Creating a gap. Alexander Lyadov

Creating a gap. Alexander Lyadov

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I will not speak for others, but analyzing many cases from my life, I have to admit that the greatest harm to me was not so much caused by sudden negative events as by my reaction to them. Whenever a force majeure occurred, I was plunged into chaos, albeit briefly. Panic, stupor or, on the contrary, haste, the desire to run somewhere and do something. I had to pay for my impulsiveness with a waste of time, money, nerves, or energy. Moreover, it was not only me who suffered, but those around me as well.

For example, a novice biker, when he sees a truck suddenly pulling out across the highway, in horror, puts the bike on its side. As a result of inertia, he slides on the asphalt and at high speed hits a hard obstacle, which he was so eager to avoid. The experienced biker continues toward the truck, but presses hard on the rear and then the front brake, as well as firmly squeezing the tank with his knees. The bike is likely to stop within inches of the truck. But even if the impact does happen, there will be no health consequences because of the low speed. When practicing extreme braking on a motorcycle track, the mind doesn’t immediately believe this counterintuitive insight. The problem doesn’t turn into a tragedy if you don’t let your brain panic.

“Well, how can you not freak out when X is happening!” - one inner voice asks irritably. To which another voice replies with a sobering quote from the movie Bridge of Spies: “Would it help?” For any dangerous situation, there is a path, if not a complete and quick release, then at least a path of minimal loss, after which recovery and counterattack are possible. And for a salvific solution to seep from space into the mind, one must create a gap between the negative event and one’s reaction to it. Amazingly, sometimes a pause of a second is enough. Unfortunately, I don’t always manage to do such a trick. But so far, I haven’t found a better way to react to novelty with a minus sign. Have you? Please share.

Sincerely yours,

-Alexander Lyadov