How Will You Respond To This Crisis

As I write this, the federal government is in the process of essentially taking over the US banking system. The headlines in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal exclaimed that we are in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. Today, MSNBC reports that Bush administration officials met with Congress last night in what was called the most sobering meeting of many congressional members entire career.

We are indeed living in difficult times. There have been and will be fortunes lost and fortunes made just as there are in any crisis or period of difficulty. None of us are immune from the effects of this economic calamity. The crisis is real and so are the opportunities. How we respond to this calamity will be critical to our individual financial futures. As I have heard Zig Ziglar say before, “it is not what happens to you that matters but it is how you respond to what happens to you”. I couldn’t agree more. We all have a choice about how we respond to this current economic train wreck. The Mediocre Majority will no doubt choose to get caught up in the media circus and hysteria and become despondent, depressed, cynical and angry. They will gather around the water cooler at work or flock to the bars for happy hour where they will piss and moan with other members of the Mediocre Majority about how bad things are. Because of their scarcity mindset they will see the glass “half empty” instead of “half full” and they will choose to sit on the sidelines as a participant where they will be a passive observer in what could well be the greatest financial opportunity of their lifetime. They will get what they deserve – which is not much.

The swift and nimble who have disciplined their mind to look for opportunity in every adversity will accumulate riches beyond most ordinary people’s belief. They will do this not by acting like Pollyanna but by acknowledging current reality and scouring the financial landscape for opportunities that the Mediocre Majority, who are paralyzed by fear, will ignore or lack the guts and backbone to act on.

This human behavior is nothing new. It is, in fact, predictable and has been well documented by many who are more learned than me.

What about you? What will you do? Will you join your friends, associates and family members in the great pity party that will become common in every office, bar, café and any other place people congregate or will you become part of the minority that refuse to listen to, associate with or tolerate those who are part of the ‘woe is me’ crowd.

If you don’t want to become an unintentional economic victim you will need to take radical and massive action. It won’t be easy. It won’t be fun. And don’t expect many people to understand you. In fact, you will be misunderstood by most including some people who are very close to you and who just don’t get it. Friendship and association with those who don’t get it will come with a heavy price tag. You cannot remain engaged in relationship with people who don’t get it without becoming one of them. The principle of association is just too strong. If you are to escape becoming one of the Mediocre Majority who don’t get it you must aggressively seek out new relationships with those who do get it. This may involve changing social relationships, business relationships and maybe even changing employers or if you are a business owner getting rid of the whiners and complainers who are cancerous to your organization. It will not be easy. It will not be fun. But if you are to escape the gravitational tug of the Mediocre Majority it must be done because the price of excellence is not negotiable.

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