It’s time to start preparing for December 21st, 2012. If that date sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s the last day that is measured by the Mayan calendar before it rolls over. As you may have heard in the media, some people believe that when the Mayan calendar ends, then the world must also end. If you’re one of these people, then you’re not my target audience. Stop reading now and start preparing for your imminent demise.
For those who are still reading, please don’t confuse the end of the Mayan calendar with the Rapture. In this case, those who believe in it are convinced that at some unspecified time, they will be plucked from the Earth, while all of the heathens will be left behind. This is an altogether different end-of-the-world scenario.
Aside: if any of you have a mischievous streak and want to witness the end of the world, but don’t want to wait around for the Rapture, or even until December 21st – I’ve written an article just for you. It explains, step by step, how to end the world. It’s actually easier than you think and you can do it almost single-handedly.
The more I researched the December 21st, 2102 end-of-the-world scenario, the more I discovered that even the believers don’t know exactly what to expect on that fateful day. The web site http://www.december212012.com states “I don’t think anyone can honestly tell you what exactly is going to happen on December 21, 2012. Although this date may not necessarily mark the end of the world, it is widely believed that it may indeed mark the end of the world ‘as we know it’ “. As far as fear-mongering goes, their prognostication does not impress me. The interpretations of “the end of the world as we know it” are vast – it could mean anything from banning plastic grocery bags, to fitness guru Richard Simmons being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This web site even mentions among the possible events “unpredictable weather patterns”.
You are probably thinking “I don’t believe in this end-of-the-world nonsense, so why should I waste my time preparing for it?”. Even if you fully expect to wake up on Saturday December 22nd, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps do a little last-minute Christmas shopping, there are a few things you can do now, and in the near future, to enrich your life. In order to see these opportunities, you need to think like a stock exchange floor trader. Floor traders are a special breed of people – part spiritual leader, part Jedi Knight, and part analyst. Like a spiritual leader, traders relish the idea concept of equilibrium and of harmony in the universe; like a Jedi Knight, they can sense a disturbance in the force; and like a number-crunching analyst, they can identify, quantify, and predict the length of these anomalies. Floor traders make their living looking for temporary changes in the equilibrium, or in established or cyclical patterns, and then pounce on the discrepancies before anyone else notices.
The doomsday believers are among us – I don’t know how many – and when they start making preparations for the end of their world, it will cause ripples in ours. Opportunity lies ahead for those astute enough to predict these ripples, and now is the time to take advantage of some upcoming anomalous behaviour. Here are some ideas for your consideration:
HR Managers: I realize that this is obviously illegal, but I’m going to suggest it anyway. As an HR manager, you want to hire loyal, dedicated employees who are going to work hard, stay focused and remain with the company for a long time. You don’t want flighty, easily-duped, misguided little sheep who are going to rant and rave about the end of the world, and then abandon you after only a few months on the job. So, how can you ferret out these folks? You can’t simply ask applicants whether they believe that the world will end on December 21, 2012, so you’ll have to be discreet and gather this information indirectly. Engage in a little small-talk during the interview and then casually toss in something like “So – any plans for the Christmas holidays this year? How do you think [your city’s baseball team] will do next spring? Do you think that [your city’s hockey team] will finally win the Stanley Cup in 2013?”.
Lawyers: If you thought you were convinced that you were going to die at the end of the year, then it would seem logical that you would want to get your affairs are in order. This would include writing or updating your will. On the other hand, if you were convinced that everyone on the planet was going to die in some cataclysmic event, then there’s no need for a will after all. So, should you add wills and estate planning to your legal practice? I’ll leave that up to you.
Music Fans: Start buying online music now because I predict that Apple will raise the price of some songs in their iTunes music store, including: “REM – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It“, “Europe – The Final Countdown“, “The Doors – The End“, “Blood, Sweat & Tears – And When I Die“, and may be even “The Beatles – Help“.
Travelers: Start taking your cruises and vacations immediately, or else wait until 2013. There’s nothing like an immovable doomsday date to make people think about their “bucket list”. While everyone’s list will be different, I think that travel will be a popular item since we all have places that we’d like to visit before we die.
Bargain Hunters: I predict an absolute deluge of items for sale on eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji. If you won’t be needing your worldly possessions, then why not sell them and spend the money on yourself. Remember to play hardball – the sellers have an immovable deadline and you don’t, so don’t be too eager to press the “Buy It Now” button.
Opportunists: Many people seem to think that December 21st will bring about a catastrophic, but survivable global event. They are recommending stocking up on the usual survival supplies: flashlights, batteries, canned goods, lighters, heating oil, medical supplies, guns and ammunition. So, if you’d like to corner the market – like the Hunt brothers tried to do with silver during the late 1970s – then buy these supplies now and clean out the inventory in all of your local stores. As December approaches, start selling them back to the survivalist-believers.
Young, Single, Virile Men: This is probably not the most complimentary view of society, but I predict that there will be an unprecedented level of debauchery starting in December 2012. Face it – if you found out that you had only weeks or months to live (and would remain in perfect health the entire time) how would you like to spend your last days? Probably not alone… Therefore, my advice to you is this: this fall, hit the bars frequented by believers. By mid-December, any of your corny opening lines will probably work.