I waited a long time this month to write this newsletter. I was very ambivalent about what to share with you. Now I am clear. I found myself watching the Today show this morning with shock and sadness as student after student recalled the tragic events on the Virginia Tech campus. Reggie, my business partner, has a son on that campus (who was not injured, thank God), so the whole event had a more personal note to me. With tragedy and wars and political bickering and Imus and the Duke lacrosse debacle and on and on and on, it is easy to wonder What in the world is happening? I wish I had a good explanation. Since I don’t, let me share with you what I think are the best things to do for you, your family, and your employees when faced with difficult times. Even when you aren’t directly involved in the event, it takes a toll on you mentally and emotionally.
1. Focus on the things in your life and work that you have control over. Nothing creates anxiety or stress faster than attempting to control or influence things over which you have no control or influence.
2. Do something for someone else that will have significant meaning to them. With so much bad in the world your responsibility is to add something good. This morning I got an email of encouragement from a friend. It made a huge difference.
3. Be grateful. In difficult times it is easy to lose sight of what you have and are grateful for. Set aside some time each day to identify four things you are most grateful for.
4. Eliminate parasitic relationships. Do not participate in relationships that suck the life out of you. It may be costly to not participate but not nearly as costly as staying engaged.
5. Turn off the TV and do not read the paper for a few days.