Preparing for the Post-Covid Resistance

How bad is the Covid-19 Corona Virus

So there are two issues to consider here:

1) virus/health/quanantine (natural disaster)
2) lockdown/economy/social unrest (man-caused issue)

For (1) the question is how bad is it and are the human actions overreacting. If you look at this graph, if countries don’t take extreme measures, it grows radically fast.

With all the underreporting I think things are way worse than it is (many places even if you have symptoms you can’t get tested due to resources. A governor in Mexico said that the data shows confirmed cases only have rich people and therefore poor people aren’t at risk, without thinking it may be that only rich people can get tested.

I think there is an issue with people comparing historical disaster numbers (that have ended) with CURRENT COVID damage (oh look, this historical thing was 12x worse). But COVID is still doubling every few days and we might just be seeing the beginning.

Also, counting deaths to confirmed cases is also an illusion because based on exponential growth, the deaths today are from the much smaller population of confirmed cases a few weeks ago, so match with the denominator of TODAY it appears small.

Perhaps an interesting comparison would be with “resolved” cases, namely deaths vs recovered ratios.

Many regions show numbers closer to 1 death for every 2 recovered people.All this is to say, don’t underestimate it please. The power of exponential curves means that in one day it could cover more ground than the whole previous month. It’s a life or death situation that should be treated seriously.

Yea, we lose a lot of freedom, but if each person has an invisible fused bomb on him/her, I’m sure we would agree losing that freedom temporarily until the bomb threat is resolved would be a prudent move.

Most nations are doubling between 2 to 10 days. Some people say that our lockdown measures are like an elephant getting attacked by a house cat, and in panic, jumped off a cliff (the reaction was more dangerous than the threat).

Well, look at New York. New York was a “calm elephant” that didn’t take strong measures until much later, and now it’s the new Wuhan with some describing it as an apocalyptic war zone.

I know there is a lot of different info out there and perspectives, but for you and your own family I would urge you to be cautious. I already know over a dozen people in my own personal network (none of them Asian) who have COVID. It’s pretty bad and doesn’t just effect the elderly.

Even if you recover it could leave permanent lung damage.
No need to panic, but take cautious steps. Having a calm mind with active (and cleanly washed) hands is good.

There is an estimation that if no or late extreme measures happening, this will end up with about 10 – 50 Million deaths worldwide. The range is pretty large and I believe in it (IF countries and people continue to act the way they are).

In that effect, locking down economies and the DEVASTATING impact MAY be still worth it. Which leads us to (2)

(2) The human-caused economic crisis due to a lockdown…I think would be way worse than previous recessions. Previous recessions were usually about the financial “elite” (as a convenient word but not saying they are better) using too much leverage and suffering: bankers, financial firms, investors, technologists, even home owners. But the foundational economy could still run pretty well.

Waiters, cashiers, and factory workers were obviously indirectly impacted but still made money and spent it at grocery stores. The financial “elite” later on uses this foundation to build back their wealth.This time around the foundational economy is being wiped.

Most restaurants, manufacturers, airlines would go bankrupt in 2-3 months of this lockdown (which is why the US Gov approved $2 Trillion to try to keep them alive). I think this would lead to massive unemployment.

Case in point, Nevada’s historical high in unemployment/week was 8,945 in 2009. A couple weeks ago their unemployment claim was 92,300.

Just for the last week of April, California received 533,568 unemployment claims. I still think this is still just the beginning of the iceberg (unfortunately…)

With this MASSIVE amount of unemployment, there is going to be social unrest, desperation, racial aggression and more. It is for this reason why I left the US as this would not be good for my twin daughters Symphony and Harmony. (Taiwan has a stable society and I believe the worst is already over here).

So onto the (semi) good news:

The Post-Covid Resistance: Beginning of the Heroes Journey.

I believe the virus issue will be dealt with in 2-8 months. I believe the economic issue would last for 3-5 years.

But during this time there is a huge reshuffling too.

