Anchor & Flank
One of the basics concepts in wildland firefighting is to "anchor and flank" (more in this blog post here). It is a key to safety, and to effective tactics. You find yourself a safe spot. You make it safer if need be. Then you work out from there - along the flank of the fire. You anchor and flank. While you're at it, you always "keep one foot in the black" - meaning that you keep one foot in an area that is safe, because it has already burned.
There's a lot of metaphor there - enough for one of my really long blog posts. The point is: it's a good principle for life, too. Find an anchor point. Make it safer. Work out from there. If it gets dangerous - you go back to the anchor point.
I'll throw in one more metaphor. During my brief stint in construction, we had to take a safety class that covered electricity. You need to make sure you have a "ground" in structural wiring, and for construction site cords. The ground wire gives any extra electricity somewhere to go so it doesn't damage anything. In a building, it literally puts that energy into the ground. I like to think that being grounded means having a safe spot, and having some safety mechanisms in place to route dangerous energy. If I get off center, I check my grounding tools; and my anchor points.
The blog posts and resources linked below in some way fit this metaphor - to anchor and flank. To get grounded in some way, and work out from there. That may be spiritual, it may be getting grounded in your beliefs. It is about finding somewhere safe to start, from a solid foundation.
Related blog items
Related resource items
From the site: "The good news is, all over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion. More often than not, when hate flares up, good people rise up against it — often in greater numbers and with stronger voices. This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community."
"Everybody Matters: My Life Giving Voice," by Mary Robinson. Also see the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice website.
"Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives," by Michael Newton. From the website: "Now a best-selling classic, Journey of Souls summarizes Dr. Michael Newton’s research and work with individuals whom he placed in a state of deep hypnosis during which they recalled their experiences between lives as eternal spirits." The Newton Institute is also listed as a Counterfear resource - check it out to find related additional books, resources, and contacts.
"Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World," by Adam Grant. From the book jacket, "Using surprising studies and stories spanning the worlds of business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant debunks the common belief that successful non-conformists are born leaders who boldly embrace risk. Originals explains now anyone can spot opportunities for change, recognize a good idea, overcome anxiety and ambivalence, and make suggestions without being silenced."
Check out this book by Eben Alexander, M.D., "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife." Videos also available on the author's website.
"Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution." by Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW. Brene Brown also has a number of classic videos and TED talks that will be available on The Counterfear Toolbox videos page (coming soon) or on the Google.
"The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States."
"The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World," by Andrew S. Winston. See video also at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxYKO7oICiw.
"The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World," by Paul Gilding. This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint. From the author's website: "It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable. This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources. The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability."
From author Chris McGoff in Part 1 of the book: "How do some people, organizations, and coalitions thrive in uncertain times? What enables them to appear so certain and take decisive action amid ambiguity about the future?" The PRIMES website says "The PRIMES are universal patterns of group behavior that outfit you to work with any group to solve any problem - especially the big ones." The PRIMES book notes "... Here's the deal. Almost all the tame problems have been solved. We get to solve the wicked problems. Wicked problems affect a lot of peple and it takes a lot of people, all with their own agendas, to collaborate and solve them. ... The people who, amid uncertainty, successfully lead large problem-solving groups share these characteristics. First, they are clear about what they are up to and how they spend their precious time. Second, they are intentional and willing to go first. Finally, they have mastered the art of enrolling others to join them." The PRIMES website also has short videos and info about each of The PRIMES. Another core counterfear resource is Chris McGoff's TEDx Rock Creek talk on "Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk." The author's company The Clearing has done significant work on wicked problems in many counterfear focus areas.
"The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell also asks the question "Are You a Connector" in this piece. More here and here on Connectors, Mavens, and Salespersons.
I was not expecting this to be probably the most profound movie I've ever seen - well beyond something like Star Wars (all eight) meets The Matrix (the first one). Also hilarious. Awesome #Team stuff. Here's a link to the official trailer for this movie.
This is an anchorpoint for the time that is now. This story follows the classic Hero's Journey. No spoilers, but this is the key to what we need.
Myth is a powerful tool, and this movies serves as an incredibly powerful myth, parable, inspiration, and model for our time. It is unexpectedly good, and powerful on many levels... the family elements, parenting, the spiritual, life itself, the power of teamwork, leveraging creativity, vision, dreaming, realizing, and the challenge and way forward for effective problem-solving, at scale. And of course, "Everything is Awesome."
If there was one movie that represents where we can go and who we can be in this amazing time of challenge - this is it. This is how we navigate disruption, find a way forward, and counterfear. Who would have thought?
Some roots go so deep that they're unexplainable. Ties that bind. This song is posted in honor of those - they are our anchors.
Theme song from The Lego Movie. Intro lyrics from Google Play: "Everything is awesome / Everything is cool when you're part of a team / Everything is awesome when we're living our dream / Everything is better when we stick together / Side by side, you and I gonna win forever, let's party forever / We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me, we're all working in harmony..."
"Feel so close" - Calvin Harris. "I feel so close to you right now." If you are looking for a video of community and neighbors and fun and people taking care of each other, this is hard to beat. Fantastic. I learned of this video when I friend I was rooming with at an amazing convention woke up with the lyrics in her head from a dream. We Googled it, and this came up. We should have expected nothing less.
Official Lyrics Minions Version of Pharrell Williams' "Happy," from the Despicable Me 2 movie soundtrack. From the YouTube: "check out http://24hoursofhappy.com to experience the world's first 24 hour music video!"
From The Walking Dead collection. With lyrics. A good anchor for going through a tough time... like a big move, or a leg break, or a career change, or a bunch of stuff like that all at once. Here is the original scene, although it makes more sense if you've been watching the show.
Fantastic music & community/neighbor/people video. Michael Franti & Spearhead - "Say Hey (I Love You)." Try dancing around to this one for a while. If you need an extra laugh on top of all this happiness, try "Craig Ferguson Says Hey! I Love you!" There may be puppets. Just saying.
State of Mind song, by Clint Black. Lyrics here. Excerpt: "It can make a right from a wrong, it can make you fall in love, It can get you singin' along, Chase the clouds away and make the sun shine above. A melody can bring back a memory, Take you to another place in time, Completely change your state of mind."
The "Top Gun" movie anthem, by Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens.
From the Walking Dead collection. Posted 9/11/2017. Lyrics here. "I'm going to get myself in fighting trim; Scope out every angle of unfair advantage..."
Country. "Where the sidewalk ends and the road begins / We said goodbye on a cold dark night / I'm not afraid to go you bet I'm not / Where the side walk ends, you left a lot." Lyrics here.
"Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk:" Chris McGoff at TEDxRockCreekPark. This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint, because it is a rare, short look at what we need to do to solve wicked problems. Also check out Chris McGoff's website and book "The PRIMES," another posted Counterfear resource. The website has videos and a summary of each of the PRIMES.
Video on "The Big Pivot - Whiteboard Animation," 3:12 min. Based on book by the same name, by Andrew Winston: http://www.andrewwinston.com/books/.
This TED talk by Seth Godin is one of the classics. From the video summary: In The Tribes We Lead, "Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so." Check out Seth's Godin's blog here; it's the only blog I read daily (also posted as a resource).