We CAN Beat the Virus AND Avoid Recession…It’s Between the Ears.

Benjamin Franklin in a mask on a 100 dollar bill isolated on white background. Concept of prevention of money from crisis.Bloomberg posted and article today with an expert concluding that a recession is an absolute certainty post-virus.

There’s something we ALL need to remember when we emerge from this. They are going to sell you recession and depression. Most people think these are economic events. THEY ARE NOT. They are psychological events. Recessions and depressions happen when people believe they’re going to happen (often after they’ve been told they’re happening) and everyone starts acting it out. Business and people pull back. The pandemic is bad enough. We don’t need to double our pleasure by believing in a massive economic downturn after it.

For better or worse, the federal government is flooding business with money. Hopefully, this next round will actually get to the people who need it. There’s likely more direct aid on the way for individuals.

  1. Take a breath.
  2. Businesses taking money, do the ethical thing and keep your employees employed.
  3. Make people whole. No one should lose their house, their apartment, or their vehicle during this situation or because of it.
  4. When we are able to safely restart the economy, choose not to act like there’s a recession or a depression.

Together, we can beat the virus and stave off the naysayers who predict economic doom after this.

Here are some #Rayquotes and affirmations for preparing your mindset to avoid recession.

Just a reminder in case no one has told you today, you are awesome!

Ray

woman_morning_sunrise_silhouetteMake the changes you seek in your life. Sample and download these affirmations.

Attracting My Best Life Affirmations
Now and Forever Debt Free Affirmation
Whatever I Need Comes My Way Affirmation

With Liberty and Justice and Fewer Customers for All

Today’s Affirmation:

“My world is what I make of it and I choose to make it a prosperous place to be.”
(Click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

skull_money

There are positives in everything and the current economic and mental environment is no different. However, just as in our individual lives, our collective life must be driven by productive, empowered thoughts followed by committed action if we are to succeed.

Einstein’s famous quote is true here in spades – the level of thinking that got us here will not get us out.

We are in a recession. That’s not a big revelation to the employees who have lost jobs or companies who have seen their stocks tumble in recent months. What is a recession? Well, the technical economic definition is three consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP.

In the old days, recessions use to be called panics. This is probably a more apt term than the sanitized word recession. The word panic indicates human thoughts and human responses to a situation. To be clear, our economy is having a giant panic attack.

Now is the time that the power of our thoughts can be exposed as cause and solution to these issues.

I would argue that recessions are as much psychological as they are economic. I’m not suggesting that some pretty big mistakes (perhaps even corruption) did not occur in our economic structure bring us here. Only that the extent to which we experience the recession has and continues to rely on the thoughts of people and the actions that flow from those thoughts.

Henry Paulson and other leaders since have tossed around words like “recession”, “depression”, and “catastrophe”. We all have images in our minds that correspond to those words and they are not good. So people begin acting in a way that follows the thoughts that have been planted.

Markets didn’t drop 40% in recent months because companies were suddenly worth 40% less than they were before. They dropped because human beings experienced panic and sold, sold, sold.

Credit didn’t dry up because banks (especially after the government bail out) didn’t have funds. They dried up because humans at banks experienced panic that if they loaned money they wouldn’t get it back.

Fewer Customers for All?

The layoffs that are occurring right now are happening because CEOs and CFOs are experiencing panic. They have been taught that they must captain their “ships” to maximum profit at all costs. In a normal situation, that makes perfect sense. The market determines winners and losers and those that don’t succeed retool or go away.

Layoffs happen as a result, but in calm seas those laid off can swim to other “ships”. They can continue to be consumers. All is good.

This environment is different. Corporate leaders must show vision, courage, and thinking beyond the quarterly numbers for their own sake and that of the broader economy.

In the current economic and mental environment, this usually smart business response – cutting labor costs to save – is counterproductive. This is a stormy sea (mentally and financially). As “ships” continue to throw people overboard to save themselves, they forget that all the other “ships” are doing the same thing.

