Back in September of last year, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve Chair, claimed that we had entered the worst economic crisis he had ever seen. In the months that followed, economic indicators got a whole lot worse and the news media (you'll recall we discussed the "business of fear" in a previous blog) couldn't stop blaring the siren song of: "this is the worst it's been since the Great Depression, yada, yada, ya!"
And, so the story continues. For those of us trying to stay rational, live without being on hyper alert or suffering daily panic attacks; what are we supposed to think, feel and do? Are these experts giving us responsible analysis of a dire situation, or is this economic doom and gloom a one-sided story that's perhaps doing us more harm than good?
Both are true. But you have a lot more power than you think to not only survive this storm, but to thrive! Despite any real challenges you may be experiencing--and let's face it, they are out there--there are simple ways to empower yourself and start using your challenges to your advantage. Challenges are an integral part of life--so what are you going to do about them? By concentrating on something over which you have total control--your thoughts, feelings and actions--the positive changes can be swifter than you can imagine.
You move towards what you focus on
In last month's blog, I wrote about how energy flows where attention goes. Thankfully, that's a reality that's gained serious traction as of late. So, too, is that fact that what you focus on expands. Meaning: give anything your time and attention and suddenly you start seeing a lot more of it in your life--both bad and good.
But even though these principles are becoming more accepted, that doesn't mean we don't need frequent reminders to place our attention on what we want and choose for our lives, and away from what we don't want. Particularly when life gets challenging, bad habits take over, don't they? So you've got to be vigilant and constantly on your game. For instance, there's a big difference between checking the online headlines each day to see what's happening in the world so that you're informed versus falling asleep to the news so that messages of murder, mayhem, sickness, and poverty replay like a soundtrack for eight hours in your unconscious mind. You may have to be informed; you don't have to be inundated.
Moreover, there's a massive difference between looking at your finances and putting a debt reduction plan in place (realistic and proactive) versus staring at your bills every day until you're paralyzed by images of living in a cardboard box and pushing all your worldly goods around in a shopping cart (a fear-based self-fulfilling prophecy you don't want!).
Bottom line reminder: FOCUS on what you WANT! See it. Feel it. Live it. Be it. Only you can safeguard what you allow into that fabulous mind of yours. At the risk of sounding like a broken record... energy flows where attention goes!
Watch what the masses are doing and do the opposite
This is not always easy. We're hammered every day with ideas from the media, our friends and associates. You've got to break out of this conversation if you ever hope to live up to your potential. Those who are currently thriving today know and believe that they can and will thrive regardless of economic indicators, and they're looking for opportunities. Warren Buffet said, "When other people are greedy be cautious. When other people are cautious be greedy." While I'd personally choose a different word than greedy, the philosophy is clear. Think, feel, and act opposite from the collective.
I once saw a beautiful oceanfront home in Carmel, California, right on the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course--an estate worth many millions of dollars. The family who lived there had a tale to tell about how they acquired it. During WWII, the owners believed that German or Japanese soldiers would attack the West Coast of the U.S., so they sold their estate for a song--ten cents on the dollar, to be exact. The new owners, who had been there for fifty-plus years by the time I ran into them, were still celebrating their good fortune! Panic creates panic. Level heads open up the space for forward-thinking and forward movement.
One of the most surprising historical truths from the much touted Great Depression is that more millionaires were created at that time than at any other time in our history. But that makes perfect sense when you think about it. When millions of people panic and sell their assets below market value, what happens? Value and opportunity and "deals" spring up like weeds after a spring rain. The same holds true today; there's never been a better time in our generation to find bargains--in real estate especially. The fact is that someone has to do well regardless of economic indicators... why not you? The people coming out ahead, not surprisingly, have one thing in common, which brings me to my our next topic...
It's not about resources it's about resourcefulness
Okay, if you don't have money, you're not going to be buying even inexpensive estates right now, no matter the "steal" of the listing price. I get it. But, what makes certain people thrive in tough times? Are they luckier or smarter than the average person? It's simple, really. They're resourceful. Resources always flow to he or she who is most resourceful. That may not seem possible, or even fair, but it's true nonetheless.
Physics tells us that all there ever was or shall ever be is already here, and that there are plenty of resources because energy can never be created or destroyed. If you're having a problem wrapping your mind around that--having seen the haunting images of children without water or heat, for example--let me say that real answers to those problems abound. Maybe you haven't yet seen the Youtube videos (although a quick search will reveal them), but there are scientists who pull water straight from air vapor (no kidding), create clean fuel from burning salt water with very little heat (I know, that's a mind twister), and power entire factories on cow dung (that's some cool shit)! And, those are just a few of the innovations that only a few years ago would have seemed impossible. I wonder what magic you can create in your own life?
We're constantly hearing that we're going to run out of oil. I say who cares! We have wind, solar, and plenty other resources we've not even yet thought of. We just need to get resourceful and quit hanging onto the past. T. Boone Pickens is so excited about wind power these days that he's putting billions of dollars into a wind farm in Texas. Now let me ask you: what would cause an oil billionaire to get that excited about wind? He's resourceful. Once again, resources always flow to he and she who are resourceful.
Train yourself to look for opportunities
I mentioned this earlier but it bears repeating, and repeating. Thermodynamics tells us that "that which you are seeking is also seeking you."As a species, we're not conditioned to look for opportunities in times of crisis. On the contrary, we're conditioned to play defense. Defense says, "I'm going to hold on; I'm going to pull-back, I'm going to hoard--even if what I'm hoarding is the most meager of results."
That's a strategy... a strategy of scarcity. And it's a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat. Clinging onto something to protect what little you have is focusing on the not having and the not enough. And, when you're focusing on not having something, you're not looking at what you can do to be resourceful. Most of us are constantly looking at external indicators, but your internal indicators are where your power resides. A wise prophet once said, "Judge not by appearances." While most of us in Western society have heard that a time or three... it's an entirely different thing to live it. What are you seeking?
To create anything you desire and deserve you must practice what I call going 3 for 3. Notice anyone who's knocking it down, regardless of economic or any external indicators, and they're going 3 for 3. Their thoughts, feelings and actions are all firing in alignment. What are most people seeking right now with their 3 for 3 strategy? They're thinking defeated, they're feeling defeated, and they're acting defeated. Therefore, they're defeated. Let that not be you.
Begin right now... this very moment... to constantly train yourself to think resourceful, feel resourceful, and act resourceful; and you'll very quickly see your life transform before your very eyes. Test me on this one, and watch the resources you seek seek you!