The views expressed in any article published in this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Joseph Foster or Bob Lupoli.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Men's Economic Survival Guide: Embrace Failure


Joe: an interesting article. –Bob

Men's Economic Survival Guide: Embrace Failure
December 30, 2011 By Ram K. Winat
We live in difficult times. Financial worries and stress got you down? Here are a few words based on experience on how to successfully survive underemployment, low paychecks marital strife, and feelings of worthlessness and failure.

Pulling in $100k no more? You’re not the only one. If you’re lucky enough to have a job now, then you are lucky, even though it feels like waterboarding torture. Remember many guys are unemployed – if you’re pulling in $25 to $30k consider this; my complaining to a childhood friend about my fall in income, someone who never made more $30k said – “well, welcome to the world, of the rest of us”. It is a world that is in fact your reality now and it may not have prospects for improving anytime soon.
If you can't beat them, join them.  
Is foreclosure on the way? Is it clear the car payments are difficult to keep up with? Why not accept the real possibility that bad is going to happen? Is your 20+ year marriage bruised and severely battered and few choice words away from being obliterated? Welcome to the club!

Kübler-Ross Model
Just as our deaths are inevitable, you can deny and bargain all you want but I say skip those steps and the other steps and go right to acceptance. Acceptance of death doesn’t mean that you die this minute.

Underemployment Examples; include holding a part-time job despite desiring full-time work, and overqualification, where the employee has education, experience, or skills beyond the requirements of the job.
Accept the fact you have a ridiculously low paying job and are unable to find something better at the moment. Your job now doesn’t involve managing people, inventory, profit & loss, hiring, and all those other heavy management responsibilities you had. No, your job now has no stress – I suggest you allow yourself to, and I know this is going to be very hard to accomplish for 99% of you, enjoy the no-stress job. A former executive with multiple serious management responsibilities now having no job stress – it feels weird. In order to survive this feeling I suggest that you use this lack of job stress to call your friends and relatives a little more often. Use the non-job stress to enjoy the company of your young or grown children. Do something you enjoy that of course doesn’t cost much money – like reading a book, plan to build that log cabin in the mountains you always wanted, enjoy a coffee at a nice restaurant with your wife, try a new food. One activity I like a lot recently, is actually meeting and talking to my neighbors, this is a very unusual practice in California. Do your best to do something positive with that no-stress job feeling and allow it to develop within you, don’t push it away. You’ll figure out what to do with it.

Stress is what you feel when you have to handle more than you are used to.
The reality of course is that you have stress constantly about finances, your marriage, the car payment, your mortgage or rent. There is no way you can get rid of this stress unless you try and accept that these two things will happen;

Why divorce is good for marriage
Your Marriage Will Fail – accepting this as likely will allow you to have some understanding that your wife has a valid point of view on the situation, you are not providing. It’s a simple fact, if you blame her or you argue with her about coulda, shoulda, woulda, simply put it’s not an argument you’re gonna win. Accept that you are not winning the race – you are undoubtedly in 5th or 6th place at the moment, you’ve clearly lost. The only thing you can do is be the good person you are and work hard at the low paying job or be diligent at seeking employment. Stop the drinking, be courteous despite the cold shoulders and affronts to your character. There is honor in suffering silently – arguing is not good for you now. Shut up and take it – if you were a woman you’d be doing the same thing your wife is doing – pressuring you to do something, anything to improve the situation, and even in the same wildly illogical and emotional way. If you accept the marriage will fail – you will ironically develop feelings of compassion that will allow your mind to have empathy for your wife and move away from your selfish feelings of worthlessness and internal stress.

Moving in with mom and dad
You Must Move – it’s the same logic, you can’t afford your current housing situation. Just accept the fact you might have to move in with your mother or father. You are a loser. Doesn’t mean you’ll always be a loser. Remember what the old timers taught you, adversity builds character. A 50 year old man moving his family in with his mom – unlikely any marriage could survive that, maybe that’s just the way it should be? Despite your good efforts and good intentions, accept that your financial reality hurts your family; accept that it is your lack of income that is causing serious damage. Moving may resolve and help improve the financial situation but it is not going to solve the problem or save your marriage.

Failure: It’s an option – www.failuremag.com
I think men will have a hard time understanding that acceptance of failure is in some way liberating. How can someone breathe easier or feel relief knowing that failure is the only option, the only reality at this time? Accepting the failure, your failure, is accepting reality. I suggest this is very important, I’m not saying you have to like or love failure, I’m saying you need to be at peace with it, let it be well with you. I maintain that it is after this moment only that you should develop and implement your plans, whatever they may be.

The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will(Eventually) Feel Better
Tyler Cowen, Author
The goal of this guide is for you to survive this environment with your confidence and strength in tact, accepting that failure is in the stagnant air you breathe is reality. Hopefully the winds will bring us men and women a fresh ocean breeze and get us back on course.