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Staying Calm in a Scary Economy

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!" Perhaps you are familiar with the story of Chicken Little. Do you know anyone like that? Do you know several people like that? Do you find that after you are exposed to these people that you begin to think a bit more gloomy than usual?

It's been said, that "In 10 years our lives will be a reflection of the people we hung around with and the books we read." I know this has certainly been the case for me. I don't spend time with just anyone, and one of my challenges for 2009 (truly) is to figure out where I'm going to house my ever increasing library. I'm running out of room. And anyone who knows me will tell you that I would throw out the couch before I would get rid of any of my books.

There's no denying the fact that economy is in the dumper here in the USA. In all likelihood, it's going to get worse before it gets better…probably much worse. I don't think anyone has made the official "depression" claim yet, but you do remember when the "experts" let us know that we were officially in a "recession", don't you?

I don't know about you, but I have made the decision not to participate in the "recession", or, the "depression" that may be right around the corner. "What do you mean ‘not participate' Vince? That sounds stupid!" you might be thinking.

When the stock market crashed in 1929, and the Great Depression "swooped down", there were people who not only lived comfortably, but prospered during the same period of time that others were standing in soup lines.

Many of the people who prospered during the Great Depression had little to nothing going into it, but because they were able to keep a cool head, not get caught up in the nasty gloom and doom attitude that was so pervasive at that time, and look for the opportunities that surrounded them- and then take action- they became very successful during a period of time when the masses screamed "It can't be done!" In short, they refused to take part in the "Great Depression."

How did they do it? I mean, why on earth did millions of people have to struggle so hard during the Great Depression if it was that easy to have something different than what they had? Most of them simply didn't know they had a choice. I know that sounds very elementary, but it's really just as simple as that. So few people realize they are constantly creating their reality with their thinking and the way they are using their body.

Just last week, I was talking with a friend of mine. He's getting close to 60 years of age. I love the guy, and I've known him for over 25 years now, but it finally dawned on me how his constant and continual thought patterns had created a self fulfilling prophecy.

For several years now, when you asked him "How you doing?" the answer was always "not too bad for an old crippled guy!"

In the last few years he's had two joints replaced and he hasn't recovered too well from the second one. When I first heard him say the "…for a crippled old man" line a few years ago, he was walking just fine. Now, when I watch him walk, he does in fact resemble something much closer to a "crippled old man" than he did before he had the surgeries.

Jim Rohn said it best.” First we create our habits, and then our habits create us." This holds true for habits of thought as well. Any thought we hold in mind, with a corresponding emotion of enough intensity, will most likely manifest into our reality.

The mind is much like the soil. The soil doesn't care what seeds you plant. If you plant pumpkin seeds, you'll get pumpkins. Plant beans and you'll get beans. The problem is when we plant onions and expect tomatoes. As you know, a garden just doesn't work that way. The mind doesn't either.

So many people still link "security" with having a job that has "good" benefits.

Here's my definition of security:

Knowing that you'll be able to not only produce, but THRIVE and GROW no matter what is going on in the world around you.

When you know this to be true-at the core of your very being-the conditions of the world around you are more amusing than anything. The things that cause others to tremble, worry, lose sleep and suffer anxiety attacks over, are the very same conditions the truly secure person finds opportunity and excitement in.

Remember when I said that millions of people during the Great Depression didn't know they had a choice? Their lack of choice came in one of two ways. 1. They had no knowledge of the importance of attitude and how it would determine how the events of the Great Depression would impact them, and the actions they would take, or not. 2. They had been exposed to the idea of attitude but wrote it off as "bunk." It really doesn't matter which one. In either case, they were "doomed."

Most people forget how many situations they have encountered, that, at first seemed like impossible obstacles, but were then later overcome through sheer tenacity. Have you forgotten about all of your triumphant victories?

In 1976, at the age of 10, I encountered a sexual predator-not once but twice. In August of 1987, at the age of 21, after skipping out on a fishing trip with my good friend and his brother ( they also happened to be distant cousins) I was notified 24 hours later that they had both drowned.

