Regress – or, Progress?

     A question we all need to be asking ourselves these days is whether we’re going to buy into the mentality of fear, lack, bailouts, and bankruptcy.  Or, if what is going on around us simply represents great opportunity; challenges that if overcome will move us forward to becoming the individuals and companies we want to be.  Will we cower in fear and pull back?  Or, will we lurch forward with determination?

     Borrowing from a good friend of mine, Kevin Berry, I’d like to present three things that will enable us to move beyond being just survivors to becoming victors in this present economy.  I should say too that these three actions can apply to any area of life, not just business.

1) Look up.  I know it’s not politically correct but it’s what virtually everyone does when they’re in a tight spot, and that is pray.  Surveys consistently show that most folks pray on a regular basis, and I guarantee they pray when in trouble.  So the first and best thing to do when facing the challenges of the day – individually or corporately – is to pray.  When we do this we’re taking our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances, and placing them squarely where they ought to be to begin with:  on God, who is quite capable of providing aid in the most difficult of situations.  History is replete with examples of men and women, including the most prominent, who turned to God in times of distress only to find a listening ear and a helping hand.  So the fist step toward progress is to look up, pray, and expect God to answer.  And we must not forget to give thanks when help arrives, directing it to the One who provided it!

2) Hook up.  There is a Proverb that says, “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.”  Another states, “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”  All of which is to say there is no substitute for good advice.  The second thing we must do then – if we want to progress, is to hook up with others who, by virtue of their character and experience, can help us through to the next level.  This might be on a one-to-one level with a trusted business associate, a paid coach or consultant, or perhaps the context of a group of others whose collective wisdom exceeds yours.  Too, the value of listening to seminars on your CD or MP3 player cannot be discounted.  The idea is to connect with others that can help you.  In fact, oftentimes answered prayer comes in the form of other people.  So look up to God and hook up with others.

3) Keep up.  More often than not, our individual battles are won by pure and simple perseverance.  We never know when the next breakthrough is coming, and if we give up we may never find out.  How many successes have not been realized by people who have quit just short of the finish line? The idea of quitting ought not to be entertained for a moment! Unfortunately, the business climate is such that, not only are we sometimes tempted to give up, but the legal system in the United States seems to encourage it.  After all, why keep going – with all the attendant risk and potential for failure – when you can walk away and be protected from your creditors?  But “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.” So then, the only way out of this economic predicament is through it.  It’s a race that can and will be won – not by the fainthearted or easily discouraged, but by those who are determined to move forward with endurance.   

     In summary, then, ours is a choice as to whether we will regress – shrink back, even give up – or progress – move forward toward our goals and aspirations.  Remembering and acting on these three principles, look up, hook up, and keep up, will help us do just that.


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January 2010

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