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ideas@innovations
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Posted at 03:56 PM ET, 12/20/2012

The world isn’t ending tomorrow. Now what?


Mayan green ceramic calendar. (Stephen Drago - Big Stock)

You can stop hiding your kids and your wife in the Ark/bunker/pod you constructed. The world isn’t ending tomorrow. But, judging by the volume of copy generated online, it appears a blog without a post addressing the no-longer-impending end of days will be obliterated by the Three Horsemen of the Blogging Apocalypse on Dec. 21.

So, in an effort to save Ideas@Innovations from impending doom, here you go: The world isn’t ending on Friday. Seriously, NASA’s all over it. But now that you know this, what are you going to do? You’re probably going to go about your business like nothing would have ever happened, that’s what.


Duch Pieter van der Meer (L) and a friend uncover his Norwegian lifeboat in his garden in Kootwijkerbroek with which he can save 35 persons in case of a global apocalypse hits on 21 December. But it won’t. (ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

La-de-da. Back to life as you’ve always known it. Nothing to see here folks. Just another day, you know, living here on Earth. Maybe you chuckle at the next door neighbor stuck with 5,000 cans of beans. But why — why not treat yourself or do something completely out of the ordinary? What, if not the threat of the end of the world, does it take for us to break the mold of our lives? In the case of the Mayan prophecy, it’s because you probably didn’t believe a lick of it in the first place — I didn’t. Either that, or our minds just refuse to fully process this happening and the resulting collective existential meltdown such an event would produce.


Duch Pieter van der Meer poses on December 19, 2012 in his Norwegian lifeboat. (ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

But the act of creating something new — founding a new business, inventing, yes, innovating — is rooted in the ability to get outside of the box we construct out of routine. It requires that we, at least at some point, live life as if tomorrow it will all end.

Just like that. Boom.

Even though, deep down inside, you know it won’t.


Lu Zhenghai, right, walks near his ark-like vessel under construction in China's northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Nov. 24, 2012. Lu Zhenghai is one of at least two men in China predicting a world-ending flood, come Dec. 21. (Chen Jiansheng - AP)

The chaos generated by everyone simultaneously living life as if tomorrow is their last day on Earth is a recipe for absolute chaos, of course. But it’s worth remembering the power of whispering “carpe diem” to yourself every once in a while, especially on the day that was widely touted as the planet’s last.

So, what do you plan to do now that you know the world isn’t ending? Let me know in the comments.

Read more news and ideas on Innovations:

The ripe fruits of DIY

The machines’ year in review

Mission ends with a crash

By  |  03:56 PM ET, 12/20/2012

 
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