2020’s note to us all: Prevention is better than cure

The year 2020 will reserve its place in human history as a once-in-a-century experience.  An event seldom affects every person on the planet in the same way, at the same time.  The pandemic did so in quite an overpowering manner. 

Covid-19 had spread its tentacles through every business sector, emptied every airport, penetrated households without regard for economic status, tested the health care industry in every country, shone a bright light on good and bad political leadership, and reminded us that the human is not as all-powerful as we often make ourselves out to be.

We are defined by the risks we ignore in life.  Perceptive risk management, however boring the phrase, is much cheaper than damage control. 

Risk management, stripped from all the well-considered theoretical details, comes down to three simple accomplishments:

  1. To intelligently lower the probability of serious damage to your life.  It implies the removal of leading sources of such potential damage, in the most sensible way – and the establishment of early alert systems.
  2. To intelligently cap the cost when something goes wrong.  This is about putting essential hedges in place to protect you against the severity of a setback.
  3. To intelligently put measures in place that buy yourself manoeuvrability, should adversity strike.  It comes down to ensuring that you build – and travel through life – with an appropriate margin of safety.

As you ponder and plan 2021, consider making the above three risk-management reminders an integral part of your thought process, in all important areas of your life.  Small acts of prevention is such an inexpensive way to a better life; avoidance a much more elegant strategy than treatment.