Political structures, power and influence distribution, old way of doing things – all this stuff would be shuffled up.In stable times, a lot of things are locked up in Ice and move extremely slowly.

In chaotic times, things become fluid like water (before they stabilize and becomes Ice again). This means that better than any time in history, we are able to hustle and strategically position ourselves to make an impact in the Post-COVID world, replace broken systems in the old world, and achieve things that were never possible before.

In my mind this is like after the Terminator Judgment Day, the remaining humans (who were NOT in power nor respected prior) need to come together and protect humanity against new threats (hmm…like AI-powered robots taking over).

At least for myself, this new sense of purpose at least fills me with hope and drive (instead of just doomsday survival mentality).

I immediately think about 100 things I need to do to make this positioning happen for myself during this 3-5 year reshuffling period.

I plan to share this journey with everyone in hopes more people get inspired and join me on this too.Of course, if I’m the only person passionate about this, I would still do it as it is providing me many benefits. I just hope more people can be on this journey with me too.

We can be part of the Post-Covid Resistance together.

How to become Irreplaceable in your Company

In Times of Crisis, all the rules change

In times of change, it’s often a good idea to think about how to become more irreplaceable in your company. Many organizations use times of crisis as an opportunity to “trim the fat” – looking at people that are just doing okay things at okay levels but usually not bad enough to let go.

In times like these they start to evaluate who in a company actively takes the company to new levels or at least increases the chances of the company surviving.

And the unfortunate thing is, most of the time the people who are doing the best work are not recognized compared to the people who are good at getting credit.

Case in point (I literally just thought of this as I am writing this email): many years ago I helped my wife who was working at a big bank write an email to her VP.

He immediately printed it out and asked to meet with her. In the meeting he exclaimed that she saw everything that he is worried about so clearly and he decided to give her a lot more new responsibilities on an important project.

The project my wife spearheaded turned out to be the only project that was launched within the deadline AND within budget in her seven years of being there.

Now here’s the kicker, a year later the VP met with her again, and he said, “If you had not written that email to me a year ago, you would have actually been laid off…failure to recognize talent is Management’s fault but I’m glad we didn’t make that mistake.”

Here’s the thing. My wife has financial engineering skills that is way beyond me. She will often discover calculation flaws in a large institution that would take three months to mathematically prove to coworkers! However, she’s not good at empathetic writing, human motivation, and behavioral design. That’s where my strengths came in handy.

Now I didn’t think I would actually save my wife’s job when I wrote that email, but based on the motivation profiles of her coworkers, I thought it would be a helpful thing to do (and yes I do listen carefully to my wife when she talks about her day).

Again, just because you are good at your job doesn’t mean your value is recognized by your company.

Another one of my talents is to create visual models and frameworks (here’s an Octalysis Prime video about how I figured out my strengths).

This one up here is the 2×2 Corporate Matrix. While I don’t want to spend a lot of time going through this in detail, they key here is that some people try to thrive in an organization through strong political skills, while some try to thrive through strong performance. Of course there are people who have both.

The key here is that, during times of peace and stability, political skills often get rewarded. After all, since everyone is comfortable, the motivation to not disturb/anger others exceeds that of delivering great work.

But that suddenly flips around during times of crisis. It’s a do-or-die situation for both the organization and the managers that make career-affecting decisions. They are not going to risk performance/survival just for those that make them emotionally feel good (employees that go golfing with them and do mutual home BBQs)

Ever wonder how startups with only twenty people and very little money can beat huge companies with twenty-thousand people and billions of dollars? (Often these large corporations simply give up and buy the startups for a Billion Dollars).

It’s because for a startup it is ALWAYS do-or-die. Every startup employee needs to constantly learn new skills and unleash their full potential because… the default is death.

If one team member performs mediocrely, that’s 5% of the organization being mediocre! As a result, everyone NEEDS to be Performers and Stars in the above 2×2 framework, and there is no room for Politicians. 

