"...except for the elite, marathoners do not really compete against each other"
- Harvey Mackay, "Pushing the Envelope...All the Way to the Top"
I spoke at a graduation some time ago and expressed an important thought to the graduates and their families: YOU WILL HAVE TO DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE; IF NOT, SOMEONE ELSE WILL SURELY DO IT FOR YOU!
With the uncertain state of the economy, many of us are in reactive and panic mode. Let me be sure to note that I do not take lightly the fact that an economy that crashes causes jobs to be lost, homes and vehicles to be taken away, or that retirement and college savings tend to be all but part of a disappearing act or "trick" (where, of course, the audience is not applauding in sheer and joyful amazement). I’m here to tell you, my friends, that there's something to be said about focusing on the most important things during this potential turmoil: WE determine who we ARE during this process.
The late Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst extraordinaire, wrote a book entitled "To Have or to Be". What a potent story just in the title! It's not about what we have or are losing, friends; it's about WHO we are becoming as a result of the losses we are incurring.
"Whatever, Kozhi; you're not feeling the pangs of labor as I am!" you say. Really? I know about loss, my friends; not only do I know about loss, I am intimately acquainted with it - it's on my speed dial! $34,000 project vanished! An entire month's worth of speaking and training cancelled. I don't know what you're going through, but I am acquainted with what you're feeling. While I may not be an expert in your situation, I AM in mine and I know that loss, in whatever form, stinks. But so does manure...yet it's amazing what it does for the plant life it is spread over...
What am I trying to say? Don't base your judgments in this situation on how you're faring compared to those around you - they have their own issues to deal with. Like a marathoner, focus on COMPLETING your 26 miles and 385 yards.
YOU determine the pace; take ownership and pride in that. Our bank accounts and investments may have zeroed, but it's not what we have but who we ARE. Let us, collectively, focus on who we're going to be because of, and in spite of, this tough and challenging time. I believe in your ability to triumph. Yet, as Mackay says, "you'll never turn TRY into TRIUMPH...without adding the UMPH!"
©2019, Dr. Kozhi Sidney Makai. No part of this blog post may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the copyright holder.