by Bryan Golden
Suppose you know nothing about the ocean. One day you make your first visit to the beach. You stay there for six hours and watch with amazement as the water level drops. Not understanding the tide pattern, you would be alarmed that sea level is dropping due to an unknown cause.
In some coastal areas the fluctuation is 10 feet or more between high and low tide. This could cause someone with no perception of the tides a great deal of alarm. What if a hiker decided to make camp on an exposed beach during low tide? In six hours or less, the campsite would be underwater.
Obviously, anyone who lives by the sea needs to be aware of the working of the tides. Accommodations are made to coexist with the changes in sea level. In tidal zones, boat docks are designed to move up and down with the water level.
Other natural phenomenon have caused problems for the uninitiated. For example, primitive societies didn’t understand solar eclipses. At the times the sun was blocked by the moon, causing darkness during the day, they may have even thought the end of the world was upon them.
There are aspects of life, many outside your control, with their own recurring fluctuations. Understanding them is just as important to you as comprehension of tides is to a sailor. You have to be aware of the past and look far enough into the future to ascertain when circumstances are likely to change.
Even things you have control over fluctuate. You may have the best attitude. Your outlook can be 100% positive. Yet you will have off days where you don’t feel too upbeat. But because of your strong mind set, you will quickly get back to a better emotional state.
It’s important not to panic when you encounter a fluctuation. Acting rashly, based on a false premise that the situation is permanent, tends to exacerbate your situation. You may have to ignore the advice of others. Many people tend to panic and encourage you to do the same.
The economy is one example of circumstances beyond your control that fluctuate. Economic downturns happen. They can even seem worse than they actually are due to all of the publicity they garner. Invariably, economic conditions improve as they always have.
Successful business owners understand this concept well. They take steps to weather downturns by reducing expenses and adjusting the products and services they sell. You can do things personally to prepare for economic variations.
Having enough savings, keeping your expenses low, and reducing discretionary spending, enables you to endure fluctuations. Should you lose your job, being prepared will allow you to get through until things pick up.
With planning and preparation you will be OK during fluctuations. People get into trouble when they don’t understand cycles or are not prepared for them. Without realizing the cyclic nature of events, you will mistakenly assume a condition is permanent. Any subsequent strategies will then be flawed.
In order to recognize the tides that impact you, you must look to past patterns to see how things have varied over time. It’s easy to get caught up in today’s circumstances and lose track of the fact that the situation isn’t static.
You can’t control the tides of life any more than you can limit the power of the ocean. You will be much better off when you use them to your advantage. Remember that the tide always comes back in.
by Bryan Golden