04/09/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Mar 17, 2015

Are You Desperate for Stability?

When will we ever see a return to stability? If stability is what you are looking for, well, good luck!

Stability is just as much a myth as the control myth I wrote about last month. There are a whole lot of people stuck between the reality of change and the myth of stability right about now.

Problematically, stability is so attractive and yet it just doesn't exist. Stability seems so real when you look at things like the sun rising every morning, the tides rolling in, and the Rock of Gibraltar enduring for centuries.

However, it you are trying to create stability in your life, you are going to find yourself stuck sooner or later between that proverbial rock and a hard place.

Stability and the Marketplace

In case you didn't notice, economic markets have always been subject to great change. And it seems that every generation, or now even half generation, some people seem to forget the reality of change and wind up grasping for a new form of stability.

As people strive for stability, some part of them becomes disconnected from reality. It is as though they fall asleep somehow, and fail to take notice of either the lessons of the past or the conflicts of the present.

If you just roll the clock back ten years, Alan Greenspan was warning people about an "irrational exuberance" as it related to the stock market and inflated valuations. All kinds of 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings were dismissing these cautionary notes, pontificating about how the times had changed, that the old rules no longer applied to the "new economy," and that the only way stocks could go was up. The "new economy" held forth a promise of new rules based on the internet and a new system of exchange.

It was as though people accepted change on the one hand (the internet, eBusiness, etc), and yet hoped for and counted on stability on the other. People seemed to accept that a new economy had emerged around such cool new terms as eCommerce while simultaneously hoping for stability to be found in a new wealth that wouldn't, even couldn't, go away.

Oxymoronically, the new stability was supposed to be an ever upward spiral of wealth that would take all boats to new highs, to ever increasing highs, to a time of perpetual growth and abundance.

How to you spell bubble? Try "hope." Or "greed." Or plain old "myopia." Or how about "stability."

So here we are again, with any number of bubbles having been burst a mere ten years later. No sooner did the dot com bubble burst, than all kinds of people began believing in a new version of a very old fairy tale - that of ever increasing prosperity that never looks back.

So the only thing that happened was the old fairy tale got a new wardrobe - zero down housing, stated income vs. real assets, derivatives, and the like replaced the internet false promise.

Have you heard that cliché, "change is the only constant?" Probably so - the thing about most clichés is that they got to be clichés by the truth they reflect.

Over the past several months, I have been asking you to look at what you really want out of life, at how you can make better choices, and at how you can stop complaining and start creating the life you really want. We have also looked at the role of gratitude in creating a real transformation.

All of these elements work together in building the awareness, insight, ability and courage necessary to take charge of your life and to improve your circumstances no matter where you might find yourself.

For some, this is relatively simple and straightforward. Not necessarily easy, just simple. Others would rather find fault, criticize and even attack, perhaps as a way to avoid having to take charge, to risk becoming response-able for their circumstances.

Next week we will explore another window into this process of creating more of what you truly want in life.

I'd love to hear from you. Please do leave a comment here or drop me an email at Russell (at)


If you want more information on how you can apply this kind of reframing to your life and to your job, about a few simple steps that may wind up transforming your life, please download a free chapter from my book, Workarounds That Work. You'll be glad you did.

You can buy Workarounds That Work here.

Russell Bishop is an educational psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant based in Santa Barbara, Calif. You can learn more about my work by visiting my website at You can contact me by e-mail at Russell (at)