It’s a new decade, a new economy and I have a feeling I’m not the only one a little confused by it all. The economy is picking up and—oops, nevermind, the market just dropped 212 points. Jobs are being created—however, national unemployment will reach 9.6 percent this year. Drink wine, it is good for your heart—oh, no, don’t drink wine, it has been proven to increase your risk of cancer. Even the professional mantras we are being fed are completely disconnected and opposing: “The way that business gets done is changing, if you want to survive you’ve got to change too,” and, conversely, “The only way to make it in today’s economy is to get back to basics.”
If life in 2010 feels just a little schizophrenic, that’s because it is. There is no one person responsible for this—it is the society we live in. Everyone has their opinions, and with media outlets functioning at the speed of light, we are all zig-zagging our heads back and forth like we are front-and-center at Wimbledon with the Six Million Dollar Man and Superman going head-to-head. We are trying to keep up with those we believe know us better than we know ourselves. They will help us keep up our sales numbers, our 401k plans and our good cholesterol. There is one thing I can tell you with certainty: with all this back and forth on how to make it happen, I have begun to get whiplash.
While scanning the Internet, books, television, magazines and newspapers for advice on how to survive and make it, I came to realize we don’t have to look very far. The ancient Greeks gave us the answer long ago: “Know thyself.”
While each one of us may not want to delve too deeply into our own selves, more often than not, introspection will help pave the road to success. Knowing what motivates you, what you stand for and believe in, what you are passionate about and what stops you from obtaining the success you want (it can’t all be Dow Jones’ fault, can it?) will help you find your way.
And one more very important thing: relax and drink a little red wine. The French do (with cheese, I might add) and have a life expectancy 2.5 years greater than ours in the United States. Cheers.