They forget, at their peril, that their own choices magnified across the economy only deepen and worsen the situation – feed the storm and make it stronger. Because while a company sheds employees to save costs, other companies are shedding that company’s customers and potential customers.

This short-sighted approach means fewer customers and potential customers for everyone. It slows possible recovery and deepens the abyss.

When the entire fleet (economy) is experiencing seas like these, enlightened business minds should see that layoffs are not the way to economic survival. They are the way to further collapse.

Corporate leaders need to step up and stop the job carnage now before they decimate their own markets. Will profits drop for a while, if you keep employees? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Employed people make better customers than unemployed people.

What will you tell WALL STREET? Well, I’d say Wall Street isn’t in much of a position to judge anyone right now. Maybe this is an opportunity reverse the business power structure and gain back some ability to make long-term decisions for your company rather than having to “manage by the quarter” for Wall Street analysts.

Minds can and must change.

Working together and with the right mindsets, we can come out of this situation stronger and better. There is much opportunity in all of this. We may see the emergence of new virtual entrepreneurism that makes corporate structures obsolete. This all could be transformation as much as recession.

Regardless, it is our thoughts created this circumstance and they will lead us out of it. The question is how long will it take us to get it?

Stay inspired!

Ray

New Year’s Day 2009 – The Affirmation Spot for January 1, 2009

Today’s Affirmation:

“I constantly look for new ways to use creativity to enhance my work.”
(click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)

fireworks1As 2009 begins, 2008 and all its memories slip into the past. There they join memories from other years. It’s easy to allow our present to become a place where we long for the past. The past always seems somehow noble and safe from a distance. As long as we don’t live in the past, there is no harm in remembering it.

The past, though, has a lesson for the present. All those fond memories were once a “right now”. Did we enjoy them to their fullest when we were there? We remember them fondly now, but did we truly and fully experience their miracle then?

2009 is now full of potential and memories to be created. As we create them, let us pledge to live each one to its fullest and experience it to the max.

So what does 2009 promise? The words that come to mind are Transformation and Renaissance. There are some very hopeful and inspiring possibilities on the horizon.

Global – This year, I believe, has the potential for a Renaissance on so many fronts. It’s becoming apparent – as we’ve seen in recent months – that many of the ways we think about, see, and interact with the world no longer serve us.

Transformation is in the air as outmoded institutions and systems struggle to survive.  Renaissance is happening, but we must ensure it is the kind of Renaissance that leads to a freer, more enlightened humanity.

Bottom-up empowerment must win out against Top-down control. Centralized authority and control – be it governmental, economic, military, spiritual, or corporate – are the problem not the solution. These systems stifle the creativity and collaboration needed to advance.

However, these systems are going to try to hold on to power with white-knuckled determination. Their power and control are what they know and what they are comfortable with. In my opinion, it is not global recession we are witnessing, but global transformation.

That new posidigm is coming into view, but the existing negadigm is going to drag its feet. Wisdom and empowered thinking will be at a premium, but they will see us through.

Personal – Changes in the global system necessitate change within us. As we seek to grasp new models for universal advancement, we also have inner work that we know needs to happen.

Resolutions are great, but if you’re bold enough this year; replace your resolutions with revolutions. Your life can be transformed by this time next year, if you choose. You are the deciding factor.

There is no throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. What still works for the world and for us will remain. We are simply going to see a shedding of old paradigms created for another era. 2009 seems poised to be a pivotal year in this shift.

We are, indeed, living in interesting times.

Stay awesome!
Ray

The Financial Crisis and What We Can Do About It – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday September 18, 2008

Even in the face of great difficulty we have within us an ability cope, overcome, and succeed.

I’ve written a number of articles recently about going beyond positive thinking and happy thoughts on to empowered thinking. Empowered thinking includes being informed among its three elements. Being informed is about honestly assessing a situation – not candy-coating it – so that you can make sound decisions and take strong actions to deal with it.

We are quickly approaching a moment when being informed means looking honestly at the economic situation we are facing and recognizing that we must engage the other two aspects of empowered thinking – positive thinking and committed action.