This compared to big companies in peaceful times – most people just work hard enough to get a paycheck, and then they stop. Extra energy is dedicated to playing politics as that gets rewarded the most.

Few people go on to learn disruptive new skills, take on innovative new projects (after all, why risk all this comfort for a chance of failure?), or come up with new systems to mobilize their workplace. 

During a crisis, just like working in startups, EVERYONE has to become a Performer or Star. This means that everyone should look at doing these things:

  1. Learn brand new sellable skills for the new economy
  2. Go beyond your responsibilities and start innovative projects that could increase your value or the strength of your organization (potentially more importantly – be recognized for it)
  3. Improve on persuasive and empathetic communication skills to guide Management and help them feel secure BECAUSE of your involvement
  4. Start taking initiative and coordinate with other departments to help them charter through new challenges (such as working remotely)

For myself, I immediately looked to innovate in the Remote Work space and created the REMOTE Work Cultural Framework. It has drawn a lot of attention (virtual speeches, podcasts, book request) in just a week!

Of course, I’m not stopping there. There are a hundred things I want to do and learn in order to come out 5x stronger than before the crisis started.

What about you? What have you been doing to ensure that you are making yourself more irreplaceable in your workplace? Or at least, what is your game plan for this? Because business-as-usual is not going to work. Doing the exact same thing and hoping things will work out is not a winning strategy.

Would love to hear back on your plans to survive and thrive through the COVID Crisis and become multiple times stronger in the Post-Covid Economy.

Quick Reminder: the Tier II 30% Early Bird Discount to my 30-day Behavioral Design Masterclass expires April 10th

I’m sending this reminder because I keep getting emails from people that tell me, “Ah! I missed the cutoff for the early bird discount! There just wasn’t a trigger to remind me about it! Could I still get the discount?”

The Tier II Early Bird discount of 30% off expires at midnight on April 10 (depending on your timezone but we usually give a small grace period). So if you feel like you may end up getting these tickets sooner or later, it would be a good idea to get your ticket today and save: http://bit.ly/yu-kaichou

I’ve already said plenty about the 30-Day Behavioral Design Masterclass so won’t boggle you down here besides that I’ll be sharing the best skills and practices currently available to me, and you will get plenty of guided hands-on practice.

Also, if you need more time to decide, don’t worry either because after April 10 it would only drop down to the Tier III Early Bird Discount (25% Off), so you’ll still be able to get it at a comfortable discount.

Here’s another big text link that takes you to the 30-Day Behavioral Design Masterclass. 

(Cuz you probably were just skimming through this blogpost)

It’s time to Upgrade Yourself and Create Next-Level Stuff!

Now is the Time to Upgrade Yourself for the New Economy

Online Learning Platform

The world is changing fast, and so must you.

This is the time to upgrade your skills for the new economy
In the past few weeks, the whole world was shaken up. Companies that seem invincible are ceasing operations and in risk of insolvency. Jobs that were thought to be the most stable are seeing the rug pulled out from under their feet. Even the strongest nations in the world (if you look at GDP) were brought down to their knees.

The world is changing rapidly, and therefore so must you. I believe the health/lockdown issues would go away in 3-8 months. But afterwards, unemployment caused by bankruptcies during the shutdown will impact us for the next 3-5 years.

During this time, I believe all the things we already knew the world was moving towards would be coming sooner than expected: 

  1. Companies will take this cease-in-operations to replace their infrastructure with robotics/AI
  2. Remote teams will become more popular, as companies try to continue to save money on travel/flights
  3. Each individual needs to learn to use more tools to make up for a reduced but more efficient workforce
  4. There will be a global surplus in “labor” (systematic work) but a global shortage in “talent” (creative and problem-solving work)
  5. The world will change at an accelerating pace. What you know now may become obsolete 5 years from now

While I am preparing myself and my own team for this, I wanted to make sure this also doesn’t hit my Octalysis audience by surprise. The (half-way) good news is that, this is also an opportunity to position yourself and give yourself an edge in the new economy.

