It didn’t take Standard and Poor’s United States debt downgrade to sour you on the economy, our leaders or life in general. Your employees and your co-workers will likely walk into work today with one more reason to feel anxious. If they’re curious at all, they will be watching the stock market. But there are things you can do to mitigate the growing distress and apathy towards the future.
You are still in control of your destiny. And you affect the people around you. Your company, your community and your country need you to succeed more than ever. Here are a few ways to get beyond that low morale mindset.
- Take a hard look at reality and a soft look at yourself
- Pick 2 or 3 people to “check in” on
- Start work on something really big
TAKE A HARD LOOK AT REALITY AND A SOFT LOOK AT YOURSELF
Reality usually scares people but you’re so smart that you’ve probably already imagined a crisis much bigger than reality. That’s the problem right? Your challenges seems really big and you’ve tripped up trying to fix them so many times before; why should today be any different? Because it is indeed, a different day. Write down your challenges so you can see them on paper instead of in your head. Pretend they are someone else’s problems and then see if you can identify a solution. Be a little easier on yourself too and more courageous about meeting the challenges you see on that paper. You are bigger and better than anything you’re facing.
PICK 2 OR 3 PEOPLE TO “CHECK IN” ON
A while ago I started making a list of people who were going through a tough time. I wrote their names down on an index card so I could remember to contact them. This worked well until I lost the index card. If you manage to hang on to your list or if you are lucky enough to work with people, just walk over and “check in” with them. Genuinely ask how they are doing. Once a friend of mine asked me about three times how I was doing. The third time I figured she wanted a real answer. I told her how I really felt about life at that moment and the honest conversation made my day (and hers).
START WORK ON SOMETHING REALLY BIG
Nothing excites me more than coming up with a new mission. And I do mean mission. When was the last time you thought of something new to “do with your life?” Recently I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to one of the forgotten heroes of our wars, an American military widow named Taryn Davis. After her husband was killed in Iraq in May of 2007, this then 23 year old started the American Widow Project (AWP). This is her mission and the mission of everyone associated with AWP:
“The American Widow Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to the new generation of those who have lost the heroes of yesterday, today and tomorrow, with an emphasis on healing through sharing stories, tears and laughter………Military Widow to Military Widow.”
There’s no more valid a cause for low morale or depression than losing a loved one that is a part of your daily life. Ms. Davis shows however, that you can turn sorrow into a gift for many, many others. What mission could you start? What gift could you give others through that mission?
The daily news cycle is designed to grab our attention. Staring at the “car accidents of life” is their business model. Help the people around you take a real look at their own lives and identify the control they actually have. Help them identify the resources they’ve already earned or have been given.
As individuals, as a community and as a country we have so much here in the United States of America. Let us not leave the leadership to our elected leaders or our economy to the economists. Let’s use our resources to create something good and inspire the best out of each other.
And let’s start today.
Jason Howell is the author of AMERICA: Still the Land of Opportunity, Always a Home for the Brave.” For more insights on success in business and in life, pick up your copy today. Also, be on the lookout for his newest book on Patriotic Development™ coming this Fall (2011).