Forecasting is the process of making predictions of the future based on past and present data and analysis of trends.
As kids we would regularly check the surf report for information regarding the current scene at whatever beach we were planning to go to. The goal was to get the best, most current information available so we would know where the best surf was at.
A small but crucial portion of the information provided was wave measurement and quality. An example would be “Sunset Cliffs - 2-3 feet, knee to waist high, fair to poor conditions”. This information would tell us that going to this location on this day would probably result in a poor surfing experience, so go elsewhere or stay home.
There was also additional information that would increase one’s awareness of the scene, such as: “Large cracks are beginning to appear at Sunset Cliffs, so please exercise caution if in the area.” This information could prove to be invaluable if you surf or buy real estate. Being aware of the forecast can enhance your daily living and save you from disaster.
The world is changing rapidly and staying current can take a considerable chunk out of your day, so we usually opt to focus on areas of interest that we share around the watercooler. Because of the volatile nature of some of the currents, such as politics or religion, we either keep our awareness to ourselves or bypass information collection all together.
What happens over time is that we lose awareness of these topics of volatile nature and create a comfortable cocoon which insulates us from minor shifts and awkward situations. This is a great tactic for getting along with the day and not worrying about tomorrow, but it can be folly if you ignore an approaching storm.
Another ill-advised tactic is to siphon off someone else’s perspectives and adopt them as your own because they make sense with your worldview. This is lazy, potentially dangerous, and can lead down some crazy rabbit holes.
Being aware of a storm is not the same as being prepared for the storm…but both require accurate forecasting.
Give yourself 5 minutes a day and check out the geopolitical, national, or domestic scene. Inform yourself of what is occurring in other locations and you will broaden your awareness and expectations of what happens during a storm.
Don’t be storm focused, be storm aware.