Hard Times, or When the Going Gets Tough
by Dave Cottrell
Hard times often appear suddenly, when everything appears to be fine. What will you do about it?
There is a saying that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. In my opinion and experience, those words are usually said by folks who aren’t going through hard times (and maybe never have – they just heard the expression once, and thought it sounded good).
The reality is that when we go through hard times, the experience, far from toughening us up at the time, tends to make us vulnerable. It is during hard times that many people fall, never to rise again. If you’ve watched any footage from movies about the great stock market crash that sparked the Great Depression also known as the Dirty Thirties, you have probably seen clips of once wealthy and powerful businessmen jumping from windows in despair.
Back a few years ago, after oil prices had peaked at ridiculous highs, then suddenly crashed when the bubble burst, I had the privilege of chatting with one of the wealthiest men in Canada, a man who had been raised in the world of oil, and had amassed a very large fortune by the time he was in his thirties. He sat on the board of directors of a large oil consortium made up of big investors. When the crash came, the chairman of the board went from being a billionaire to being penniless and literally less than broke. The man who sat beside him also lost everything, went home that day, and put a bullet through his head. Such is all too common when hard times come.
Hard times come in many forms: There are economic hard times, health hard times, relationship hard times, spiritual hard times, emotional hard times, and often combinations of more than one of these. When they come, often without warning, they can be devastating.
How do you deal with hard times?
First of all, be prepared. It’s no use thinking you can fall back on the “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” mentality. The chances are that if you’re not prepared, you’ll be knocked flat when the hard times come, and you may find it almost impossible to get up. More on that later.
Being prepared for hard times means having your own house and your own life in order before such a natural part of life occurs. Simply having a large bank account is not really being prepared. Just ask the folks from various countries around the world whose currency has suddenly become worthless!
Being prepared means first of all being mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared. Believe it or not, all three of these are wrapped up in just one, the last of the three. Being spiritually prepared for disaster is something so few humans seem to be, but it is often catastrophic if it’s overlooked.
If you are not spiritually prepared for hard times, you may find yourself completely alone and trying to rely on your own wits when it happens. You will be like the person trying to carry himself in a wheelbarrow. It doesn’t work. It is critical to have a higher power to go to when hard times come. It’s also critical to make sure that your higher power is not simply a figment of your imagination, because if that is so, it will let you down, just when you need it most.
Note: Dr. Gabor Matè, who has studied the brain and brain chemistry for many years down on “Skid Row,” the downtown east side of Vancouver, famous for those suffering from mental illness and drug abuse, has written several books about his experience and studies, including one called, “In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts,” which I highly recommend. He has concluded after much research, including the baffling fact that only a mere 3% of people addicted to drugs who go through a rehab program actually recover, that although he does not understand it and is himself not “religious” in any sense, that the spiritual realm MUST BE the biggest single factor in mental health, and must therefore somehow be seriously studied. My own conclusion from this is that you and I MUST be aware of and tending to our spiritual needs BEFORE hard times come, or we could be in very big trouble.
Secondly, being prepared means being as healthy, physically, as you can with the body you came with. In other words, while we all have different body types with differing strengths, weaknesses, preconditions, etc., it pays to take care of our bodies and to be as healthy as possible. That means not abusing our bodies with junk food, substances, lack of exercise and lack of sleep.
My dad was hit by a car and killed instantly only days before he turned eighty-one. He had spent countless hours in nursing homes and visiting the shut-ins in his community for over twenty years, many of whom were far younger than eighty. He, on the other hand, was riding a bike on his daily minimum ten mile bike ride, heading out to water his grandson’s ten acre property. Two weeks earlier, he had planted one hundred fence posts on that same property by hand. He worked out three days a week in his weight room at home. At five foot, six, Dad bench pressed two hundred and ten pounds, and curled one hundred and twenty. Dad LIVED right up to the last moment of his life.
At this point, one might easily think that Dad was a man who got through life without hitting hard times. However, I could write a book about all the times he faced hard times in his life! Suffice to say, a major one hit when he was in his mid fifties. He was so badly injured in a logging accident that while it didn’t kill him, it ended his career. The damage was devastating and crippling. His collarbone was shattered and all his ribs on his left side were pulled off his sternum. His heart and lungs were bruised, and his diaphragm was torn. One of the nerve bundles to his heart was shut down, and another damaged, so that eventually he needed a pace maker.
The story could have ended there, with him being crippled up for the rest of his life, but he was spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepared for hard times, and was also in good health, physically. It took a long time, right up into his sixties, for him to recover, but he did, and unlike so many, he was able to stay robust and ALIVE right to the moment of his death.
Thirdly, when hard times come, we need to be prepared financially. This does not mean having a big bank account, although there’s nothing wrong with having savings. This doesn’t mean having gold or silver stashed away somewhere, although that doesn’t hurt, either, as long as you don’t put too much faith in it.
The best way to be prepared financially is to REALIZE that it can all come crashing down at any time, and be ready to deal with that if it happens. If you lost everything today, what would you do, tomorrow? It can happen. It has happened, a lot. What if your career is suddenly ended by illness? That happened to me. I wasn’t prepared financially!
I had insurance. I had a bank account. But these things are not as reliable or as lasting as many people might think. In fact, a big chunk of my savings was in mutual funds, and guess what happened to that in the 2009 crash…
Being prepared financially means being ready to change jobs, careers, businesses, etc., at the drop of a hat. Again, it requires being physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared. When financial hard times come, you need to be able to draw on that well of preparedness, so that have the strength in every category to start something that could be totally new and different from everything you’ve done, before.
In the online world, this means being able to focus on what’s working and earning you money, while always being aware of what’s going on and trending, so that you can quickly add or move into the things that will keep going, even when other things are falling apart.
Advertising is one area that continues to be needed, even though belts get tightened and there are fewer advertising dollars to go around when hard times come. That’s why companies like Adlandpro have lasted as long as they have. Regardless of how hard times really are, there is still a need for people to advertise their own businesses. Therefore, it makes sense, as part of your own financial preparedness, to be affiliated with a company like Adlandpro and have that income stream coming into your overall business portfolio.
Watch trends. Be aware of what’s always selling. Be aware that when hard times come in the financial world, people look for cheap, ahead of quality, crossing their fingers that the quality will be high enough to satisfy their needs. I just added a new store to my portfolio, Save Your Money, working on this very fact, because I know that contrary to what the media and western governments are telling us, hard times ARE upon us and are deteriorating.
Being prepared for financial hard times also means things such as, growing a garden if you possibly can. That is a topic for a whole new article, but you would be amazed how possible it is to do that, no matter where you live! Have things on hand at home that you can use to barter with your neighbors. Learn a new skill that could be valuable where you live. Keep you eyes open! You can also sell such skill electronically in How-To manuals, online, in places such as Clickbank, and of course, you can advertise them on places where people who need this kind of information, like Adlandpro.
As you hear all the time, these days, part of being financially prepared is already having bought some necessities to get you through a catastrophe of some kind and having them at your house. Make sure you have enough food, water and TOILET PAPER to get you through at least a short hard time.
Hard times are coming. This has always been true. It’s not a matter of whether or not it will happen, but when. Again, it could be economic hard times, health hard times, relationship hard times, spiritual hard times, emotional hard times, or any combination of these. When they come, whatever they are, they can come without warning. Are you ready?