“Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.” ~ Alex Noble
We’re halfway through 2010, and yes, times are still tough. Amidst news of recovery and restarting growth, there are still those who fear for their livelihood, their income, their next meal. Not to be Ms. Negative here, but let’s face it, there will always be challenges. For as long as we live, there will always be problems to solve and hills to climb. After all, it’s one way to make sure we’re alive right? If we don’t have anything else to overcome, then we might as well just drop and well, stop living.
Contrary to popular belief, bad times can actually bring the best out of people. It is during these tough times that the strongest surface. The survival instinct within us tells us that only the fittest survive. As we have seen in history, the best practices are those that survive over time and only the strong thrive in the thickest situations. Those who are left standing are those that make millions and live happier lives.
Whether we’re talking about our professional or personal lives, it’s not really just the destination that we’re supposed to focus on. Of course, we all want to make millions in business and enter the pearly gates once we check out, but ultimately, it’s not the results that would matter. At the end of the day, more than the destination, it’s the journey that we should be more concerned about – the means to our end, so to speak. The journey is where we’ll spend most of our waking hours and get to experience a whole range of emotions. Thus, it’s not really something to be cavalier about.
As humans, we are born resilient. When times are tough and we feel we can’t take it anymore, we’ll be surprised to find that we still have all that reserve energy and strength deep within us that we could call upon to get us through. On top of that, Anne Leedom, founder of www.netconnectpublicity.com, publisher of www.parentingbookmark.com and one of our contributors at HealthyWealthyNWise Magazine, shared with us Five Ways to Feel Empowered During Challenging Times.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Don’t add insult to injury. If you’re already feeling down and out, it’s not wise to surround yourself with negative energy and people, right? Trust me, you’ll be more productive if you maintain the company of optimistic people. I’m not saying you should forget about everyone you know, just spend time with those who could help lift you up for the meantime. Better yet, go with those who have the same goals as you. That way, you won’t have to feel lonely or out of place on your road to success. Be careful though, misery does love company. So, better have the power to say, “No, thanks!” and move on to positivity.
Do something you love everyday.
Don’t deprive yourself. Yes, I know, times are tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to wallow in self pity and close yourself off from those that you love. Go ahead, pamper yourself every once in a while. Never feel guilty for giving yourself time to enjoy. It could be as simple as sharing a meal with your family, listening to your favorite music, watching a bit of that guilty pleasure (a.k.a. that afternoon soap you’ve been following ever since you were a teenager or that single scoop of ice cream you so love ), etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive, as long as it helps you get through and provides you with a refreshed outlook every time.
Declutter your life. Imagine being overstressed and overworked and having to deal with a cluttered office or messy home. Looking for those darned keys, slipping on that blasted banana peel and missing that deadline due to a misplaced report – you don’t need those in your life! In fact, you have the power to prevent them from happening. Organize your office and clean your home. You’ll find that these simple measures can help lift that heavy weight off your shoulders – and would likely save you from physical injury in the process.
Get Up and Move.
Shake those limbs and move that body. I’m a big fan of sports. I love feeling the energy that runs through my body whenever I run, swim or even dance. There’s something about hearing my heart beat faster and feeling my whole body’s coordination that keep me alive and refreshed. Somehow, knowing that I’m physically conditioned and healthy helps me focus my mind on the prize. It’s true what they say, adrenaline keeps you energized, happy and productive. Waking up those lethargic muscles helps give you the confidence you need to last however many rounds you need to get through the day. Stop dilly dallying. Get up and find your own physical activity now.
Give Yourself a Break.
Take a breather. Don’t push yourself to the limit, and don’t go thinking you could be too hard on yourself either. No matter how you see it or feel, it’s not always the end of the world. Every obstacle you face will resolve itself one way or another, with or without your help. Of course, you would prefer to have and solve things your own way. But, how are you supposed to enjoy whatever emotional or financial success awaits you if you go on and drop into oblivion or worse, beat yourself to a pulp over every single hiccup. Learn to adjust to those ever-changing situations, and challenge yourself with the many different ways you could get up and keep on fighting.
Ready for Business
What does this all have to do with you and your small- or medium-sized business? Don’t forget, the strength of your business is only a projection of your internal abilities and set goals. Whatever you achieve depends largely on how strong your foothold is. In spite all the uncontrollable external forces that may affect our decisions and actions, our success also depends on our minds, instincts, emotions and ability to ride the waves and come out standing at the other end.
Frustrations lead nowhere. In challenging times, we tend to work harder. We can’t help it. We try to double or even triple our efforts, thinking that by putting in extra hours and investing more, we’ll have a better chance at survival. These often lead to frustration, and the more frustrated we get, the more we struggle. The answer is not to work harder, but to work smarter. That’s a great stab at the back of the well-trusted notion most of us hardworking citizens believe in. How can we reach our goals if we won’t work hard? How can we achieve if we don’t push hard? Not to underestimate the blood-and-sweat-earned achievements, but it’s important to know how to work and work best.
The key is to know the best possible way to reach our goals – the smartest way possible. Not really academically smart per se, but smart in knowing how to tap resources, making fast and right judgments, acting quick, working creatively and coming up with proactive solutions to problems. With the rate of information and technology nowadays, someone else will beat you to your goal if you’re not fast enough. Especially in these tough times, everything is up for grabs and ready for the taking, and people will do everything to get what they want.
Are you equipped to survive these challenging times? How will you shape your business and personal lives to achieve that longed-for success? Share your thoughts and success secrets through the comments section below.
Stay focused and keep fighting!