If you’ve ever watched Game of Thrones, the cunning (but villainous) character Petyr Baelish states that “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.” Of course, we aren’t going to purposely create chaos like a villain just to climb the ladder (aren’t they supposed to be chillin’?) – but when chaos strikes, we can and should be prepared for it.

Earlier this year the World Economic Forum published a list of Top 10 Skills in 2020. I made a 3-Part Video on Octalysis Prime to explain why these are important skills in the future, as well as what has changed since their list in 2005 (Negotiation, Quality Control, Active Listening got nerfed, while Creativity, Emotional Intelligence, and Cognitive Flexibility got buffed).

Watch Part 2: https://vimeo.com/384891095/ef3848258f
Watch Part 3: https://vimeo.com/384892323/bf549f207c

Here’s also another video I made on How to Become more Visionary as a Leader:

So what’s your plan to upgrade yourself? 

Now is the time to make a plan on how you would acquire needs skills, crafts, and upgrade your Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creativity skills. It doesn’t have to be through my materials (of course I will try my best to keep up myself and share the latest things I’ve learned), but when things are changing so quickly, standing still would likely be the worse action of them all.

Would love to hear back on what you have been doing or plan to do to upgrade yourself for this new economy. Time to take things next level! 

Let’s get through these turbulent times together! 

Yu-kai Chou
Chief Mentor for Octalysis Prime: https://join.octalysisprime.com/op-fr/
Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yu-kai_Chou

Friendly Reminders:

I’m running a 30-Day Behavioral Design Masterclass June – July.

It will involve collaborative work and cover the 5-Step Octalysis Design process that my consulting company charges over $100K for.

The TIER II (30% OFF) Early Bird Discount expires April 10.
Octalysis Prime is my ultimate Digital Learning Journey. I’ve made over 600 videos on everything I’ve learned. Signup without credit card.

Training the Stallion Mind to Unleash Creativity, Part 2 of 2

Are you ready to try unleashing the Stallion within?

Many researchers, theorists, and practitioners throughout history have studied, imagined, and attempted to be more creative. Here’s Yu-kai’s take. As always, consider that creativity resides within Core Drive 3: Empowerment of Creativity & Feedback in the Octalysis Gamification framework. 

This post continues the discussion from Training the Stallion Mind to Unleash Creativity, Part 1 of 2.

Today’s post is about letting go, and letting the stallion run, and roam, free.

Unleash the Stallion: Take 3-5 Minutes to Let Go

For some of us, taking 3, much less 5 (gasp!) minutes to sit still with our eyes closed is a lot to ask.

This is your chance to let the Stallion run free.

If you’ve never tried this–or, if you’re like me, you only try it once or twice per year–you might be surprised by what happens next.

It is very likely an entire host of images and thoughts and feelings will present themselves to (or within) your conscious experience.

Maybe some of these will be useful in your creative endeavors. Or maybe not! It just might be worth your while, even if all I can tempt you with is some unpredictability and curiosity.

Isn’t this just Meditation?

There are many forms of meditation, some of which Yu-kai practiced as a child.

Letting the Stallion run free is not precisely a meditation technique. If anything, it is meditation super-lite.

You don’t need to prepare for it. You just have to sit down, close your eyes, and see what happens.

Want More Creativity?

This technique alone won’t change your life. But maybe it will become one of your Tiny Habits, which could compound over time as part of a daily routine (or help you finish writing that book!).

For more reading on this subject, I recommend Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

How Yu-kai Used Tiny Habits to Write ‘Actionable Gamification’

Tiny Habits are powerful. But you may not know how they impacted Yu-kai’s work.

Ever wondered how Yu-kai wrote his first book, ‘Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, & Leaderboards’?

In the development of his Lifestyle Inertia Design framework, Yu-kai came across B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits.

Tiny Habits is part of B.J. Fogg’s larger model: Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger (Prompt) [B=MAT(P)]

What are Tiny Habits?

When Yu-kai studied B.J. Fogg, the father of persuasive technology, he was intrigued by Tiny Habits.

