Simplification

Too many choices generate anxiety and inaction.

The past is often (rightly?) considered simpler in many ways.

Avoiding options that ultimately are just "nice to have" or making simpler choices can free us from anxiety and provide space to take action.

An example might be to avoid plane travel but either use video conferencing, trains or other simpler options.

We don't *have* to plunge into the future via a high-energy, high-anxiety rush!

Climate change is a weird topic, swinging between hyper local and personal then back to huge theoretical global abstractions... managing personal reactions and comprehension over such a broad range is difficult.

A classic text from Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, may provide some useful guidance to simplifying decision making in the face of uncertainty. Schonbrun and Schwartz discuss Aristotle's approach in an article about "practical wisdom".

Practical wisdom means knowing how to balance conflicting aims and principles. This kind of wisdom acknowledges that uncertain risk cannot be eliminated, but guides us in becoming wiser about how we manage it.

They paraphrase the process of applying "practical wisdom" as follows.

  1. Start with the data (what we do know and what we can control)

  2. Avoid black and white thinking

  3. Start with the rules, and then consider wise modifications

  4. Learn to accept uncertainty—it is a key ingredient for fostering wisdom

There are certainly strong links here to the other routes to becoming future-proof discussed in this section. As such, I would suggest that it is worth learning each of these steps separately, because if you aren't already thinking along these lines then they may seem highly counter-intuitive! You can't "start with the data" if you're still in denial.