A friend mentioned today that we are in another age of "creative destruction."
- Jobs are stable
- Big banks don’t fail
- My retirement accounts are safe
- My home will maintain or increase its value
- My parents are taken care of
- My business will continue to grow
- Ed McMahon is relaxing at home after a long career
And, for some:
- I have a job
On PainAnd a woman spoke, saying "Tell us of Pain."
And he said:Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief…"
- If you feel the weight of a challenge (financial, personal, health-related), find someone safe and confide in him (or her). Let him know what is going on, and share any fears or anxieties that you have boxed inside. Hearing yourself talk about your challenge can give you a different perspective. And receiving sympathy and support from someone you trust will go a long way to lesson the anxiety you may be feeling. If you stay stuck in your own head, the tendency is to completely lose reason and perspective.
- Look to others who have gone through similar situations and come out thriving. It seems the media is on a bit of a shark feeding frenzy of bad news lately. There is a huge blast of "look how many poor schmucks got laid off today!" on every media platform. And this can make all of us feel on edge. To combat this, limit your news, and follow stories and individuals who have lived through really difficult economic and personal challenges and came out swinging. Yes, times are kind of rough at the moment. But it doesn’t mean we need to curl up in a ball and act defeated.
- Stand by someone else. When I have my down moments, one thing that always makes me feel better is to do something that will help someone else. Often, this is writing a blog post that addresses a common concern. Sometimes it is connecting two people who I know will benefit from each others expertise or service. Sometimes it is just taking an extra moment to really listen to someone who is in my life, like my son’s preschool teacher, or the pharmacist at my local grocery store. By doing so, I have learned that my pharmacist is a poet, and my son’s preschool teacher wants to write a book.
- Don’t try to do everything yourself. Do you have great ideas, but are a bit challenged getting them off the ground? Now is an excellent time to look in your extended circle for joint venture partners. I am working with my good buddy and fellow business coach Michele Woodward on a marketing program for our tribe of Martha Beck coaches. I have forgotten how fun it is to work with someone else, especially someone like Michele who is open, fun and creative. By working together, we are delivering a better program, more quickly, than if either of us had done it ourselves.
- Get connected with those outside of your day-to-day circle. I realize that not everyone is a social media weenie like me, but if you are open to new things, experiment with online communities like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn. It may make you feel much more optimistic about employment and work opportunities if you realize that you don’t have to meet with employers or clients in person to make a good living. I will probably never meet most of my clients face to face, but through the wonder of technology, we find each other to our mutual benefit.
We met about ten years ago, when we were both leadership coaches in the
Bay Area. He was the picture of perfect health. And then:
In 2004 I had a life altering experience. While traveling on spiritual
retreat in India, I fell from a building and broke my neck. In an
instant, I became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down. In
that single moment, my life was transformed from "having it all" (a
successful leadership coaching practice, a home in Sausalito, a
beautiful girlfriend, and a healthy body) to "losing everything" – or
so it seemed. I have spent the last several years learning how
to take tragedy and transform it into a positive extraordinary