It seems like everything is back to normal this week.
I took a massive 5-week break over Christmas and New Years. Lots of time to reflect and think about 2008 as well as plan for 2009.
Nothing has changed though.
- The economic concerns are still ever-present.
- Unemployment is alarmingly on the rise.
- Credit is tight.
- Plenty of wars being fought, but most of that is buried in the press.
…It sure looks bad doesn't it? At times like this, it's always handy to look at the past and see the future.
So let's look back and see some bad times that we've lived through, survived and prospered.
In 1780, George Washington said, “We're without money and have been for so for a great length of time…”
George went on to create a million-dollar real estate portfolio 229-years ago (probably worth a gazillion dollars today).
In 1840 a farmer wrote, “So great is the panic and so dreadful the distress that there are great many farms prepared to receive crops and some of them actually planted – and yet deserted… not a human being to be found upon them.”
We got over that problem too.
In 1857 a newspaper editor stated, “It's a gloomy moment in history. Not for many years, not in the lifetime of most men who read this newspaper, has there been so much grave and deep apprehension.”
…That passed as well.
In 1873 a famous industrialist said, “All over the country, manufacturers are closing their works and discharging their operatives – simply because they can neither sell the goods they make nor borrow money to carry them until the demand for them revives.”
Sounds familiar? We survived that panic as well.
Interestingly enough, you're probably completely unaware of the economic disasters that we've had throughout history.
There were a few others. These ones you know about. They were:
The Great Depression in 1929
… We got over that one.
Not one, but TWO World Wars.
… They passed as well.
Who can forget the Y2K panic?
… Seems now like a storm in a tea-cup.
Then there was the end of the Internet in 2001.
… The net has never been stronger.
9/11, the day the world changed.
… We survived that as well.
Here's my point, and it's a massive lesson…
What appears to be gloom and doom is often just the focus of the media.
Consider what Gandhi once said, “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth, love and prosperity have always won… There have been tyrants, murderers and for some time they seemed invincible. But in the end, they always fall… Think of that …always.”
Your lesson here is that life will always have ups and downs. The secret here is to flow with the tide as best we can. Complaining about how bad it is doesn't help – it probably makes it worse by blinding you to the opportunities.
In every panic and gloomy situation, those with their eyes wide-open, not focused on the problems seize opportunities.
This “bad” time might become the greatest period of prosperity for you.
What you need to do is listen, act and prosper.
There are opportunities around you if you look for them now.
The past is instructive.
The future is bright.
The only thing you have is the present – and that's where your point of power comes from.
Don't be sucked in by the mass-media hysteria which always make sit worse than it actually is – and better than it should be.