bad Solutions

You might be so afraid of catastrophes that you take them too seriously. You decide to stop succeeding. To earn less money. To be less aggressive, less intense or less passionate.

You believe that if you are small and insignificant, people will leave you alone. But of course, they just hunt you down.

Another bad approach is to get upset when a catastrophe occurs. You act like a victim or a coward. Yet this often makes the problem even worse. You seem to attract even more surprises.

Getting numb is another bad solution. You might want to use drugs or alcohol to deaden your feelings. You try to turn off the world. But this hurts your success as you need to perceive and think with clarity if you wish to succeed.

Constantly worrying makes your life miserable. You spend so much time thinking about problems and potential catastrophes that you are blind to the opportunities that surround you.

Luckily, you can reduce your stress and worry by planning ahead.

Surprise Insurance

“A catastrophe occurs by lack of prediction of a possible circumstance. Those things planned for do not become catastrophes.” — L. Ron Hubbard

Your best insurance is to predict and plan for catastrophes IN ADVANCE. Once you have a plan for handling every conceivable surprise, you can relax.

When you have a plan for a disaster, you are ready for it. Instead of reacting to the problem, while upset and prone to making mistakes, you take command of the situation. You resolve it with your plan. Your prosperity continues.

For example, as a boss, you learn a former employee is suing you. If you planned for this possibility in advance, you would know exactly what to do. Your paperwork would be filed and organized. Your lawyer would send a copy of your paperwork to the employee’s attorney. The employee’s attorney would see you had done everything right and drop the case.

As another example, you can’t sleep because you MUST get to work on time to give a presentation. So instead of tossing and turning in your bed, you turn on the lights. You write down every reason you might be late. You plan how to handle each. You set two alarm clocks and a wind-up alarm in case the power goes out. You figure out another way to get to work in case your car won’t start. You lay out your clothes and set up your coffee maker. You are now prepared! You get in bed and instantly fall asleep.

The same principle works on a personal level. For example, Joe is worried his wife will be angry when she finds out he quit his job. He plans a way to explain it to her so she can understand his reasons. He also plans on how to respond to anything she says to him. Joe stops worrying and goes home. When he first gives her the news, he is ready for a bad reaction, but she is fine. Because he planned for a catastrophe, it does not happen. They discuss their finances and make plans for his job search.


1. Make a list of all the catastrophes you expect may happen to you. Include everything that makes you worry. Small things, big things, anything you can think of.

2. Next to each item on your list, write up a plan to handle it. Some potential catastrophes require a single preparation step. Others need a detailed, 20-step plan.

3. As you do this exercise, you may feel uncomfortable and nervous. Just keep working on it. As you plan out more solutions and get prepared, you will feel more relaxed and confident than ever before. You become ready for anything!

4. After you finish, you will probably think of more things to add to your list. So keep it handy.

5. Each time you feel stressed or worried about a potential problem, add the potential surprise to your list. If it’s already on the list, simply add more preparation steps until you are no longer worried.

6. Review the list every few months. When you review old solutions, you think of new preventive steps and better solutions.

Biggest Benefit

“A catastrophe occurs by lack of prediction of a possible circumstance. Those things planned for do not become catastrophes.” — L. Ron Hubbard

That’s right! Because you have planned for the surprises on your list, they won’t happen to you. Most people don’t believe this is true. However, write down your plans and you will see for yourself.