Why You Need A Super Reserve

Growth without risk is impossible but taking fool-hardy risks leads to destruction. You can increase your risk tolerance and help mitigate the effects when a risk plays out by building reserves. You can further enhance the one and guard against the other by creating Super Reserves.


Disasters 2020

2020 has not been a good year for many people. The number and enormity of disasters are jaw-dropping. [“Disasters”]

At the top of most peoples’ list would be the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Then there are the wildfires that have burned and continue to burn millions of acres of forest, as well as hundreds of homes, in California, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest. And let’s not forget the hurricanes that have devasted the Gulf Coast and caused damage throughout the Southeast. In fact, as of this writing, we have tied the record for the most named Atlantic storms in a season at 28. Add to that the derecho that tore through the midwest, destroying crops and farm buildings, killing 4, injuring dozens, and leaving thousands homeless. [“Disasters”]

There is the civil unrest arising from the unnecessary deaths of Black men and women at the hands of authorities, which has shone a spotlight on how deeply racism is embedded in our culture.

And that’s just in the United States. Across the world, there has been flooding, monsoons, earthquakes, and the explosion of stored ammonium nitrate in Beirut, Lebanon, that destroyed buildings for several miles, killed at least 190 people, injured thousands more, and left a pit 460 feet in diameter where the warehouse had stood. [“Disasters”]

No, most of us could say 2020 has not been that good a year.

build super reserves

Disaster Tolerance

But, as Seth Godin writes in his blog, “Disaster Tolerance”, there are two important facts concerning disaster: “Not all disasters can be avoided.” And, “Not all disasters are fatal.” [Godin]

If you accept those two statements as truth, you can create “a disaster-tolerant nation or project or lifestyle.” [Godin] You can take calculated risks while taking steps to mitigate the consequences should the “disaster” befall you.

Developing a disaster-tolerant outlook allows you to – as the saying goes – “expect the best while preparing for the worst”. It doesn’t protect you from experiencing disaster, but it gives you confidence that you can handle whatever comes your way.

Building Disaster Tolerance

Growth without risk is impossible but taking fool-hardy risks leads to destruction. You can increase your risk tolerance and help mitigate the effects when a risk plays out by building reserves. You can further enhance the one and guard against the other by creating Super Reserves.

If you have a backup of your data, you can recover from a hard drive crash. When you have multiple backups in different places, you have a Super Reserve.

If you have flashlights, batteries, candles, and a gas stove or grill, you can deal with the electricity being out for a few days. When you have a generator that can power your major appliances, you have a Super Reserve.

If you have a savings cushion to cover 3 – 6 months’ of expenses, you can weather a temporary job loss or illness. When you can truly say “I have $25,000 in a savings/money market fund for which I have no need of/plans” [Leonard], you have a Super Reserve.

Worrier + Risk Taker

Thomas Leonard, the originator of the idea of life coaching, described himself as a big worrier. He was also known to take huge risks. [Stewart] That is a hard combination of traits to live out.

But Leonard was also prolifically creative. He experienced for himself how having reserves, both tangible and intangible, enables one to be a worrier + a risk taker. Leonard created the concept of having Super Reserves of anything you might need to prepare for almost any contingency. Having reserves helps provide the confidence to step out and take on the risks that promote growth.

Addressing Worry And Anxiety Through Reserves

You can use the Super Reserve checklist as a tool to enhance your confidence in the areas of your home, your car, your finances, your safety, your energy, your space and time, opportunities, supplies, relationships, and protection against disasters. More about that in a minute.

If you are facing a current risk and impending potential problems, you can use the concept of having reserves to help give you confidence in that area. To do that, ask and answer these questions.

  • What are you concerned about? Describe the risk and the possible outcome if you fail.
  • What’s the worst that could happen? Be realistic but don’t hide from the worst.
  • What’s likely to happen? Probably not the worst thing, but again, be realistic about possible failures.
  • How can you mitigate the risk? List what you can do to keep the worst thing from happening.
  • What do you need to have in reserve? What reserves of material, supplies, space, etc. can help prepare you to deal with the most likely things? the worst thing?

Suppose you are worried about your employment situation. Business is down and there is talk of layoffs.

What’s the worst that could happen? You could lose your job, not find another one, and never work again.

What’s likely to happen? You might be laid off for a time – weeks or even months.

How can you mitigate the risk? Well, hopefully, you have already been providing great service to your employer, such that you are an important part of the team. If not, get on that right away. Also, begin cutting back on expenses and adding to your savings cushion.

What do you need to have in reserve? Think specifically of the necessary supplies and materials you can put by in case you were to become unemployed. Consider how you could develop other streams of income. If possible, pay upcoming bills in advance, perhaps having a cushion of a few months.

Action – The Super Reserve Checklist

“With a super reserve you don’t just have more than enough,” we read in CoachU’s Essential Coaching Tools, “you have more than enough to free your mind up to focus on more creative and productive pursuits than mere survival.” [CoachU]

Enough doesn’t include just the bare necessities. “Enough means having enough to live, enough to be happy, and enough to thrive.” [Babuta] Having a Super Reserve means you have, not only enough but more than enough so that your mind is freed up from thinking about survival to focus on creative pursuits and self-actualization. A Super Reserve “provides us with enough resources to be our best.” [CoachU]

If you want to see how your own reserves stack up as a Super Reserve, check out the Super Reserve Checklist.

Create Intense Trust In Yourself

Confidence comes from the Latin con + fidere, which means “with intense trust”. Brian Johnson tells us that this intense trust is in ourselves. True confidence lies in knowing that you can deal with whatever comes your way. It isn’t that we never face disasters, but rather, we have the confidence that we can deal with them as best we can.

One way to build that confidence, as we have seen, is to have a Super Reserve — more than enough to help us deal with the inevitable mishaps and calamities and downright disasters.

Build the Super Reserve you need to expect the best and prepare for the worst. That is embracing the Excelerated Life™!

(Please NOTE: I am neither a medical professional nor a licensed counselor. If you are struggling and simply cannot accept or move past a situation you are dealing with, I urge you to seek the assistance of a qualified professional.)

Excelerated Reserves™ — moving from scarcity to abundance — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being and a life of meaning, purpose and service.

Read more about the Excelerated Life™.


Babauta, Leo. “Key Question: How Much Is Enough?”, Zen Habits. Zen Habits,. November 4, 2020.

Coach U, Inc. Coach U’s Essential Coaching Tools. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005

“Disasters.” Center For Disaster Philanthropy. Center for Disaster Philanthropy,. Web. October 24, 2020.

Godin, Seth. “Disaster tolerance.” Seth’s Blog. FeedBlitz, LLC, June 9, 2011. Web. October 24, 2020.

Leonard, Thomas. “Super Reserve Checklist.” CoachVille.com. CoachVille LLC,. Web. October 24, 2020.

Stewart, Julia. “How Thomas Leonard Prepared Me for the Covid Pandemic.” School Of Coaching Mastery. Julia Stewart Coaching and Training LLC,. Web. October 24, 2020. https://www.schoolofcoachingmastery.com/coaching-blog/topic/reserves

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