Stay calm under pressure

I love the smell of lycopodium in the morning

It’s probably not the case anymore, but as I understand it, Lycopodium was used as a fingerprint revealer by the Police. I mention this because I woke up this morning to find that my car had been broken into whilst parked in Manchester and it was covered in fingerprint revealer. Nothing valuable stolen luckily, because I never leave anything of value in the car; but it did throw out my schedule for the morning slightly.

Rather than being able to take a leisurely drive down to the Museum of Science and Industry [MOSI] for the UKLUG conference I am attending, I had to arrange for Autoglas to fit a new window and then phone the Police (there was a Police Log ticket on the dashboard). Again, an inconvenience rather than a disaster. After all, it’s a car: nothing more. No need to get too excited.

And that’s the point. I could have reacted by going ballistic and generally taking it all personally. By reacting rationally and calmly, I was able to concentrate on getting the important things done without intruding into my day too much. In this case, finding an Autoglas centre near to MOSI and getting the car fixed was the priority so that I could continue my day without too much disruption. Phoning the Police was a secondary concern. Beyond needing a crime number for the insurance claim, there was little they could do.


The lesson is to stay calm when things go wrong. By staying calm, you can concentrate on doing the most important thing first.



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4 Responses to Stay calm under pressure
  1. Good advice regarding Business Continuity: Stay calm under pressure via @GarethHowell

  2. […] yesterday’s post  ”Stay calm under pressure“, I related the tale of my car being broken into whilst parked in Manchester. Well, the story […]

  3. Joe Leto

    This is very true. I learned from a very great teacher that becoming angry or panicked after an event has already taken place is impractical, because it just creates more problems. I’ve taken this lesson and applied it to life as well as with maintaining business continuity so as to not lose profits or create stress for my employees.

    • Gareth Howell

      Sound approach, Joe.
      Thanks for commenting.