Hope for the best, but plan for the worst in 2024

by Braxton Taylor

Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That is a good saying for just about any time but it’s especially relevant today. It is exactly how I’m looking at 2024… 

As we toasted the new year, it was interesting to talk to and find out that many of the people around me had the very same feeling of foreboding on New Year’s Eve that I had. At that moment, more than any other, I felt like we’re all collectively on a bus heading for a cliff that everyone can clearly see… we just don’t know exactly when we’ll reach the edge of the cliff or if the bus can be stopped before we reach it…

Me on New Years Eve 2024:

That perspective gives us a good base to work from, and a point of reference for the rest of the year: Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see if there was any official data to back up this feeling. Well, apparently there are a lot of people that share my lack of optimism heading into 2024!

In this Gallup poll, they track this question over time: 

In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time?

Currently, only 22% of people are satisfied with the way things are going and a whopping 77% of the country feels dissatisfied (1% had “no opinion”). Honestly, I’d like to talk to the 22% who are satisfied with the current situation to find out what they are smoking! (Or more appropriately what propaganda they are consuming…)

Looking at that chart, it is interesting to see when our most recent high point was – February 2020. Just before everything got locked down and our world changed from the scamdemic in March 2020. Now we can honestly say that we, as a nation, were trending in the right direction with nearly half (45%) of the country satisfied with the country’s direction back then. 

It is also interesting to note the lows: 

January 2021 Hmm… we all know what happened that month. 

October 2008 Financial meltdown and housing crash. 

July 1979Double digit inflation and gold hitting record new highs.

Also note that we haven’t seen a point where at least 50% of people polled are satisfied with the country since December 2003! That was over 20 years ago!


The division in this country is bad, and only getting worse. We’re fracturing along so many lines. It feels like 2024 could be the year when the cork finally pops off the bottle. 

Anything Goes in 2024

Why will 2024 not be like 2023?

Because it is election season in the United States! And you know what that means… 

The darkest movie in the Indiana Jones series says it best: “Anything goes!”…

(Also given the current geopolitical situation I find it especially relevant that she is speaking Chinese…

Yep, as we witnessed four years ago, anything goes. This is the big year that if anything crazy is going to happen like it did in 2020, it will happen. Nothing is off the table for the master of puppets pulling our strings. (Metallica reference for Danielle).

For a number of reasons, 2024 is lining up to be a POTENTIALLY rocky year. We won’t know for sure until it is over, and we might be surprised by its normalcy – but I doubt it.

The biggest reason for concern is, of course, the looming November election and the enormous divide between the right and left sides of the political spectrum. This could flare up in any number of ways this year from riots to direct political violence. Heck, they are even making a movie about a modern Civil War… so that can’t be good. 

Add in: 

… a broken border and millions of illegals (sorry undocumented Democrats), 

… geopolitical tensions with wars in the Middle East and Ukraine sucking away our resources,

… unsustainable national debt (this year the interest alone is expected to be 1 Trillion Dollars – with a “T” not a “B”).

The list goes on… 

With the election on everyone’s mind this year, when you really think about it, it doesn’t matter who gets into office. At this point the other side will scream bloody murder and will be ready to take physical action. We’re at that point as a nation. 

I hope it doesn’t come to that, but the collective mood is one of the school bus careening toward a cliff and I just don’t see any brakes on this bus, do you?

Starter or Bench Warmer? Doesn’t Matter, Prepare the SAME.

While we don’t have control over what 2024 will bring, we DO have complete control over our personal preparations in 2024. In fact, in a way, it is better that we have this collective foreboding so we are able to mentally and physically prepare for a rough year instead of it being thrust on us all like a giant surprise party (hmmm remember March 2020? Yeah, like that.).  

When I think about preparing for a potentially rocky 2024, I think of it like I’m a 2nd string athlete training for the big game. I don’t know if I’ll be called into action or just sit out the whole game on the bench.

Either way, I need to train and prepare exactly the same way so that when the day comes that I’m put on the field, I’m ready.

When it comes to preparation for a chaotic future, we just never know exactly when our knowledge, skills, network, supplies, etc. will be called upon. We just know someday they might… and 2024 is looking increasingly like that year.

Just like my hypothetical bench warmer self, if I don’t get the nod to play this game, no big deal, I haven’t lost anything. Either way I’m prepared for the NEXT game… 2025 perhaps.

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