What Would Happen If Another Hurricane Comes To Houston?
The last time I looked outside it was raining, but the street was not even showing signs of flooding. This was just a couple of hours earlier. When I checked again I couldn’t even see the sidewalk and it felt as if the water was getting closer and closer to the house by the minute.
That’s how fast things can change in life. That’s just the beginning of millions of stories that you will hear about what happened in Houston because of Hurricane Harvey.
The next day, a police car was going around our neighborhood suggesting an evacuation. I remember looking around in my room trying to figure out what to take. I took my Bauer backpack, filled it with 2-3 days of clothing, a couple of books, toiletries, some beef jerky, a flashlight and my laptop. That’s it.
In Venezuela, we have a saying that goes “El que viaja ligero llega lejos” which translates to “The one who travels light will reach further”. This is something that I had learned when moving from Venezuela to Panama, and then from Panama to the United States. Yet, Harvey reminded me of that lesson.
Later, as I was helping clean houses and demolish all the wet and humid cabinets and walls, I was reminded of another life lesson. Life has a way of teaching us exactly what we need to learn, and it has the patience to repeat the lessons as many times as they are needed so that we can learn and grow.
What would you do if you could only save a couple of things from your house? Would you take clothes? Furniture? Electronics? And what about your valuable documents? Or maybe things that you keep in your valuables safe?
Keep in mind that just hours after we evacuated, the neighborhood streets were flooded and there were some who didn’t act as fast as we did that were left stuck in it.
This is why we have to prioritize and execute. I’ve always been good at making decisions without letting emotions cloud my judgment but luckily I was reading Extreme Ownership, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin (Navy SEALs) while Hurricane Harvey was developing, and I was reminded of the importance of prioritizing and executing when facing extreme and fast-paced situations.
We have to be grateful that most of the losses during this catastrophe were material. But this doesn’t mean that recovering from it will be easy. This experience is going to leave a lot of emotional and in some cases physical scars. I witnessed some of those physical scars and I will tell you about it in a bit.
Let’s explore together some of the things we can learn from what happened in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey so that we can travel lighter to reach further, be more grateful for the things that we have, and to be happier and achieve more in our lives.
Harvey Taught Us To Be Grateful & Appreciate More
“No more rain. That we keep power. No deaths. “
Usually, my day would be great thanks to other things. I might have something like “landing a six figure deal”, or “getting to 30,000 followers”, or “having quality time with my family”. These are the type of things that I put in the 4th section of my daily journaling. That is the section where I write about the things that would make each day a great day.
Most often than not, these are business related activities or goals. But not these past few days. All I was asking for was:
No more rain
That we keep power
It is amazing how often we forget, and take for granted, the blessings and magical things that happen in our life. Just think about having wi-fi internet, many years ago that would be like magic.
Never forget that the situation can always be worse. This is not pessimism, it’s just a reminder to be grateful for what we have.
As I was driving towards Matt’s house I saw how some areas of the city were still underwater (and as I’m writing this I am sure that there are some areas that are still under water and may remain like that for days). There are many that don’t have flood insurance and might not get any FEMA money. So, be grateful if you have insurance because it could be worse.
Also, most people are in the process of taking out all that was humid because of the water (including furniture, appliances, walls, etc.) before they can start rebuilding. Some of these people don’t have flood insurance all will have to self-fund their repairs. Yet, most of them are not having to do so while having a cut in between your eyes and bleeding.
Yes, it can always get worse. As Matt was working to remove some of his kitchen cabinets, a piece of wood that was proving to be hard to remove finally gave in and it hit Matt right in the middle of his eyes. Now he has to repair the house AND his forehead. I was amazed at the calmness that Matt had during the whole sequence. He just tried to stop the bleeding with some paper towels as soon as possible and headed to a hospital. A couple of hours later he was back to keep working. So, be grateful if you have to only repair your house instead of both your house and your body.
Many will have to pull out from their savings or might even have to sell some of their investments to self-fund the repairments. Yet, many others might not even be able to do that. Some people might have to stop paying mortgages and leave their house behind. So, be grateful if you have the money or capacity to self-fund your house repairs because others will be houseless.
The goal is not to compare yourself with others that are worse so that you can feel better about yourself. Thinking about worse scenarios will help you focus on what you should be grateful about.
What If Another Hurricane Comes To Houston?
It will take months or maybe years for Houston to fully recover, but we don’t have to take that long to learn from this experience.
Starting TODAY, we can:
Live a Simple Life
Always Have a Plan in Place
Practice Daily Gratitude
Living a simple life will allow you to make better decisions. It will make you nimbler and flexible. We cannot foresee the future, but we can have the tools, mindsets, and habits, to face whatever life throws at us.
Living a simpler life will help you travel further.
Always having a plan in place will allow you to prioritize and execute, especially in situations where you don’t have a lot of time to make those decisions. Again, the simpler your life, and your plan, the easier it will be to execute. Think “Less but better”.
Always having a plan in place will help you overcome any obstacle.
Practicing daily gratitude will allow you to appreciate the simple things in life, which will lead to happiness. Focus on what you have, and not on what you want or what others have.
Practicing daily gratitude will help you turn obstacles into learning opportunities.
Sharing Is Caring
Hopefully, Houston won’t have to go through this Hurricane lesson again. And if so, we better be prepared for it.
This is an experience that we have been through together, and we will get out of it together too. I’ve shared with you some of the things I’ve learned and now I am curious about you.
What was your Hurricane Harvey experience like? Did you get something valuable out of it? Please share in the comment, I’d love to learn from your experiences too.
Also, I'd life to invite you to our community of people who are decided to challenge the status quo to define and achieves success on their own terms.