Love the black swan, the thunder of the wings. The history of the world is filled with black swans. You have probably seen one yourself. You’ve probably experienced the thunder of its wings. Most of you might be scratching your head as you associate a swan with the colour white and have probably only fed those. The black swan I am referring to is very much alive but is not an animal. The swan I am referencing is the black swan theory!
What is the black swan theory?
The black swan theory which is actually better described as, the theory of black swan events, refers to a surprise event with a mayor effect which one rationalises in a certain way when looking back on it. A recent example of this is the COVID-19 pandemic, a world changing effect which few/none could have predicted. Other examples are the sinking of the Titanic, the Chernobyl incident, Stock Market crashes and not to forget September 11th. Black swans also occur on different scales in our personal lives, unexpectedly losing your job or even the death of a loved one are prime examples.
Like European explorers who believed only white swans existed, these events shock us just as much as seeing a black swan did them.
How do you feed your black swan?
Life changing events such as these can bring a lot of pain and sadness with them but what truly makes them life changing is how we deal with them. Where one might wallow in the pain of losing their job, another might look at it as the opportunity of a lifetime. No matter the severity of an event, we all have a choice in how we move forward.
When losing your job you can choose to cling to the fear of insecurity, constantly being on the lookout for a sign of reorganisation within a company you are employed with afterwards. Or you could choose to enjoy the opportunities you are given within other companies. But you can also take the event and use it to inform/inspire others. For example by writing an article/book around the topic of reorganisation or how to deal with it.
The true beauty of the black swan can be clearly seen after the event. The nature of the black swan event does not change, the negatives won’t magically become positive. The beauty lies in what occurs after. Think on how everyone joins together to help individuals, communities and nations during and after a crisis. Think on how someone tries to turn their life around after a catastrophic event, or how families bonds strengthen after a death.
Have you had any black swans occur in your life?
Take a moment, think on how you deal with your black swans (or cygnet). As painful as they might be, love them and share any lessons learned with others. Creating your own thunderous wings! Love the black swan!