What to do when everything appears to be going downwards

Book signing and Hamlet Au's interview with Ju...
Book signing and Hamlet Au's interview with Julian Dibbell, author of "Play Money" (Photo credit: John "Pathfinder" Lester)

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”– Eckhart Tolle

I read a lot of marketing, technology and social media blogs and publications. Many tell people what to do and how to do it. They always write about their successes. Few write about their failures.

About a year and a half ago, my mom ceased having the capacity to walk. As the only surviving child, I ended up caring for her full-time. It’s hard to run a business, with the responsibility I’ve taken on. So I need to look at ways to keep going. They are ways that differ from the book Play Money: or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot by Julian Dibbell.

One option is to work full-time for someone and hire a caretaker. I can either go to work writing or get a job as a systems analyst. The last option is something I have done before. Given my technical, business and writing background, it would be an option to explore. But the cost of a full-time caretaker is also expensive.

Psychological incentives

When I studied psychology as an undergraduate and graduate student, the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frank came to my attention.  According to the Wiki article, “the book intends to answer the question ‘How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?’ Part One constitutes Frankl’s analysis of his experiences in the concentration camps, while Part Two introduces his ideas of meaning and his theory of logotherapy.”

The article goes on to say this:

“Frankl identifies three psychological reactions experienced by all inmates to one degree or another:

  1. Shock during the initial admission phase to the camp,
  2. Apathy after becoming accustomed to camp existence, in which the inmate values only that which helps himself and his friends survive,
  3. Reactions of depersonalization, moral deformity, bitterness, and disillusionment if he survives and is liberated.”

The question to ask is this: What elements allowed prisoners to survive the concentration camp experience and how can we blend those factors into everyday life?

Das Geburtshaus des 14. Dalai Lama im Dorf Tak...
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Buddhist elements

Many say that disciplines like yoga (i.e. Ramana Maharshi) and Buddhist meditation belong to the realm  of religion.  I embrace both and say they also belong to the realm of psychology.

You can approach Buddhism from many angles – not necessarily a religious one. It has much to say about psychology and focus on working for others. Currently I’m reading Everyday Dharma – Seven weeks to finding the Buddha in you by Lama Willa Miller. I like the author, since she is a westerner and gives a good into to the Tibetan tradition.

Recently, a friend sent me this poem entitled A Precious Human Life ~ H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama at A Precious Human Life. You can tell from the description it brings insight into working for others.

Christian elements

Hildegard von Bingen empfängt eine göttliche I...
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One also has to explore one’s own faith tradition. I have do some diving into ancient Catholic mystics by reading Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen. I find much in common with Julian’s positive view of theology and Hildegard’s focus on natural medicine and music. I have heard some of Hildegard’s compositions played on WFMT – a classical music station in Chicago.

I also find much I can relate to in the writings of contemporary Christian mystic Tiffany Snow and the TV program of Christian motivational speaker Joel Osteen.

There are many theological and personal viewpoints on Christianity – ranging from doom and gloom to hope and regeneration. I like to side with the second camp.

I still keep going

Everyday I do write and share different social media, technology and marketing articles on Twitter. I check and engage in some alumni, copywriting and writing groups on LinkedIn. But I do have to work with personal difficult and obstacles. And I do engage in prayer and meditation on a daily basis. I’m not sure what the last answer is – but it’s a journey I hope is meaningful and insightful.

So what do you do?

So what do you do? Are you caught up in a Biblical Job episode or suffering from a Shakespearean slings and arrows incident? Then take the advice of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (i.e.  Lao Tse).  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

For your enjoyment: Jumpstart Your 2012 Video + Social Media Marketing Strategy (Webinar Replay)


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