In December of that same year, December 18th, to be exact, I stood outside of the emergency room and listened to my grandfather struggle to take in his last breathe as he lay dying from a massive stroke. 12 hours later I learned of the death of another friend; 21 year old "Chuck" had frozen to death after collapsing in -17 degree temperatures one evening. They found his rigid body the next morning, three blocks from home. I was a pallbearer for my grandfather on Sunday and "Chuck" the very next day.

In 1995 I was medically dropped from the Navy S.E.A.L. Indoctrination Program after a nasty back injury during training- something that I had been focused on for years- the one thing I had focused on exclusively and based everything else around, was gone, just like that. A year later, I was nearly beaten to death one night in San Diego, CA, and endured several years of neurological challenges as a result.

After an unexpected divorce and a sudden change in my financial situation, I returned to my home state to work as a nurse while I built my business once again- from the ground up. I applied for licensure in Missouri, went to work as a nurse in a correctional facility and waited for my license. This process can take as long as six months, but as long as you are licensed in another state (I was licensed in California and Guam) you can work on a temporary license.

When I hadn't heard back from on my license for several months, I called the State Capital to inquire. "Oh, Mr. Harris, I'm so sorry" the kind lady told me. "Missouri does not grant a license that was issued based on military training." Boom! In the blink of an eye, I was no longer capable of working as a nurse in Missouri, and was literally out of a job that day.

Because I had attended the Naval School of Health Sciences, instead of a civilian nursing school, Missouri would not license me- even though most other states would.

Back to square one. A skill set (nursing) that would no longer be useful to me in Missouri, and most of my finances tied up, located overseas, or just gone!

I could go on and on. People often say "You should write a book!" after hearing a few of my experiences. I say "I have, it's called The Productivity Epiphany!"

I didn't even mention the financial "lows." Let's just say that living in conditions where you have to put cotton in your ears at night to keep the cock roaches out is a sub standard way to live. I had to laugh when I recently heard Sean Hannity proclaim "I know what it's like to be down and out…I know what it's like to just have $200 in your checking account!" Really? Poor guy. Try finding a quarter on the street in Arizona and being excited Sean.

There's more…lots more, but the point is this: Most everyone has experienced some pretty ragged and difficult times in their time here on earth. I shared my experiences so you can look at what you've come through in life already, and see that it's really not all that much different; you're a hell of a lot "tougher" than you think, and have already prevailed many times. Unless you commit suicide and check out early (and I have lost several friends to suicide over the last 27 years) then you are winning. I'm still here baby…and so are you! You have had "bad" times and you will have more of them-this is a given.

When those "bad" times arrive, however, (and they will) what will you do with them?

If there is one thing my experiences have taught me, it's that there is absolutely nothing that can happen that can destroy us and keep us from moving onward and upward-NOTHING!

Take some time this week to make a list of all of the things that have happened over the years that you were convinced, at the time, were going to ruin your life. Look at how much you have accomplished since then, and how much you learned from that experience. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Look, I'm not suggesting that you won't lose your job, watch your stocks or 401(K) all but disappear, or face a serious illness with yourself or a loved one. These things happen. What IAM saying, is that even in the worst of times, you still have the ability, if you choose, to determine what kind of story you will tell yourself about what these events mean to you. This, by the way, is the difference that makes the difference.

For the people that have mastered staying calm and keeping their head when everyone else is going wacky, it's easy for them to just say "Just suck it up and go on!" The reason being, most of them have no idea how they manage to pull it off- it's an unconscious process for them. They may DO it masterfully, but they are very poor teachers. Become one of the few who keep it together- no matter what!

About the Author: Vincent Harris is a Body Language Expert and the author of The Productivity Epiphany. Get a FREE copy of Vince's Advanced Body Language Report "The Science of Making a Great First Impression" valued at $29, and his Ebook "A Step by Step System for Achieving Any Goal, a $39 value at Article Source: articlestreet

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