Weekly Thought – August 26, 2014
Fred constantly looked for ways to make forward progress. The identification of problems and growth areas began the process. Defining solutions had to follow to avoid falling into negative patterns. When he spoke about the loss of confidence and relationships as the basis for pain, he immediately followed up with suggestions for recovery.
The Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute has taken teams to 10 Christian institutions. Nearly 70 men and women have contributed to these leadership blitzes focused on “stretching and blessing the next generation of leaders… to the glory of God.”
How can you persevere through professional and personal loss? Here are three ideas which have worked for me. See if they strike a chord with you.
1) Build new support systems
Unless we can recognize the difference between business associates and genuine friends we will be disappointed and hardened when things change. One man going through a serious financial downturn wisely listed his friends who would not be affected by his money failures. He and his wife concentrated on spending their time with those on their “authentic” list. We should be mature enough to avoid disillusionment when social relationships grow cold as mutual benefits decrease.
2) Stay in the loop
Keep up contacts and activities even when enduring difficult times. You might have to alter your social habits because you don’t have the discretionary income for golf, the expense account for pricey lunches, or exotic vacations, but you can creatively stay in touch. I find writing letters, sending clippings, making phone calls, and looking for local opportunities keep my mind active and the energy up. My physical incapacity eliminates many of the ways I connected with business and personal contacts. Finding alternative methods is essential and actually mentally challenging. The temptation to draw back during setbacks is damaging. My Mother used to say, “This, too, shall pass.” Cutting off relationships during low periods endangers the eventual comeback.
3) Get over yourself
The mental energy needed to make our way through the pain of trials can be diverted into self-absorption, sucking us into a tight downward spiral. The whirlpool’s negative energy makes escape difficult. I know a kindly 84 year old woman who still writes twenty letters a day to prisoners. The pain of aging and degenerative poor health is set aside as she ministers to the incarcerated. She is redeeming the time and the pain. She has no time for pity parties.
The pain of loss doesn’t have to be permanently disabling. A well-conceived pain makes us ready for action. Perseverance is not a haphazard response – it is the reward for mental and emotional discipline.
Think about this week 1) How do I handle professional and personal loss? 2) What keeps me in the loop? 3) Who models perseverance for me?
Words of Wisdom: “Perseverance is not a haphazard response – it is the reward for mental and emotional discipline.”
Wisdom from the Word: “‘Even if the mountains are removed and the hills displaced, my devotion will not be removed from you, nor will my covenant of friendship be displaced,’ says the Lord, the one who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10 NET Bible)