Who else is tired of all the fear-mongering? Headlines like these: “Hurricane threatens to destroy thousands of homes and business. What will happen when the next earthquake hits the United States? The impending fire danger could take millions of acres and threatens hundreds of homes and lives. The economy is faltering. The economy staggers. Thousands fear for their jobs and see themselves facing homelessness.”
Who else has figured out that it is the sensationalizing that has created all the fear and panic, not the events themselves? Absent all the media attention, weather-related events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and fires…which have been occurring since time began…would be covered factually and as a natural life event rather than an epic catastrophe.
I take nothing away from the individual pain and suffering that is felt when a major drama plays itself out. The sensationalizing of it, however, does in fact remind me of the story of “Chicken Little.” If you recall the story, one young chick had a seed that fell on its tail, then he went around to all the the birds, Henny Penny, Turkey Lurkey, (OK by how surely you remember), and others around him telling them the sky had fallen, because “a piece of it had landed on his tail” , until ultimately he had gathered a crowd, who then ran into the wily fox, who convinced them to run into his den, from whence none of them, except of course, the fox returned.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get economic news, reported as news rather than as the latest killer/thrill novel?
So…what can you and I do to change all this?
Here are a few rules that world-wide entrepreneurs, and all their friends and families, can adopt that I believe will make a difference, and get the world headed toward a more peaceful existence, and out of the mind-set that the sky is falling.
- Quit worrying. If you’re struggling with this, think of this quite: “Troubles are a lot like people. They grow bigger if you nurse them.” Author unknown.
- Show compassion and kindness. There is misery around us, and denying it or avoiding it won’t make it go away. That doesn’t mean taking on others’ burdens, but even a smile or a positive thought can brighten their outlook. Someone shared with me a story recently of a teenage boy who befriended a very shy newcomer, and many years later was told by that person that he had saved a life, as at that point he had felt so bereft he was planning to commit suicide. Kindness counts.
- Work smarter, not harder. Spend your time on what matters to those you serve. Nearly everyone’s heard of Pareto’s 80/20 Rule…only 20 percent of what you do in a day is really worthwhile. So it’s important to know which 20 percent to focus on. As you go through how you spend your day, if it’s not obvious, or doesn’t readily become obvious, ask. Use surveys, make phone calls, see people face to face, and ask them, “Of the service or products that I provide, what is most helpful and important for you? From that you will be able to develop your marketing, email and social media strategies to do what’s important, and worry less about the things that aren’t important that don’t get done.
Choose not to get caught up in group hysteria, and to know that the sky is, in fact, not falling, even though there are seeds dropping everywhere. We can see beyond the wily fox, who waits to find the advantage of every catastrophe, and individually and collectively use those seeds to plant and grow better world in which to live.
One of our greatest catastrophes in recent history was the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001. In this case, it truly did appear the sky was falling. And from that catastrophe, the strength, determination, and tenacity of humans to heal and go beyond (finding and planting the seeds from despair if you will), is clearly shown in what has come since.
Also more apparent is our increasing ability to identify the wily fox. There may be times in your life when you feel very much like Chicken Little. However, you also now know to ask the right questions, take appropriate action, and be confident that you know how to keep the sky from falling.