9% (and more) unemployment. A brewing global economic crisis. A political race that’s shaping up to be the most divisive in recent memory, fueled by lies, pandering, and a whole slew of mounting challenges.
It’s so easy to get worried. Frustrated. Sleep deprived. I’m the first to admit – my anxiety around the 1st of the month (when the mortgage is due) is sometimes pretty high. August was a rough month – at least, it was for some of my clients, and that made it a rough month for me. The increasingly loud chirp of crickets echoing from my wallet reminded me of my college days when I actually looked forward to donating bodily fluids for cash.
Uh… not those kinds of fluids. There are no little Nick Armstrongs running around out there. There are other fluids, OK? Like Plasma. Lots and lots of plasma – and the process for that is a lot more shudder inducing than what you were thinking, got it? And cuz I’m a fat kid, they go for broke, since I can apparently make a lot of plasma in between huffing oreos.
…Let’s never speak of that again.
When I was little, Star Trek would scare the crap out of me – it was late at night, there was aliens and scary music, and a strangely compelling captain who talked in a staccato. Truly horrifying. I remember one night, when I was six, watching a documentary with my dad on how people in 2020 would live on the moon. I cried like someone stole my Barbie; I told my dad I wanted nothing to do with living on the moon. Fast forward twenty years and I’m singing a different tune.
Perspective changes. Things that were scary yesterday seem silly today. Whether it’s losing our jobs in a down economy, fighting to retire someday, or hoping that we – as a country – can turn around all the crap that seems to be going wrong these days – each and every challenge is an opportunity to grow.
Every graduate of Starfleet Academy goes through a training mission called the Kobayashi Maru. It’s a no-win scenario: charge into enemy territory to perform a rescue mission (and subsequently face an invariably fatal encounter) or retreat and sacrifice the lives you could save. James Kirk took the test three times. On his last attempt, he cheated. Kirk reprogrammed the simulator so he could defeat the no-win scenario. He was almost tossed out of Starfleet for it.
Before you call me a Geek and give me a swirly, Captain Kirk has given every business owner a really important lesson there.
How we deal with failure is as important as how we deal with success. Be willing to turn failure into a fighting chance to succeed.
Nobody can tackle every challenge, every time – especially when they’ve run themselves ragged just trying to survive. It’s really important to take care of yourself – just as much as any client you have.
So in that spirit, here’s a special video from me that I hope will make you laugh:
Finally, and one big PS here: with enough tenacity, enough small victories, enough follow-through, you can do anything. The problem? Most people aim too low for enough.
Proof of concept: I wrote my first book, Psychotic Resumes. After years of struggling with it, it’s finally here. Pushing the publish button? That was scary as hell. Now? It seems like the weirdest thing to be afraid of… because shortly after the publish button was pushed came the, “Uh… now what?” moment. But the fact that each challenge seems silly once you’ve bested it gets me excited – and you should be excited too.
The answer to that “now what” question? I do what I’m good at – market the shit out of an idea worth spreading. Psychotic Resumes, tell your friends (especially if they’re part of that 9% unemployment figure).
What are you afraid of that you know you shouldn’t be? Let me know in the comments.
(Header photo: A Street Called Awesome)