Life Lessons from Wall StreetBy Barbara Wulf
While filling up my car at a gas station recently, a homeless man approached me and asked if I had a cigarette. I said, “No, I don’t smoke.” He smiled and said, “That’s good.”
The brief encounter made me reflect on the uncertain times we have experienced in the financial world and the existence of homelessness. Funny how the two worlds of investment banking (Wall Street) and homelessness (living on the street) are surprisingly juxtaposed for a time, like an eclipse. For both worlds, there is a sense of uncertainty. Questions like how did this predicament occur, what’s next, who can help, when will business/life be back to normal and for some, what happened to my job have surfaced.
Times like this can even make an optimist feel fearful and uncertain. One can begin to lose faith and wonder, is the glass half-full or half-empty. What’s Next? It’s a question that many from Wall Street to Main Street are asking. It’s a simple question with no simple answer.
Negative words have been circulating about our financial predicament. Words with the letter “C” have been swirling around with hurricane-like force. Words like Crisis, Chaos, Collapse, Crash and Catastrophe. What? No Chocolate? Hardly, who can afford dessert? What about positive words like Comfort…no yet. Confidence, I hope so. Calm… there’s a word worth visiting.
Despite the uncertain financial times swirling around us, we can choose to be in the eye of the storm, the place of calm and collect. Remaining in the eye for 24-7 is probably not possible, but visiting the eye can be a place where we exercise courage and confidence. Visiting the eye is not about denial, ignorance or defiance. The eye can provide a place to reclaim our present and future, breathe, review our life goals, examine our decision-making and strategize. The eye provides a place where the head and heart connect. The eye is where we pick up the pieces, mend or strengthen our “I” and get recentered.
Most of us become irrational in our decision-making when we stay in the swirl of fear and desperation. Remember the eye of the storm to:
§Get back to basics.
§Hold to your core values.
§Keep life simple.
§Let go of that which does not serve you, lessen the load.
Choose your perspective and don’t get lost in the swirl of uncertainty that affects your life, your career, your finances and your relationships.