As a recently renewed man or woman of middle age, how are you reacting to the current financial turmoil? For me this has been the unsettling week since September 11, 2001. Despite an end-of-the-week recovery, we all witnessed the Dow Jones average losing over 1,000 points in just three days. Shareholers of financial stalwarts Lehman Brothers and AIG were wiped out in a heartbeat. Retirement nest eggs were drastically reduced. Like me, did you lie awake at night wondering how much worse it is going to get? Is this the big one?
Obviously, I don’t have all the answers to maintaining positive emotions in these difficult times but the following steps are working for me:
- Don’t blame yourself. You and I did not create the mess in today’s financial markets and there’s not a lot we can do personally to clean it up.
- Pinpoint how the general financial downturn specifically impacts you and your loved ones. Is it truly a life-altering set back? It may not be as bad as you think. I shuddered listening to reports of shareholder wipe-outs then checked my portfolio to learn my personal exposure to Lehman and AIG was less than $5,000. Not pleasant but it’s not going to ruin my retirement.
- Beyond all else, don’t chaotically rush to liquidate stock holdings while the markets are down! If you can hold out for the long haul, by all means do so. Remember typical bear markets and US recessions last less than 12 months.
- You and I are not in this alone. As emotionally renewed, positive person at mid-life, we can willingly lend insight and emotional support to others less experienced or who have lost more. If you can afford it, now may be an ideal time to increase rather than decrease contributions to church or your favorite charity.
- Make your most difficult decisions up front, sooner not later. Whenever possible take the initiative now rather than waiting for an inevitable other shoe to fall. Always remember that our worth as human beings is not determined by the job titles or the houses we live in.
If anything, the potential threat, real or imagined, of economic upheaval makes it even more essential that you and I seek to restore and sustain a positive mind-set today. Focus on the present moment. Cherish those friends and love ones closest to you. Take time out from frenzied financial activities to recharge personal batteries and have some good old-fashioned fun. Go to church or temple this weekend and pray with others for rapid world economic recovery. Lead in spreading positive emotions within your circles of influence at work and pl
None of us alone can change the world but each one of us retains the absolute power to positively influence our little corner of it! As you and I seek to revive or sustan a favorable mental attitude during these difficult times, we risk absolutely nothing except the loss of our perpetual, built-in excuse for beginning and ending each day on a sour note.
I would love to learn from others steps you are taking to maintain your positive demeanor in difficult times. Please respond to this blog or contact me on my web site http://www.middleagerenewal.com/.