“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”
Joseph Heller, Catch 22
Would you jump over the fence, or peek over it first? If you took a peek, would you consider that to be paranoid?
Urban Dictionary defines healthy paranoia as, “Checking something multiple times to assure yourself that something is correct or safe because you are aware of the consequences of it being not safe or correct.”
If you maintain a healthy dose of paranoia it could actually be considered:
Healthy paranoids, also referred to as prudent paranoids, monitor their moves, scrutinize and analyze actions in detail. They have a sense about present and future danger, and use this as an early warning system. They investigate and evaluate information, which can help them to develop protections against what could develop into a real external risk.
Putting healthy paranoia into practice:
- Ensure you have all the facts, learn everything you can, don’t stop at what you want to hear or only what others want you to know.
- Be open to how to interpret the data you collect and avoid jumping to conclusions. The data you have is only as good as your effective interpretation of it.
- As the old saying goes, “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer.” It’s good to have dependable supporters who are there to help safeguard your interests, but make sure that you don’t let that insulate you. Know what the other side is doing, thinking, planning …
- Be a little unpredictable. Unexpected behavior can put a potential adversary off guard, lessen their sense of security, and create doubt about their plan.
- Be ready to disregard the rules, know when to forget the rules and go with your instincts.
- Ask “what if” questions constantly. As Murphy’s Law dictates, “If it can go wrong, it will.” So, you must ask questions, and realize that it’s the problems that you might not possibly have imagined that will do the most damage.
- Be proactive. Being paranoid doesn’t do you any good if you’re not effectively using it to solve or prepare for problems.
- Life is a constant learning experience, and like most things, the more you practice healthy paranoia, the better you will get at identifying and asking the right ‘what if’ questions, and creating solutions to potential problems.
“Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity.”
Artist Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall