Okay, it’s no secret that the economy is in the tank. And it’s likely that this has you worried, angry, upset, and stressed out. And it’s no wonder. You’ve probably watched your investments fall, your retirement may be on hold indefinitely, you may have been laid off, your house is possibly worthless, and your credit lines have been cut. It isn’t helping that the media is beating the gloom and doom horse into the ground. You can’t go anywhere without hearing how bad things are, which likely only makes you feel worse.
In this time of misery, I’m going to offer up a challenge. Instead of going along with the gloom and doom scenario and feeling like complete crud, why not try reframing this crisis and its impact on your life into something more positive? Instead of giving in to the fear mongering and letting that fear control your life, why not try to take back some ownership of the situation?
Attitude has a lot to do with how you deal with a crisis. On the night his factory (which contained all of his work and works in progress) burned down, Thomas Edison said, “There’s value in disaster. All our mistakes our burned up. Thank God, we can start anew.” That’s a refreshing way to look at something that Edison could have chosen to view as a career ender. He could have wallowed in pity and failure but instead he chose to look at that disaster as a chance to start over and correct his past mistakes. He went on to invent many more things. Perhaps that’s how we should be looking at this crisis. Not as a disaster of epic proportions, but as a chance to learn something and correct our mistakes, thus improving our futures.
Obviously, this is easier said than done. I know how hard it is, when you’re staring at the bottom of your bank account, to find anything positive in the situation. But it’s worth the effort. What’s your alternative? To wallow in your misery? To consider yourself a failure? To stop trying? That’s no way to live. If you reframe the situation and choose to look at it positively, that is a catalyst for change that can bring you to a new, better place in life. Here are some stories that I’ve heard from people who are choosing to look at things differently:
From Luke, a laid off manufacturing worker: “Sure, I could be really pissed. The company I worked for for twenty years just laid me off with no severance, no benefits, nothing. I don’t have much savings, so things are definitely getting tight. But what good would it do me to sit at home and be pissed? That’s not going to bring in the money I need. I’m choosing to look a this as a good thing. I was getting kind of tired of working at that job, so this is my chance to do something else. I’ve always wanted to pursue my music but I was too tired at the end of my shift. But now I have plenty of time to practice and play. I’ve already got three paying gigs lined up and I’m sending out flyers to give music lessons. I’ve got one kid signed up. I’m still looking for