To some extent and at any given time, there is always some level of turmoil or instability occurring someplace in the world.
The war in Ukraine is fast approaching two years.
And last week innocent civilians in Israel and Gaza were killed or displaced and forever scarred.
There are no words for the atrocities that happened last week, or that have been happening in Ukraine, or, for that matter, are happening in the countries where the “32 other conflicts” are occurring around the world currently (source: WiseVoter). Well, I am at a loss for those words, anyway, beyond my condolences and thoughts and prayers.
The acts of brutality make me gasp at the unmitigated horror of what humans are capable of doing to other humans.
I am also deeply comforted, though, by the stories of solidarity and empathy. These acts of kindness, under the most horrific of circumstances, give me hope about the state of our humanity.
Time, Please Stop
However, during times of global turmoil uncertainty feels more palpable. So does stress; it, too, feels more pronounced.
That’s why having even a sliver of hope right now is so key…and a miracle.
Which, by the way, is a natural response to upheaval. Upheaval that:
- Induces fear, anxiety, sadness, and frustration
- Makes you feel like you’ve lost or are losing control over your circumstances (real or conceptual)
- Disrupts your sense of mental, emotional, financial security and well-being
Your deeply held convictions and principles tend to become more pronounced during turbulent times, as well. After all, these are what shape your decisions, influence your actions, and define how you manage your way through times of calm and uncertainty.
Reflecting on your beliefs, in general, and your financial ones, in particular, can serve as your anchor and your compass, especially when things are precarious.
Of course, this isn’t “breaking news” to you.
Choices; What’s Next?
So, why am I asking you to reflect on your beliefs?
One: Because it can be easy to forget just how much global events not only reveal our interconnectedness, but in the process, invite us to examine, question, and critically evaluate our beliefs.
If ever there was a time to be even more self-aware and more deliberate, now would be it!
Two: You don’t make choices in a vacuum.
Your “why” and what you lean on (be it your faith, habits & practices, people, etc.) play a key role in the choices you make regarding how you respond to the things you can control, as well as what you cannot.
And during tumultuous times, making choices can be (even more) emotionally charged.
So, here are a few suggestions of choices to make in case you need them:
Consider pausing any major decisions – especially if it’ll help you retain the emotional equilibrium needed to proceed with greater clarity and confidence.
Protect and maybe even boost your financial reserves – this will provide peace of mind, and perhaps give you some flexibility regarding the next moves you make.
Start preparing for Q1 2024…now – it is no longer just about finishing this year strong, but starting next year strong, too…and not just the month of January!
Pay attention to your stress levels – if it’s increasing, what’s causing it? Likewise, what can you do to reduce it? And if what’s causing you stress is something over which you have absolutely no control, how can you focus on healthy ways to cope with that reality?
A Practical Necessity
I believe that understanding the impact of global events on business and personal finances is not just a practical necessity, but also an act of empathy and solidarity.
Times are tumultuous abroad and here in the U.S. (we still don’t have a Speaker of the House of Representatives and there’s a potential government shutdown looming over our heads). It can all feel unmooring, at least it does for me. Especially when I don’t feel there’s anything materially significant I can do.
And then I remember this: That actually, the best thing I can do right now is to take care of myself and show up for my people (that includes you, too!).
So, remember, take care of yourself and show up for your people.
Lean into the beliefs that have sustained you in the past. Or, adopt new thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that can uphold you now.
It’s how you’ll navigate and negotiate the complexities (of all kinds) that arise amidst trying times like right now.
It’s how we will all endure and heal. And move forward, like time.