Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Be Helpful and Keep Swimming

My former boss, Bob G., sent me a great article that recently appears in Business Week. Marshall Goldsmith writes with some advice on what to do at work to deal with all the bad behavior that is happening at companies all over the country. In a nutshell, he is encouraging us to be helpful. It reminds me of that idea that "whatever you seek for yourself, strive to provide for another." So if you want to be happy, look to make someone else happy. If you want to be safe, provide safety for someone else. 

Goldsmith's shortlist:
Help more, judge less
Go out of your way to help others who are down
Encourage people to focus on the future
Be aware of your own emotional reactions

If we thought 2008 was bad, just wait until we get through 2009. As Randy Bachman said, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." And I say this not as a threat or to scare anyone. The point is that we WILL get through this. We will be different people, a different nation on the opposite shore of 2010 and beyond. And in between there is this large, vast, and deep ocean, potentially without a bottom. 

My friend, Cindy, swam in the Hudson River as part of the New York Triathalon last fall. At one point in the swim, all of the participants found themselves surrounded by jellyfish. An odd, but very realistic, occurrence. And the fastest, clearest way out was through the mass of tentacles. No lifeline was coming. All they had was the support of the swimmers banning together and pushing ahead one stroke, one kick at a time. They all got stung but they all came out of the river okay. We're in the economic equivalent of the Hudson on that day. Just keep going, and together we'll make it.    

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