Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fear Not the Dow (Jones)

If you're like most people, the incredible drop in the stock market last week was a huge and unwelcome surprise....a lot us are thinking, how low can it go?

It's understandable that the banks made, apparently, some bad lending and investment decisions. It's also now abundantly clear that government oversight and regulation of the financial industry has not prevented these poor decisions; maybe it's made them worse!

What's hard to swallow is that how could these financial companies lose so much value, are they really only worth 1% of what they were worth one year ago? Were they that overvalued before? Are the people running these banks incompetent and/or corrupt? Is upward communication in these institutions so weak that the upper echelon didn't know what was going on? It's hard to grasp this situation.

There is one thing that is clear, despite this financial weirdness, our fear of poverty only makes it worse for us.

Fear is a state of mind and one that you can control. In fact, your thoughts may be the only thing you can control!

Fear can actually be fatal. Here's what Napoleon Hill said about it in Think and Grow Rich:

This fear paralyzes the faculty of reason, destroys the faculty of imagination, kills off self-reliance, undermines enthusiasm, discourages initiative, leads to uncertainty of purpose, encourages procrastination, wipes out enthusiasm and makes self-control an impossibility. It takes the charm from one's personality, destroys the possibility of accurate thinking, diverts concentration of effort; it masters persistence, turns willpower into nothingness, destroys ambition, beclouds the memory and invites failure in every conceivable form...(265).

Hill goes on about the destructive nature of fear, but I think you get the idea.

The antidote: Realize that you will be fine. You're not on the brink of starvation and you're not living under a bridge. I think most Mixonian readers have full use of their arms and legs.

I heard this definition recently: wealth is what you have after all the money is gone.

Life invites us to live the adventure. If you have to work in a bar because you lose your job, it's not the worst thing that can happen. You might open your own bar and make more money than ever before.

Reject fear, feed your mind. Everything is fine. Really.