The Situation

This evening a Wall Street Journal article declared the current financial crisis the worst since the 1930s. While the signs of trouble have been apparent for a couple of years, such statements can no longer be considered hyperbole against the backdrop of recent events.

  • Share prices plummeting
  • Home prices plummeting
  • The dollar plummeting
  • Companies exchanging debt and bets on debt and counting it as revenue on their balance sheets
  • Financial powerhouses gone in a day.
  • Great American corporations like GM and Ford hanging on for dear life.
  • A government already trillions of dollars in debt and borrowing every day to fight wars around the world acting as though it can bail everybody out.
All of this and our “leaders” still can’t bring themselves to even utter the word “recession”. The two major party presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain – awash in money and influence from Wall Street firms – are trying to “get their messages right” on the economy. They want to put the best face on it or make sure that the other side gets the blame for it.

The bottom line is that the people we elected to protect our interests have not done so. Companies we trusted to be responsible with our savings and our investments have not so either. And, we have all been guilty of thinking that perpetually rising home values and easy credit are a norm.

Let me be clear. Wall Street turned into Las Vegas over the past few years while both parties in Washington turned a blind eye and even poured gas on the fire. Bluntly, Wall Street bet our collective house and lost. Now they are coming to the government (the American taxpayer) and saying, “You have to save us because the whole ship will sink, if you don’t”.

So far the bailout has nearly doubled the stated federal government debt and its not over yet. When the federal government owes money guess who that means really owes it – yep the taxpayers.

Some in Congress are finally responding against the move by the Treasury Department and The Federal Reserve to rescue the financial giants. That is a good, if belated, thing. After all, The US Constitution clearly gives only Congress the power to appropriate government funds. Here we have the executive branch and the central bank overstepping their Constitutional authority. Congress needs to act and act swiftly to stop these actions.

What We Can Do

Being informed allows us to use positive thinking and committed action to create change. There are several things we can do right now and several things we can learn for the future from this situation.

  • Don’t panic – markets are all about human psychology – i.e. “the herd mentality”. In good times, the herd grazes until it is full. In bad times, the herd gets spooked and does things as stupid as running off a cliff. When panic takes over a bad situation becomes a spiraling cycle of negativity. We need to stay calm and carefully consider our moves.
  • Demand Congress assert itself – Congress has the Constitutional authority to appropriate funds – not the executive branch and not The Federal Reserve. Congress has direct responsibility to the people and they need to reassert that Constitutional authority.
  • Demand oversight – we probably thought our government was doing due diligence in overseeing the financial markets. Purely and simply it was not. We need to demand a return to sensible oversight of the markets and not double-talk from politicians beholden to those markets.
  • Reduce or eliminate debt – with markets and credit tightening, it is not going to be a good time to owe people money. We should all do what we can to reduce or eliminate as much debt as possible.
  • Demand justice – people who have been irresponsible and even criminal in bringing about this crisis need to held accountable.
  • Decentralize the economy – this is paramount. The keys to our economic fate lie in too few hands and in hands that do not have the peoples’ best interest at heart. This must change. I’ve had recent dialogue with a number of people promoting a new wave of entrepreneurialism. The idea of independent business ownership has given way to giant box stores and massive government and extra-governmental organizations (i.e. The Federal Reserve) managing the economy. This has taken peoples’ economic destinies out of their hands and given it over to these entities.
  • Control what we can control – we cannot control the macro situation, but we can do everything in our power to make things better as we can affect them. Evaluate your own situation and take positive steps forward towards expecting the best and preparing for the worst.
  • Focus on the best possible outcome – we can align our thoughts with the best possible outcome for ourselves and the nation. We severely underestimate the power of our individual and collective thoughts to alter the reality we receive. If we focus on the best possible outcome that is what we can expect to experience.
We may be in for some stormy seas in the short term. The key is that with empowered thinking – positive thinking, being informed, and taking committed action – we can change course and push towards a better future for us all.
Stay inspired!
Ray