Tiny Habits are a small task attached before or after another habit in your routine.

B.J. Fogg described his own application: Whenever I go to the bathroom, I do two pushups.

Only two?

Yes, just two. Maybe you’ll end up doing five or six, or ten. But if the goal was ten or twenty, and felt hard, you might not even start.

Lowering the pushup count increases the Ability in the B=MAT(P) equation.

With plentiful triggers (you go to the bathroom several times per day), the habit of pushups can be formed.

How Tiny Habits Helped Yu-kai Make Progress

Yu-kai had been asked to write a book about the Octalysis Gamification framework. And he wanted to write it.

He even promised attendees of an upcoming workshop that he would provide them a signed copy at the event.

The problem? Yu-kai’s approach was overly Black Hat. He didn’t want to disappoint attendees, and yet he didn’t have enough balance in the Core Drives to get him to the finish line.

Unpredictability to Lead You to Creativity

Yu-kai found a solution.

After completing email or client tasks, he usually took a break with some light gaming.

He made one change, though.

Before gaming, he would read the last paragraph he’d written in his book. Can you guess what happened?

That’s right: Simply reading one paragraph piqued his internal curiosity and began a positive feedback loop of creativity that often saw him writing for several hours!

The result?

He completed the book and did so happily and productively.

Better to be Awesome at One Game Than Mediocre at Many

Yu-kai recently provided an update to his famous Real Life RPG series, which is a system he discovered as a student to treat life as a game.

Yu-kai’s lifestyle gamification system has evolved from Real Life RPG to the 10KHP system (10,000 Hours of Play).

This approach lets you see opportunities as part of the game of life. With this philosophy, Yu-kai was able to choose his own game and make progress within it.

The problem with society today

One problem with society is that increasingly young people don’t know what to do.

As a result, older people don’t like their jobs.

Teenagers, as they approach adulthood, end up doing what their parents want them to do. There are just too many choices.

Whereas in a game, actions are more directed and manageable. If I’m level 37, I need to plan a path toward level 38, and so on.

Progress is just a matter of choosing how to get there within the constraints of the game.

In real life, too many people don’t appreciate their jobs or like their work, and people are less happy and living for the weekend.

But don’t we make money to increase our quality of life?

Instead, we spend so much time working that our quality of life is very intertwined with our work.

How to avoid becoming an NPC

One danger in life is becoming an NPC, or a non-player character.

NPCs generally have an explicit and static function within a game.

They sell potions, weapons, or divulge information at key moments to the hero.

A lot of people are becoming NPCs, meeting a basic functionality instead of pursuing their potential.

You can tell someone is in danger of becoming an NPC when you ask, “What’s new?” and they respond:

I’m still working the same old boring job.

While NPCs are reliable and consistent, they never change locations until the plot requires it.

Meanwhile, the HERO is always going out, taking on new quests, learning and growing.

Never stagnant, rarely passive, the hero is on a journey.

Would you rather life become meaningless?

You might argue that NPCs aren’t in danger, they don’t have to worry. But I think life as an NPC is not as exciting, adventurous, or meaningful.

The first step is to pick your game.

Winner of the Talent Triangle Octalysis Prime Challenge

The Talent Triangle is an integral part of the 10K HP process.

In Octalysis Prime, we opened a challenge for members to take on their Talent Triangle.

View the details of the Challenge here.

Emerging from a group of qualifying submissions, one submission stood above the rest for its completeness, attention to detail, and identifying progress for the future:

Iñaki Ibargoyen Vergara

Congratulations Iñaki! We are excited to see you use your talents to grow as a teacher and educator as you transform education!

View Iñaki’s submission.

In joint 3rd place, we would also like to congratulate:

Albertine & Kevin

Albertine Corre’s Submission

Kevin’s Submission

Both of these Talent Triangles were also of a high standard, with attention to detail, a description of where the Talents came from, whether through friends, reflection, experience, or online tests.

Thank you all, and congratulations to the winners!