Glenford Smith, Career Writer
The economic challenges we are facing as a country are unprecedented. Many people are fearful of losing their jobs, of their business failing and of not being able to make ends meet financially.
This reaction to our national and individual crises is understandable. One can even say it is justified.
The fact, however, is that panicking won't help you to cope. Becoming hopeless and depressed is the best way to worsen your problems.
The economic challenges we face personally and nationally are circumstances we and others have overcome before. They are not insurmountable or insoluble.
Every crisis, every adversity or setback has hidden opportunities for profit, if you look for those opportunities with an empowered attitude. It's been rightly said that circumstances don't make a man, they only reveal him to himself.
That means the power to determine your destiny is not based ultimately upon your circumstances, but upon who you are inside.
Are you a negative, self-doubting pessimist? Or do you dare to be a courageous, resourceful and positive optimist? It's a choice you get to make.
If you're experiencing hardships in your career, business or personal life, you should keep this lesson from famed Harvard psychologist, William James, in mind:
"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter the external circumstances of their lives by changing their inner attitudes of mind."
In other words, control your attitude and you control how your problems and obstacles in life turn out.
As recently as last month, the governor general, Sir Patrick Allen, was echoing this critical message as he warned about the dangers of nurturing negative emotions.
"We must stem the wave of negativism. We must continue to believe in ourselves, in our ability to develop our potential and achieve our objectives," the governor general urged. This has been the consistent message of his 'I Believe' initiative.
Some people, however, insist that positive thinking and optimism are useless in solving their hard problems. That's nothing but denial of harsh reality, they assert. My answer is that a positive mental attitude alone is not sufficient to master our problems, but is an indispensable necessity in doing so.
In these tough times, you must nurture a tough mind and an unstoppable spirit. Don't give in to helplessness.
Practise determined flexibility in growing your business. Work harder at your job than ever before. Double your effort to find a good job, and never give up.
Remember: When the going gets tough, it's the tough who gets going.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of a new book 'From Problems to Power: How to Win Over Worry and Turn Your Obstacles into Opportunities'. Send feedback to email@example.com