There is nothing good about the global economic crisis, is there? Job losses, businesses failing, fear for the future, insecurity, doubt that anything will ever change or get better.
After a while, fear fatigue sets in and resignation takes over. The news is too bad. The temptation to give up and give in to the seemingly-inevitable scenario of the the worst case scenario getting worse is powerful.
What can the ordinary person do? Billions or trillions of deficit are way beyond my comprehension. Can you envisage a trillion of anything? Why not become like the ostrich, bury your head in the sand, hope that it will all go away and when you look up again life will have returned to normal?
In spite of what I hear in the news, I observe people running healthy businesses and enjoying financial success, personal well-being and happiness, as if there were no disasters happening. What does it take be successful when the climate seems to go against it?
In examining "wealth" as I do in my book The Wealth Book -- Winning With Spirit, I found that wealth is more a state of mind than the state of your bank balance. A person with little money can be very wealthy, enjoying peace of mind and a vibrant sense of purpose and well-being.
A person who is financially "secure," even affluent, can nevertheless be fearful, cautious about spending their money, living almost as if deprived in some way, stressed and anxious. The expression "financially constipated" comes to mind. Typically, coins are round shaped. They remind us that money is designed to circulate.
Money alone does not bring confidence, stability, fulfillment and faith in the future. The successfully rich find creative ways of giving.
Dame Stephanie Shirley explains here why she gave away $100 million.
While I do not begin to have solutions for the world economy as a whole, I have assisted numbers of people to reassess their life as they define it and create greater financial success. If your present financial circumstances are less than you would like, there are ways you can effect your own economic upturn, regardless of what you read in the news.
The following eight keys may assist you:
1. Clear the space for your economic upturn.
Sell, give away or throw out possessions for which you no longer have use or value. Get organized. If you have debt, get advice and begin to clear it. Put your financial house in order. Know where you stand.
2. Identify your values and priorities now.
What do you need? What can you do without? Who are the important people in your life? What do you need to communicate with them? What is absolutely essential for your health and well-being?
3. Value yourself.
If you are meeting a money crisis, it is possible that you are harsh with yourself and overly self-critical. How did I get into this mess? If only I had... A sense of shame or self-doubt will not help you to move forward into a more rewarding phase of your life.
Instead of being judgmental toward yourself, become kinder and more compassionate as you might be with a close and good friend. Forgive yourself for your shortcomings. We all have them, one way or another. Treasure yourself and be good to you. Treat yourself well.
4. Know what you want.
Start with how you would like to be feeling. Confident, authentic, trusting, motivated, purposeful, self-assured, or having fun, for example. Set up an inner foundation for your experience of life on which to build your economic upturn. While you may not be able to change your outer circumstances right away, you can take steps now to build your inner strength and lay in the foundation of the life you would like to be creating.
Dare to envision what you want. Begin to entertain the future you would like to enjoy. Think about
A. What you must have -- your basic needs
B. What you would really like
C. The gracious touches that you would love if you could have them
5. Be creatively giving -- get into a new flow in your life.
Give to receive. Giving will engage you with others and help to create a network for your economic upturn. Give your time and talent to someone who would value it. Others may lead you to opportunities that you had never considered.
If you have lost sight of your wealth of gifts and talents, a "Clear Results Self-Assessment" might assist you.
6. Ask -- and be willing to receive.
If you have been accustomed to having plenty of money with prestige, power and possessions, your pride may get in the way of asking for the help you need. In receiving from others, you are in fact giving a gift. People derive pleasure and benefit from giving. It takes courage to ask. If a person is not able to assist you, that does not mean they are rejecting you. Keep asking and stay open to receive, even from unlikely sources. Be open to possibility.
7. Invest in yourself.
How do you appreciate who you are? Complete this statement to yourself a few times: I am grateful that I am...
You are one of the best investments you can make. Why? The care you give to yourself is like topping up the well from which you can give to, and benefit, others. In the larger economic upturn, which I believe we will be witnessing, we will be valuing ourselves and others in new ways.
Years ago, during another financial crisis, I gave a talk at a chamber of commerce. Sitting at the front of the audience was a young woman, bright, vibrant and enthusiastic -- and recently laid off from work. There was nothing down and despondent about her. Talking with her later, she told me how she was taking time each day to get fit and it really showed. As a potential employee, she was making herself an attractive prospect.
8. Get going -- get busy!
Whatever your age or stage in life, you count. Become accountable for your own economic upturn, the value that you are and have. Join those who are finding their voice and letting it be heard. You are rich in assets with which to serve and benefit others. We are none of us islands.
Through joining together with increasing numbers of like-minded others, we may find that we can change the economic conditions we find, within and around us. As a growing, caring human community, we are likely to find a wealth of resources, of talent, of innovation that come through our willingness to share the spirit of who we are in practical ways.
Never doubt the ingenuity and capacity for innovation that we have in people amongst us. One of the most inspiring enterprises I have heard about recently is Incredible Edible Todmorden.
The global economic crisis may prove to be a blessing in disguise as we learn to reevaluate our lives and priorities. What is more, it may stimulate economic growth and prosperity in ways we had never before dared to imagine.
In the meantime, how are you becoming more resourceful with your finances and other assets? How are you preparing for your economic upturn? I would love to know. Please leave a comment below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more by Anne Naylor, click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.