How to stop panicking in life and in advertising
If I were a therapist, I would suggest an individual struggling with patience to go on a road trip with a toddler and try their best not to implode. A trip like this is less of a getaway and more so a wildly inconvenient (and at times downright painful) practice in becoming a parent.
No matter how good you are in planning, how obediently you follow parenting guides or prepare diligently, things will inevitably go wrong.
The lines to bathrooms in obnoxiously named restaurants will be so long they’ll make your wait at Disney World feel like a Nascar pit stop.
When you stop on the way to enjoy the view, your toddler will manage to hit the ground so hard you’ll wonder to yourself as you nurse their wounds why you just paid to go up a mountain only to watch your kid fall down from it.
Then, at the end of all of this, when your body feels like it’s been hit by a running train at high speed, you’ll have to hoist your toddler over your shoulders and walk back to the car.
At some point, during all of this, you will wonder if it wasn’t all a mistake. If you should just pick up your phone and catch the next cab home.
Right around this time, you’ll suddenly accept the fact that you don’t have any control. Now that is when you can begin enjoying the trip.
The constant need to control
You don’t go on a road trip for the drive; you go for everything that happens when you’re not driving: the humbling, the practice in patience, the companionship, the gentle high as your toddler drifts off to sleep, while you enjoy a deep conversation on a winding road. You would choose this road trip because it gives us an excuse to spend 8-9 hours with the people we love, even if those 8-9 hours have their own sort of challenges.
Advertising is no stranger to this feeling of losing control of the situation. There are days when you find yourself wrestling between extreme panic to mild vertigo over the possibility of a last-minute, last-second change in the brief.
But here’s how to be productive when you’ve lost your sense of direction.
No matter how bad the meltdown, strap your panic in the passenger seat and don’t let it wriggle out. The only way to distract your panicky thoughts is to start driving, get moving, and change the scenery.
It’s time for a well-thought workable solution. Don’t jump in. Don’t give on-the-spot solutions to the person making you wait. Just wait. Your meal will be served. Hand out candies in the meantime.
Keep a pack of your best backup plans ready for what’s most urgently needed to contain a situation – until the calm returns.
These tips can be applied in advertising as well as life to maintain peace in any difficult situation.
Yasir Nahim is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Communication Consultancy, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me