A tactic used by ancient Stoic philosophers such as Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus participated in a regular practice that they called a “premeditation of evils”. To do this exercise, they would take the time to envision all of the negative possibilities they could potentially encounter in life. For example, what it would be like to lose their job, a loved one or family member… Even things like suffering injuries or being murdered!
These philosophers believe that by imagining their “worst-case scenarios” they could live a life less afraid of them and plan more effectively to avoid them. Most people think that it is most important to visualize success and while it is a vital part of getting there, learning how to manage failure is another important aspect few think about, let alone prepare for.
This tactic is called inversion. It’s a particular way of thinking in which you give consideration to the things that you don’t want in life. It’s a rare skill that many people never even think about doing and after some regular practice, you may find yourself touting the benefits to all of your friends, family, and colleagues.
How does inversion help you handle your business?
- Shatter the status quo
Inversion is all about overturning standards and not shying away from the things that we all experience but rarely end up talking about. Inversion catapults you into a new way of thinking; one that’s more innovative and less concerned with what the general population considers the “right” way to go about business.
- You’ll consider your potential failures before they happen
In practicing inversion you come face to face with what you’re most afraid of happening and can plan ahead for what you will do if such a day were to ever come. If it does, you will be more likely to handle it in the most productive way possible and if it doesn’t (which hopefully it doesn’t) you will still feel like you can take more risks because you are mentally prepared for the worst-case scenario.
- You will be more sensitive to others
Business associates, customers, co-workers… Inversion softens and allows you to better connect and empathize with others. This is great for your business because people want to work for and support people those who are authentic and trustworthy. This ability helps you connect with others in a genuine way and can lead to better business practices.
Inversion is not only good for you personally, it is good for those around you and your business. Give it a shot!