Mind-Map #4: When Stakes Are High!!!

Understanding The Power of Crisis And How To Harness It.

4 min readDec 21, 2018


Photo by Robert Metz on Unsplash

A crisis is not only when your life is stake.

It is every time when you feel like your life is at stake.

In the modern world, most of the crisis we face is of the second type.

When you are under pressure of an important exam, when you have a deadline to achieve, when you have to attend a social event, when you have to give a speech, and when you have the big presentation ….

In this post we will explore:

drawn using http://sketchboard.io

I was surprised to learn the not-so-negative meanings of crisis.

Most of the challenging situations outside of our comfort zone fall under this broad classification of crisis.

We all have some skill that we can perform easily but just freeze when we have an audience or when how we perform has some impact.

We have known someone who was a promising student but performed poorly in the final exam.

On the other hand, we all know someone who performed her best in her final, most important performance. Much better than her practice sessions.

For the longest time, I have given the credit of top performances solely to the presence of mind and inner peace.

I am not saying that being present in the moment is not important.

But it is hard to achieve the peace and presence of mind when you are performing the task without enough practice.

The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. — Norman Schwarzkopf

  • No pressure at all is as bad as too much pressure. The small amount of pressure is present when you have the purpose and are aware of limited time on earth you have to achieve it. But I would never try to learn how to climb a tree if I have zero chance of applying that knowledge.
  • Throwing someone in water can help them learn to swim faster to survive, but to really learn and explore how to swim one needs to stop worrying about something as basic as not drowning first.
  • You do not have the resources to recall how exactly to perform the move when the whole crowd is going crazy and you are in the final minutes of the game. The practice in peace should have made the skills as your second nature, only then you can improvise to handle the unforeseen critical situation.

Now that we are not afraid of crisis and have practiced enough without inhibiting factors, let’s get to the crossroad, the moment of decision or the time When the stakes are high:

This is the most important part of the entire learning.

The feeling I was afraid of, the excessive energy I considered as anxiety, hated, and did all I could to avoid: was my natural response to provide me additional resources to perform well when it matters.

Even if we have learned to divert it in the right direction by choosing to fight over flight, too much of anything is bad.

Especially in cases where we have made a mountain of a molehill.

Failure, rejection, and humiliation literally meant death to primitive humans. But now we have evolved to the point where we can survive and thrive after those.

To limit our primitive response and not to make every interview, public speech, party a life-or-death situation, we must use our rational thinking ask ourselves:

What is the worst possible outcome? Can I handle it?

The answer to the second question would be YES and we would stay focused on our goals while performing and using the additional energy brought by the crisis in a constructive way.

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This is my fourth post where I try to explain an idea using mindmaps. In the first two posts, I used hand-drawn mind-maps. Let me know which one you prefer and how can I improve.