“For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.”
– Mary Kay Ash
Tough times can knock the wind out of you. Any aspect of your life is a possible target for adversity; personal, social, professional, or economic. What effective strategies can you employ to keep going?
When first hit by hardship, a feeling of discouragement is common. You don’t know how to respond. You may wonder why this is happening to you. You question why you are being singled out.
Experiencing a loss of energy and enthusiasm is common. You may be resigned: “Things will get better at some point,” you say to yourself. You initially feel powerless to do anything. These are normal reactions have no positive effect and actually do you a disservice. When knocked down, you must get back up. It’s imperative for you to keep plowing forward, resolute to overcome whatever you are facing.
Irene and her husband, Jim, both worked in order to cover their monthly expenses. During an economic downturn, Irene was laid off from her job as a department manager. This was a big financial blow; additionally, they had very little in savings.
Understandably, Irene and Jim were apprehensive. The ranks of the unemployed were swelling as many businesses were laying off workers. After several months of searching, Irene had no success in finding another management position.
Irene realized she had to formulate some plan of action. Even though it wasn’t an ideal solution, she took two, part-time jobs. Her income was less than it had been…however, Irene brought home more money than if she did nothing. By cutting back on non-essential expenses, Irene and Jim were able to scrape by, make ends meet, and keep their heads up.
Harold and Carol had been married 26 years. They had two daughters, one in college and one in high school. One day, out of the blue, Carol announced that she needed her independence and wanted a divorce. Harold was devastated. He was happy with the marriage and did not want it to end.
There wasn’t anything Harold could say or do to change Carol’s mind. For months, Harold was dejected and downcast, spending most of his free time alone at home. He finally accepted that there was nothing he could do about it, and at first hesitantly started getting out and socializing. He joined a health club and enrolled in some adult-ed classes, which he found he enjoyed. One of his close friends, who had been through the same circumstances, told Harold that the direction of his life was up to him, that other people had found happiness after divorce and Harold could also. Life began to improve!
Regardless of the hell you might be going through, the only way out is to keep going. Inaction leaves you stuck where you are; waiting doesn’t work. But there is an alternative: Think. Decide where you would like to be…and then take action to get there. Don’t give up.
Bryan Golden is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o The Resident
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