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“I blame it on the Recession” – the trendiest excuse

Written By: Anna Presso on February 7, 2009 9 Comments

The Recession, the big crisis, the major crunch, the huge depression, the financial Armageddon… Headline after headline, media seems to have us all in its spell these days. It’s pumping fear day and night. Everywhere I turn, we’re constantly being bombarded with such alarming news. Huge threats, and no solution. Nothing for me to do, no way I can influence things. The obvious question for each of us is “what am I supposed to do? How is this going to affect ME,____?(your name here)” Well, a good answer would be: Any way you let it to. Of course you cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to swim, right? In such an economic environment though, too many people feel downright paralyzed. They feel like victims, totally helpless in front of this huge unstoppable tsunami. Options seem fewer and thinner, the unavoidable gets closer and closer, the ax shines in the moon light and the front door is open…tah tah tah tah…(horror movie soundtrack).While it’s good to be informed, it’s definitely counterproductive to be obsessed and a subject of the mass hypnosis – be exposed long enough and you’ll just end up falling in line with the rest.

What it also helps a lot is to be aware of the market’s psychology and to avoid assimilating it and then turning it into your own. Stock market is driven by psychology. Real estate, even land value is impacted by psychology. Think about it. An acre of land is an acre of land. I happen to know a plot nearby whose selling value tripled (!) over the last two years. Nothing was built on it or near it, it gained no added value of itself whatsoever, it just followed the market upwards tendency in pricing, inflating its selling price artificially. The fact is, not only realities are more subjective then we think, they are often created by our own perception, which more often than not gets shaped under media’s thumb (or middle finger). The beliefs we have regarding a particular situation make us (re)act in a certain way, which may cause the very situation we wanted to avoid to become real. You think your husband is cheating on you, which makes you become colder and unpleasant, which makes the two of you drift apart, which makes your husband cheat on you. Or you believe the economy is shaky and you decide to withdraw your savings from the bank and keep them in your mattress account (at least the customer service here is nicer), which makes the bank have less funds, which leads to a weaker bank and a weaker economy. We are actually feeding, with our actions, the very beast we say we’d like to kill. Self-fulfilling prophecy, law of attraction, whatever you call it, this is how it works.

But when the threat seems so serious, and so big (worldwide, you know?), the feeling of helplessness holds you stuck in place, this time with such a good excuse for not succeeding, that it seems impossible to have any other outcome. As somebody told me recently: “this thing, I mean the recession and all, that’s big, I mean, like… big. I feel that I cannot fight that, it’s too big for me, it’s like I’m facing a train coming straight towards me, you know? Just too big to fight it.” Then you may want to consider getting the hell out of the railway! I said, not as lady-like as I wished I had. Oy!

Although at a macro level it seems that the problem lays in having insufficient resources, at a purely individual level, the game is never won or lost because of a lack of resources. There are always more resources available to us then we care to look for. What wins or loses the game it’s the mindset you choose to have, the decisions you make under the circumstances and the determination to pursue the goals you set for yourself. There’s never just one and only way to attain your goals or be successful. If a job is lost, find another source (or more) of income. If a place changed (for the worse), change the part you were playing in it or change the place. If a door is closed, go knock on the window. (Then leave, there’s no point being a fool about it.) If you come across a roadblock, don’t turn around and go back, eventually telling everybody you meet on your way that you saw signs the end is near. Go left, or go right, or come back with a couple of friends, or a bigger car, or a maybe a ladder, but then you’ll have to walk… You got the idea. Get creative. Not blamative (I want to have rights on this word, it’s brand new!). Never give up. If you feel stuck, change the direction, reshape your business, your methods, your set of skills, your approach. But most importantly, make sure your mindset is not your worst enemy.

It’s NOT only about the cards you were dealt. Given the same financial resources and being placed in the same economic environment, different people can get extremely different results. Some lay flat and wait for the train to run them over, some decide what they want and go get it, no matter the obstacles they come across. Some die, some thrive, regardless. What’s your strategy? Dead guy, turtle or tiger? 

The questions to ask yourself are not “why me?” or “why now?”.Why not you? And why not now? Look for ways around it or over it, not for excuses to stay down. The most important question to ask yourself is “How do I get over this?” Emphasis on “how“. It’s the best key to getting un-stuck I know. Creativity is one of your most valuable resources and another one the bank cannot take away from us. Can you believe our luck?

I firmly believe that circumstances, although they can have an undeniable effect upon us, they do not control us. They can slow you down, but they cannot stop you. Regardless of what’s going on around you, you can move, change, adjust, grow and succeed. You’re the only one calling the shots, and the only one to decide if you are going to keep going, no matter want, or if you are going to find yet another thing to blame for whatever situation you’re not happy with.

We construct our lives on 2 sets of circumstances: the controllable and the not (apparently) controllable ones. So, as achievers, we tend to fall into one of the two categories:

  • the ones who focus on creating the desired results by influencing the controllable (I work upon my beliefs, my habits, my actions, my abilities etc.)
  • the ones who leave the outcomes mostly to chance, drift aimlessly and blame any undesired result on external factors and uncontrollable events, thus taking the least possible responsibility for the results (it rained, the market was saturated, the other guy was taller and so on).

