Some advice with a touch of universality might be worthwhile during the tough times nearly all Americans face now. If dwindling opportunities and more pressures from past credit or investment decisions take their toll, it is good to remember, and return to, basics that are sound counsel.
Assume you are flying a general aviation aircraft and find yourself sitting outside the wreckage of your plane in a heavily wooded forest somewhere in the Northwest Territories of Canada. You have a knife, a compass, some fishing line and bait, 4 blankets, rain gear, and 75 matches. It is late July. You have no signaling equipment and no reason to believe another plane will look for you for days. You do not expect to be missed by anyone for at least a week.
You know the area is infested with bears. You vaguely recall something about spiders and something else about ticks. Oh, the mosquitoes are carrying something pretty devastating this year, too.
Well, there is only one correct answer according to what most call best survival school convention: Sit down and think. Carefully. Form a well developed plan. Commit to it.
Then execute the plan.
In other words, get in touch with what you will not do, and then worry about what you will do. In the military, the general rule was that death would result from the bad decisions of the first 30 minutes and survival would depend on the coolness of ones head during the first 30 minutes of a tough spot like the hypothetical.
When Money Is the Problem
Admittedly, things are different when money, or joblessness, is the problem. But the techniques of economic survival also require careful thinking. Maybe these Do’s and Don’ts will help. First the Don'ts.
1. Don't think you're all alone in this situation.
2. Don't stop focusing on your strengths, and be sure you know what they are!
3. Don't keep clinging to old bad habits and bad spending decisions. No, you cannot justify continuing to drink Starbucks, or drive an SUV, or smoke, or pay the Country Club dues.
4. Don't short change your family. Keep your loved ones first in mind and ignore what the Jones’s might think. Control your ego.
5. Don't stop talking to your lenders. In fact, seek them out to let them know you are in trouble and need help.
6. Don't mope. Be constructive and creative. Take every opportunity. Be out and about.
7. Don't let yourself substitute focusing on your skills by looking for a bailout from somebody else. The easy way is probably what got you here.
8. Don't stop doing what is essential. Your health and exercise have never been more important.
9. Don't let your attitude become negative.
10. Don't look for a gift when you need to earn an opportunity.
11. Don't expect your solution to be external to yourself.
12. Don't left your sense of pride paralyze your judgment.
Now, let’s get to the Do’s.
1. Share the truth about your circumstances immediately with those who have a need to know.
2. Get a clear, well defined focus on who you are and what you do best.
3. Commit to using your strengths to survive. Control your ego.
4. Be open to challenges completely outside your experience but within your skills.
5. Ask for help, but ask those with a vested interest in you, not favorite uncles with whom you have not spoken for years. Tackle your biggest problems head on.
6. Take advantage of every opportunity but make sure each is legal, ethical and honorable.
7. Eat well and exercise well. Urge others to do so.
8. Change your habits from costly to constructive. Spend on a hobby, not a habit.
9. Complete the tasks that cost so little but take the time you now have. Maintenance tasks will reduce costs and may reveal a skill, or joy, you had forgotten.
10. Make square turns in your decisions and activities. Shortcuts are not options now.
11. Treasure those who care about you and eschew social networks that offer superficial rewards.
12. Find a cause to which to give, and good people with whom to share giving and find opportunity
Money Is Only Part of the Problem
Inevitably, money is only part of the problem now. Decision-making is surely the bigger part. If you enjoy good health, your problems are manageable. If your face criminal legal problems and fear exposure, get to someone with outstanding professional judgment to help find the solution before someone else decides for you what the solution will be.
You can earn more money. You cannot sometimes work your way to better health. Only good judgment can solve, or minimize, many legal problems. Early attention to them is the only solution.
Get good help… not just nominal care. If you need legal surgery, see a proven surgeon.
Be smart. You are worth it!
Domina Law Group pc llo is a firm of trial lawyers. We specialize in complex litigation on a national basis. Our lawyers are ethical, aggressive, and committed to providing spirit and vitality to the judicial system and our client’s legal rights.