The bad economy

There is no security on this earth. Only opportunity.
Douglas MacArthur
1880 – 1964

You’d need to be hiding under a huge rock to have missed all the doom and gloom that the news media has been spreading over the past couple of weeks. There’s no doubt that we’re facing some challenging times.

Economic conditions tend to run in cycles. First, there’s euphoria and everything is rosy. We throw caution to the wind and spend like there’s no tomorrow. Eventually, this cycle runs its course and things turn a bit ugly. Then we have to pay the price. There are layoffs, business closings, declining stock prices and worsening credit conditions.

Often, we hear all the bad news and let that news affect the way we run our businesses and lives. But here’s something to remember: for you as an individual, what you do, the actions you take, have much more impact on your financial condition and your well being than what happens in the total economy.

Forget about what’s happening in the overall economy. You have absolutely no control over it. But you have total control over how you react to the changing economic conditions.

There are a couple of ways you can respond to all the bad news. You can cut back on your spending, worry about the stock market and the economy, and, in short, start living in fear. But ask yourself this question: where’s the benefit in that approach?

Alternatively, you can recognize that life goes in cycles. Downturns will be followed by prosperity. Realize that the actions you take are much more important to your financial well being than the general state of the economy.

In poor economic times, people generally turn to “safe” investments. They look for security. But there is no security in the world. There is only opportunity.

Most people do very little to control their own destiny. They drift along, carried by the winds of change. If you want security, take control of your life. Be in charge of what happens to you.

Even during poor economic times, people still buy food, clothing, houses, cars, vacations and a host of other things. Life does not stop.

Remember that economic change is just that: change. For those who are afraid to or refuse to change, things can be difficult. For those who view change as an opportunity, there will be rewards. Those that suffer the most during turbulent economic times are the ones least willing to change.

It’s easy to blame the economic conditions. It’s better to change with the times and profit from them. The choice is up to you.

Nothing endures but change.
c. 540 – c. 480 B.C.

Copyright © 2008 John Chancellor

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