I cannot underline enough the fact that you were not born one way or the other. It is a choice. You can choose to succeed, no matter how long or sinuous the road might be, to succeed in spite of it all. Or you can spend your life making sure you have an excuse at hand and something or somebody to blame for whatever you didn’t get.

So, I heard there’s a recession going on. I’ve decided not to participate.

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9 Responses to ““I blame it on the Recession” – the trendiest excuse”

  1. Delmer Skeets McGee says on: 4 March 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I was opposed to both Stimulus packages & I truly feel the worst thing to come from them on the shirt term (let’s not even touch the long term impact they’ll have) that the attitude of “let’s wait & see what we can get out from the packages” has permeated all level of US enterprise – After 9/11 America pulled together in mentality of
    ” Root, Hog or Die!” …I don’t recall anyone (human or legal / corporate entity) sitting around waiting to see how much more milk they might be able to squeeze from Uncle Sam’s teat if they only waited a couple of more days/weeks/months; looking at the marketplace today, that’s about all I see.

    I am in complete agreement with your sentiment…To hell with the recession; there’s a time and a place to use another’s momentum (against them) and there’s a time to create, to BE the momentum!

  2. Delmer Skeets McGee says on: 4 March 2009 at 12:27 pm

    that was supposed to be “short term”…DoH!

  3. Rocka Rolla says on: 5 March 2009 at 11:55 am

    Delmer dude, put things into perspective – the Street opposing the stim packs would have been like my 5-year old denying Santa. But on the other hand I can see your point – 5-year old alikes hoarding bonuses are welcoming the stimpack and thinking Santa sent it their way.
    keep feathers and tar ready!

  4. Delmer Skeets Mcgee says on: 10 March 2009 at 11:13 am

    5 year olds: Ha! I have a 3 year old myself; just a moment ago he was trying to convince me he needed more licorice before bedtime (I know it’s 4am, long story). I wasn’t expecting Wall Street or any other enterprise to shun the packages, just get their thumbs out of their virtual arses and do something in the meantime. Here’s an analogy : With a shipwreck, If everyone treads water waiting for a rescue boat, it’ll take a lot longer time to reach safety than if they actually swam toward the boats!

    As to tar and feathering, think of all the poor birds that would have lose their feathers – can’t we just use tar and (pink and fluffy stuff) fiberglass insulation?

    Oh yes, I dropped in to note this piece from Mr. Ben Stein:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/08/sunday/main4852193.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4852193

  5. Jesse Livermore says on: 10 March 2009 at 8:14 pm

    whoever looks like that Stein and says Bernanke ever did a fine job is a w*anker. if the real Jesse would still be alive, Stein would accuse him of causing the recession. every crysis has its Steins and Bernankes – remember Katrina?

  6. Delmer Skeets McGee says on: 11 March 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I won’t quibble about your apparent distaste for Mr. Stein’s appearance; I can’t say his looks ever really played into my assessment as to his intellectual capacity or the worth of his words. Obviously, this is a metric which you measure said characteristics by, so each to his own.

    For the record, he stated that Bernanke was doing a fine job tending to the velocity of money:

    “Mr. Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve, has been doing a fine job of keeping the supply of money pumped up. Score one for him. ”

    He did not offer carte blanche support, nor recognize any other action done by Bernanke other than that issue; To which I have to agree, the cash is flowing; the world is still buying our debt and we are printing money like it’s going out of style. Personally, I question if that’s a good thing, then again, I bitch ’cause the US is no longer on the Gold standard but I digress.

    As far as Katrina, it was clearly George Bush’s fault that there was a hurricane and that people had no idea a storm was coming. Why, they only had 3 or 4 days notice, that’s hardly enough time to get out of a life endangering situation! I mean who knew a hurricane could be so destructive? The Gulf coast has never had hurricanes before, it’s pretty obvious that’s a sign of man made global warming; which all ties back into the military industrial complex; which means the Gov’t could have used the ( Majestic clearance) Diblemeyer device to raise the coast far enough above sea level to prevent damage, but they didn’t want to because they were under orders from the freemasons who built the levy’s!

    Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have to fashion a hat out of aluminum foil and coat hangers…

  7. Delmer Skeets McGee says on: 11 March 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Correction: Supply not Velocity.

    I really need to quit pulling these all nighters.

  8. hochmeister says on: 11 March 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Stien is dead on. The obvious conclusion then is that our new enlightened elite in Washington want to get the most out of the crisis even to the extent of prolonging it. They are counting on their crisis mandate to make all their pet social projects and dream earmarks a reality which are in fact counter to a healthy econmy. They are betting that the natural economic rebound will come into motion just in time for the 2010 election cycle so they can claim victory by the applicaiton of their enlighted policies. Soak up the irony comrade.

    Be sure to use 2 ply .001 ” foil in the construction of your cranial faraday cage.

    H

  9. Nixon Schmixon says on: 12 March 2009 at 11:14 pm

    I must agree with Mr. McGee that dropping the Gold standard in 1971 was a mistake. As history recorded it, it was done under Pres. Nixon of GOP. Now I cannot claim that things looked clear back then, but probably Mr. Bernanke would face less challenge and even manage to do his job properly with at least one properly regulated market. These might be just the ramblings of an old man, but I don’t remember another time where bank clerks from the Street owned so many house in Spain as today.

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