Keep hope alive!

Could it be that it’s only the fourth day of the New Year? Already I feel as if so much has happened and not much of it has been good. There’s been sickness (I know two people who had bad cases of dengue), death, accidents. Then there’s the continued recession and the dismal outlook for the year.

In fact, the year doesn’t feel new to me; it feels as if the old things are being carried over but with a different date on the calendar. Having said all that, don’t think that I’ve given up; that is not an option. Instead we must set our faces like flint and forge ahead into 2013 with deliberation and hope, knowing that “sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning”. Morning is about to break.

So how can we survive and even thrive this year in spite of all the predictions and negative expectations? I believe that we have to adopt a different perspective, we need to have faith and we need to change the things we say, after all there’s death and life in the power of the tongue. In other words we need to start speaking positively about our situations and circumstances.

Let’s talk about that different perspective. Following on from the story I shared last week about three men who were working on a building, one man could only see that he was laying bricks and the second man could only see that he was earning $20 an hour and both of them were discontent. The third man could see that he was building a cathedral and that gave him joy in his work.

I therefore challenge you this year not to look so much at the task you are doing or how much or how little you are earning from it but change your perspective to focus on what you are creating.

For example if you’re an artist, rather than thinking how much money you can get for a picture, consider how much pleasure you will bring to the person who buys it. If you are someone who makes healthy food, don’t think about how many plates you will have to sell to get so many dollars but think how you are impacting people’s lives by providing them with healthy alternatives. You get the picture.

Now don’t get me wrong, as an accountant, I’m well aware that these new perspectives cannot be totally altruistic because there are still costs and expenses to be covered, however I believe that when you see through these new glasses, you will love what you’re doing more and you will get that much needed incentive to keep pushing ahead even in these hard times.

Don’t think that I have it all together myself. I have to constantly remind myself, as I check my sales ranking on Amazon, that it’s not just about selling books, although that is definitely welcome, it’s about impacting people’s lives.

Have I brought someone enjoyment and maybe even escape from reading my book? Have I caused them to look at their life or their business differently? Have I given them hope? If I’ve managed to do one or more of those things successfully, then I am satisfied and I know that my rewards will come.

Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit down and wait for people to find my book in the ocean of books called Amazon or for those who have read it to tell their friends about it and that doesn’t mean that you should not be actively marketing your products and services.

Remember at the beginning of the article I wrote about approaching the year with deliberation? We need to be deliberate in how we get the word out there so that we encourage people to come and sample the wonderful things we have created because we’re interested in helping them and not just ourselves.

So who do you know or have access to and how can they help you to spread your message? Make a list and be deliberate in following those leads.

I have decided that I will not allow the negatives of the year to swallow my hope. I try to live by the philosophy that if life gives you a lemon you can make lemonade and I encourage you to do the same. So be thankful for every blessing, squeeze life out of every moment and focus on what you’re building, not the task you’re doing or how little you’re earning.

I believe that with this new perspective you will be more productive, definitely more joyful and ultimately more prosperous.

Donna Every is a Chartered Accountant and an MBA who worked with Ernst & Young for ten years before starting her own Business Advisory practice. She has written four books including What Do You Have in Your House?, Surviving in Times of Financial Crisis and the newly released novel The Merger Mogul.

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