Red Shoes in Turbulent Times

by The Red Recruiter on April 23, 2009

Smiling GirlSomeone asked me yesterday why I’m always happy.

They said “Why are you always smiling? The economy sucks, recruiting is slow and you just go on your happy way wearing red shoes. I don’t get it.”

So, I replied that their perception was incorrect.  FACT: I am not a happy wearing red shoe guy 100% of the time.  We all have good days and bad… myself included.  It’s not easy being a business owner in a tough economic climate.  I don’t have a company promising to pay me if things don’t get better… that’s another fact.  I, like everyone else who pushes to make it through, have to find ways to pull up my boot straps and find the positive.

So, after many hours (probably too many) of contemplating that comment I tried to narrow down the reasons that I’m happy 95% of the time.  I came up with two reasons that are always in the back of my mind.  Responsibility and reality.

Seeing The Bright Side

Above all else, I feel responsible.  Remember the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy“?  It kind of reminds me of that.  The line goes…

“In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy……”

The wise Bobby McFerrin perhaps had it right.  How many worry stricken people do you know that simultaneously experience great success in their lives?  I don’t know any… but, hey… I may need to get out more.

So, I feel responsible to everyone… not to solve all of the issues in their lives, but to greet them with a smile and a positive attitude.  Do I have my moments… yes.  But, for those times I try to stay at home.

The second way I stay positive is by imagining how bad things could possibly get.  Then, once I have a clear picture, I simply ask myself if that place would be impossible to recover from.  Could you bounce back if you lost your home? Yes.  Could you lose every worldly possession and build it back up from scratch given what you know? Yes.  Could you deal with falling flat on your face? Yes.

I remember reading a section in “4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss that talked about our perceived worst-case-scenario being much worse than what reality would serve us.  Essentially, we like to imagine that the world will crumble in on us.  However, in all reality, we make it out to be much more than it is and that most discomfort or hardship is temporary.  He did a much better job explaining it than I every could… but, it made great sense.

Are you really having that bad of a day?  Did you eat today? Lucky you!  Did you wake up in a bed?  Lucky you!  Did you turn on a computer to read this post (no fibbing here!)?  Lucky you!

Truth be told, we should be grateful because our lives, no matter how terrible the media tries to make everything seem, are pretty decent.  This is a time of growth for everyone… and grow we will.  The innovation that occurs in harder-than-normal times can be fantastic!  In a flurry of pure will and survival, businesses push to improve and create.  As a whole, we will benefit from times like these.

So… why am I rambling on this off topic?  For a casual comment?

No.  It’s not about that one comment.  It’s about the overall mood and how people approach challenging times.  It’s especially about how challenging times change the way you and I approach others.  Are we helping or hurting with our presence?  Can we change our thoughts to help guide our impact?

How are you making an impact?  What keeps you in good spirits?

This great photo was taken by Scarleth White.

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