You would have to live under a rock to believe that things aren’t going to get worse before they get better. I’m not one to go around telling everyone the sky is falling and that’s not what I’m doing now, but we all might have to cinch up our belts a notch before this financial crisis is over.
We are going to pay for these mistakes
Back in April, I wrote Subprime Mortgage Crisis Is Going To Cost Us Money. Well, here we are in September and one way or another, many of us are going to end up paying for this mess. Of course, I have not been the only one writing about this, in fact, as Ron points out, The Mortgage Meltdown Signs Were There All Along.
As a result, there are several articles about ways to be more frugal. For strictly financial concerns, I’d suggest taking a look at these:
We Don’t Need No Stinking Bailout Plan @Frugal Dad
Nine Things to Do When the Going Gets Tough @The Simple Dollar
Of course, there are concerns beyond just the economy on many people’s minds. This crisis is likely to have long and far-reaching effects beyond just its financial impact.
Success is mostly about attitude
It is true that the economy is struggling right now. However, winning financially or at anything else in life is not about external circumstances. Some people make money and lots of it in tough economic times. Regardless of your circumstances, you can come out smelling like a rose if you approach the situation with the right attitude.
Our attitude about something defines our behavior toward it. If you are experiencing repeated difficulty in any area of your life, it is likely because you have the wrong attitude toward it. This is true in finances, marriage, your career, raising a family, and every other area of life. Get the right attitude and you’ll be amazed how quickly you can turn things around.
The attitudes that will help you survive and thrive
So, what are the right attitudes to successfully navigate the hard times ahead? Well, I believe there are a number of them that will help you. Here the ones that I’m adopting to ensure I survive and thrive:
1. Let the mistakes of the past go.
Hanging on to the sins of the past keeps you from moving forward in life. It takes your eye off the ball which prevents you from hitting the next pitch out of the park. Forget about what happened yesterday. Concentrate instead on what needs to be done today to get things headed the direction you desire.
In the current financial crisis, it is easy to get bogged down in whose to blame. However, for those of us removed from the situation, this does little good. Getting steamed at the bankers, politicians, or at the people that took out loans they couldn’t afford will only distract you from what you need to be doing. I suggest forgetting about all that. Let someone else worry about it. Delegate that job to your Congressman. There are other things closer to home for us to think about right now.
Keep your thoughts in the present and look to the future if you want to survive tough times in life.
2. Stay calm and control your fear.
Fear makes people do some really stupid stuff. Fear will cause panic and panic seldom leads to productive action. Do not let yourself get caught up in the hype and sensationalism of the circumstances that arise in life. Keep yourself calm and thinking straight. Be the voice of reason and you will prevail.
There is a lot of fear brewing right now about the economy. People seem pretty nervous. Of course, the media is doing their best to stir everyone into a frenzy. This really will not help. In fact, it is highly counterproductive. If there is anything that will make this financial crisis worse, it is fear.
Do not let yourself be sucked into the hype so that you do something really dumb. I don’t know how bad the economy is going to get. The situation may stabilize or it may get a lot worse. Either way, don’t rush to judgement, seek multiple opinions, and make rational choices weighing all possible outcomes. This will help you to come out on top.
3. Be willing to go the extra mile.
Difficult situations are not the time to hunker down. On the contrary, it is time to come out and pitch in to achieve positive results. Tough times call for hard work. Do not be afraid to roll up your sleeves and dig in. Everyone values the person that makes a positive contribution when the chips are down.
As this economic scenario plays out, you are likely to have financial challenges at work and at home. Do not shy away from these. Determine what your role should be and then double your efforts in that direction. Face the challenge head on. The progress might be slow, but it will make a difference. This could save you your job and your marriage.
4. Accept the need to make sacrifices.
Getting through a tough time usually requires making some sacrifices. The quicker you open up your mind and consider all the possibilities, the better the outcomes you will experience. Do not hold onto a situation that is not working for you. I know that it is often difficult to make sacrifices, but these are usually small prices to pay to avert total disaster.
In this financial downturn, you might need to sell that pretty new car you just bought to help make ends meet. You might need to get a second job for awhile to generate some more income. You might need to get on a written budget and stop spending more than you earn! Do not wait too long to make these adjustments. I know they will hurt a little, but if you want to succeed, you will do what it takes to win.
5. Do not give up even when it gets hard.
Whatever hardships you face in life, never give up! I know that it can be overwhelming. I know that there may be days that you simply do not want to get out of bed. However, I also know that every positive step you take gets you a little closer to being back to normal. Every day that you do the right thing is one day closer to the results you want. Many people give up when the prize they desire is just around the corner.
This financial crisis, whatever it turns out to be, will not last forever. We will turn things around. America has enjoyed some of the greatest prosperity known to history since the Great Depression. If we adopt the right attitudes, conduct ourselves appropriately, and persevere, we will come out of this in great shape!
Hard times reveal your true character
Do you have what it takes to survive and thrive in tough times? It is when we are tested that our true mettle shines through. I believe the attitudes above exist in all successful people. Sometimes they lie dormant, but when the situation calls for it, they surface again. Be strong! Prepare yourself and your family to face whatever challenges life throws your way. Don’t wait for the storm to hit full force before you get your thinking straight. Those that have the right attitude will come out on top!
Photo by epicharmus