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spike bulletDecember 2008 - Finding gratitude within the angst

Whether you believe the times are bad or good - you are tight
Finding opportunities in challenging times
How to deal with a layoff
Energy flows where attention goes
Tips for dealing with stressful times 
Resources (links, books, articles, the lighter side)

color bulletDecember 2008 - Finding gratitude within the angst

Whether you believe the current times are bad or good, you are right.  

If you focus your energy on what is bad, you will tend to see and hear bad news.  If you focus your energy on what is good, you will tend to see and hear good news.  

No matter what is happening in the world today, the news media tends to ferret out the worst possible news and make it seem as if the sky is falling all around us.  And, if it's not falling, then they tend to predict that it will fall at any moment.  One of the goals of the news media is to sell newspaper, sell television time, sell products, etc. so one of their goals is to get people's attention.  They also have the responsibility to deliver news in an impartial way.  That impartiality occasionally seems to be overridden by the need to make enough money to stay in business.  

Sure, there are some people being laid off and some stores are not making as much money as they want to.  Yes, indeed, there are some unhappy people in the world and there are some who are going hungry or doing without this holiday seasons.  Our heart goes out to them and we do what we can for those who need help.

At the same time, we do not focus our energy or our attention on what is missing ó we focus on the wonderful blessings all around us.   

Finding opportunities in challenging times

The current economic situation can be a great blessing and a time for re-thinking our priorities, focusing our attention on what is truly important ó the people we care about - not on the commercialization of the season as it has been in the past.

With many people deciding to watch their budgets more closely, this gives us a great opportunity to do things differently this year in many ways.

For a business or a large company, perhaps we might see more individual creativity in making decorations or in helping others in the  community instead of spending money on a lavish party.  Or, we might see people giving more of their time instead of their money in some ways.  

Perhaps with budget and hiring freezes in place, we might see more people getting together to find creative new ways to do the work more efficiently instead of worrying about being overworked.  We might see companies figuring out that they have been wasteful and are making better use of their resources now that income is a bit slower to come in.  State and local governments are also feeling the pinch of the economy and are doing a better job of budgeting for the most important things.   

All of these are good things and provide many hidden blessings for everyone.  Some companies are cutting back hours instead of cutting jobs so that most or all of the employees stay working rather than laying off people.  That is a creative solution that has worked for many when the economy slows down.  

Business ups and downs are a regular cycle.  Recessions come and go.  The end of the world is probably not imminent so instead of doom and gloom, do everything you can to see where the opportunities are within whatever situation you find yourself.

How to deal with a layoff

If you do happen to find yourself laid off, look for a group that you can connect with to help provide emotional support as well as updating your job-seeking skills.  In California, there are a number of free groups such as Experience Unlimited supported by the state government.  Check to see whether there are similar groups in your area.  If not, why not start one?  For those who are hiring, such groups provide you with a source for talented individuals who are seeking work. 

Another good source of information are the articles on our website for job seekers and for employers who are hiring.  

Many people find that a layoff may lead them to a different career choice or give them some time to think about what they really want to do.  It can be a very rewarding self-growth experience leading to many new opportunities that were never considered before.  

If you have worked before, you will most likely work again.  Don't give up hope. 

 No matter how "bad" the economy is, there are always companies that are growing,  there are always companies starting up and companies that are hiring. 

Your job is to be ready for the opportunity when it presents itself by making sure you are the best possible candidate for whatever position might be available.  That means keeping up your interviewing skills, dusting off skills that may be rusty,  being as presentable as possible when you interview, having the most positive attitude you can manage and keeping at the job search until you find the best possible job you can.  

Energy flows where attention goes 

No matter where you find yourself, if you can focus the most attention on being grateful for what you do have, instead of focusing on what you don't have, you will see more positive things.  Where you focus your attention means that your energy will flow that way.  This is a fact of nature.  What you focus on expands.  So, if you focus on positive things, your positive experience will expand.  If you focus on negativity, your negative experience will expand.  It's a conscious choice to make every single day. 

Some tips for coping with stressful times 

  1. Wake up every morning and find positive ways to get yourself energized.  If you have family or good friends, place pictures of your favorite people where you can see them every day and feel the good feelings that generates.  Be grateful for their health and well-being.  Be grateful that they are in your life.  
  2. Be grateful for where ever you find yourself at this stage of your life.  This is especially important if you find yourself somewhere you didn't want to be.  Again this is a conscious choice.  Seeing the situation as positive can help to transform it and in the doing, help to transform your life as well.  Think back to other difficult or challenging times you've had and see how they turned out.  Did a situation seem to be difficult at first and then something wonderful happened or some new person came into your life or some other blessing occurred?  The same result will happen in your current situation.  Eventually, you will get through it and be able to see the blessings.   Knowing that helps people to cope better with the unknown.  
  3. Reach out to others who are less fortunate.  Participate in a holiday gift-giving program. Even if you don't have extra money to give, you can give of your time and your talent.  The benefits in feeling better are amazing and will last beyond the current holiday season.  
  4. Let your friends and family know when you need help.  Ask for referrals and other contacts who can help you.  If others you know are feeling stressed, maybe join or start up a small support group where you can talk out your feelings and get emotional support.
  5. Plan your budget or your schedule to get the most value for what resources you have available ó whether money, time or energy.  
  6. Avoid reading or listening to the mainstream news as much as possible.  Find a positive book to read instead or listen to your favorite music or talk with people you care about or do something physical like walking or cleaning.   
  7. Instead of buying expensive gifts, give a gift of yourself - make something if you are creative or simply offer to do something for someone else.  If you have children, maybe give them the gift of a trip to a local park instead of toys that will be soon forgotten.  Help them to understand the value of personal gifts over commercial gifts.  Let your mind wander to what you enjoyed most as a child at the holiday season.  Was it really the toys or was it the experience of being with your family?  
  8. During stressful times, stay as healthy as possible.  Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water.  Do regular exercise of some kind.  The body releases endorphins when we exercise, which help us to feel better.  Exercise helps our body to stay healthy.  

  Internet Resources

book graphic  Books  -  Disclosure: We get a small commission for purchases made via links to Amazon.

world wide web - articles  Articles

Related newsletter article:
    November 2007 - True Community: Focusing on What's Important
    February 2007 - Visioning for the Future
September 2006 - The Power of Thought
    June 2006 - Networking for Fun and Profit
    August  2004 - Finding a Job: 21st Century Style
    March 2001 - Finding the Right Job for You
    February 2001 - Hiring the Right People

Also, most of our December articles are devoted to fun in the workplace.  See the Newsletter list.  

smiley graphic  The Lighter Side  

    About our resource links:  We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links.   We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.

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