Posted by: brandextenders | March 23, 2011

Are You Struggling With This?

Are you as confused as I am with all that’s going on in our world today? It seems we get through one trauma when another hits and the quagmire only deepens. From earthquakes to tsunamis to ranting actors and an economy worldwide that is struggling to get back on its feet, one has to wonder if there is a common denominator to it all. Is the end of the world close at hand as many speculate and some religions dictate or is it all just a perfect storm of factors conspiring against us?

My way of coping with difficulties like these is to look for the deeper lessons that aren’t always evident at first glance. How can this help me grow, be more resilient and what can I do to help those around me get through it?

A Japanese home floating in the Pacific

Here are a few lessons I’ve garnered from recent events. There is nothing right or wrong here, just observations I’ve made and that may help you cope with the trials and tribulations in our world.

  • Lesson 1: What’s happened in Japan over the last week and a half has been gut wrenching to watch. As if record-sized earthquakes and the resulting tsunamis weren’t enough, they’re grappling with a damaged nuclear power plant that has spewed radiation onto their land and into their air. The lesson I’ve learned is that strength and graciousness are not opposites and that one can complement the other. I haven’t seen riots or looting or people complaining about their dire situation. What I’ve seen are heroes everywhere. From the rescuers to the workers who stayed in the nuclear plant attempting to mitigate the damage to the survivors who you see helping others despite being dazed and confused. I’m not sure what keeps them going, but they are an example to all of us.
  • Lesson 2: I’m not sure what sparked all the unrest in the Middle East from Tunisia to Jordan to Egypt and now Libya. Ousting tyrannical dictators is most likely a good thing although time will tell what form of government will fill the resulting vacuum. My takeaway on this is that sometimes you have to make a decision and take action even if the outcome isn’t assured. Isn’t that pretty much the definition of risk? And without risk things tend to stay the status quo.  I try to always remember that no decision is a decision.
  • Lesson 3: Wow, what can be said about a drugged up actor who can’t keep his mouth shut? Of course, that applies to much of Hollywood these days since they all seem to think knowing how to portray a character on-screen equates to their being savvy scientists and political experts as well. What I’m reminded of by these lunatics is to know when to keep quiet and know when to say I’m sorry. Oh and to not do things that would embarrass my mamma! We all make mistakes, but a simple I’m sorry can go far in healing schisms that have been created between you and others.
  • Lesson 4: Did you think once the economy started bouncing back life would simply return to the way it was before the monetary meltdown? Wrongo! Although business is rebounding and jobs are becoming available ever so slowly, other factors are conspiring against us. The price of cotton is three times what it was last fall, gas prices are reaching for the moon and the devastation in Japan, a major source of memory chips, has started wreaking havoc in the technology sphere. Manufacturers in the promotional products industry and most others as well have been absorbing many of these increases, but that is beginning to change. So my lesson in all of this is to be proactive with my customers and warn them upfront to expect price increases and why. With an understanding of what is causing inflation I’ll better be able to address it with those I do business with.

The only constant in our world is change and you can either adapt to it or let it keep you awake at night. Brian Tracy, a well-known personal development speaker and author says this about worry, “40% of the things we worry about will never occur, 30% of  our worries are about things that have already happened, 12% of worry is spent on needless imaginings about our health, 10% are petty-little-nothing worries about what people think and only 8% are “legitimate concerns.” My goal is to concentrate on the 8% of worries that are legitimate and find ways to make them less worrisome.

How about you? What lessons are you learning from all that is happening around us? Share your comments with others below.

I work with my customers to evaluate their promotional marketing needs and develop creative and measurable solutions based on those needs. I build long-term relationships to become a trusted advisor my clients turn to for their brand extension, promotional product, incentive and other branding needs. Contact me at stephen.woodburn@staplespromoproducts.com  

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