Wednesday, April 17, 2024

STRONG SUIT: A self-fulfilling prophecy


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The New Year is a traditional time of duality. We look back on the year that is ending and forward to the one that is beginning. As we engage in these exercises of reflection and projection, our mindset plays a very powerful role. The way we interpret our experiences determines our responses to them; which in turn determine the outcomes of our efforts.
For example, if our reflections are focused on disappointments, sacrifices and how others failed us; it puts us in an angry, depressed mood.
This can have a negative effect on our health, relationships with others and limit our belief in what is possible. It makes us feel powerless and resentful in a way that actually shows on our faces and in our body language. It makes us quarrelsome.
Even those who are experiencing hope and success seem reluctant to admit it.
We look around Barbados. In the past year; we will have seen many examples of these symptoms and felt the lethargic effect. Without a doubt there has been hardship in the country.
Jobs have disappeared, people have fallen behind in payments on cars, mortgages and had to make drastic lifestyle changes. Some of our best laid plans have not borne fruit.  
However, hand-wringing, petulance, bullying and blaming others will have a predictably negative effect and prolong the anguish you feel.
It calls to mind the discourses that take place in the Book of Job. After lengthy discourses between Job and three of his friends, God begins his discourse to Job with these words: (Job 38:2-3) “Who is this, obscuring my intentions with his ignorant words? Brace yourself like a fighter; I am going to ask the questions and you are to inform me!”
The one thing that each of us can do is strive to find the blessings we have received, note them and recognize that that everything will change. It is up to us to make improvement the thrust of our changes. We are experiencing change on a constant basis.
The type of change and the speed, at which it is happening, can be overwhelming; I am grappling with software upgrades and new applications as we speak. The good news is that we have not only survived these changes but been strengthened and enriched by them.
Clearly, if the programmes running on my computers are being updated on a daily basis, there are many things about the way I am conducting myself, my business, my life; that need upgrading as well. Proverbs 12:1 tells us that: “Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge, stupid are those who hate correction.”
The commercial world anticipates our New Year’s resolutions to exercise, lose weight, and lead more balanced lives, with an avalanche of health club memberships, new diets and training courses. We have all had the experience of exercise equipment that becomes a place to hang clothes and health club memberships that we regret having bought.
In 2013, I will strive to:
• Count my blessings and express my gratitude
• Identify key things every day, that must be done to fulfil promises and advance the growth of our society
• Recognize and draw strength from the signs that things are getting better
• Focus on getting things done instead of just doing the activity
• Serving you with as much truth and honesty as possible
Join me.
God bless.
• Dennis Strong is founding president of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants.


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