Times are Tough? Get Tougher.

Times get tough and adversity affects everyone, but if you're looking for someone to swaddle you in cashmere and tell you it's going to be okay, you've come to the wrong place. Things aren't going to get better unless you get proactive about improving your life. Money woes? Girl problems? Toughen up, doughball, because you're the first and last line of defense when it comes to getting your life back on track.

This may sound cold, but if times are tough for you right now get your butt in gear and do something about it! Here’s some tough love: Pull up your pants, turn your hat around and get to work!

I don’t care how tough it is; if you’re drawing breath you’ve got a shot to change your current situation and make your dreams come true. Before you get the impression that I’m going to deliver some fire-walking, Law of Attraction, power of positive thinking sermon let me tell you where I’m coming from.

I have fond memories of waking up on many arctic Maine mornings and peeling back my double layers of cheap K-mart sleeping bags. The short steps from the center “bedroom” of my 1950’s vintage mobile home to the bathroom seemed painfully typical as I picked up the screwdriver I kept next to the john to chip the skim of ice from the bowl so it would flush. My next morning chore was to start the gas oven and clip a small portable fan on the open door to distribute the warm air through our small trailer. (By the way; this method of home heating is NOT recommended!)

Later that day we’d scrape together enough to fill our two 5 gallon jugs with kerosene and re-light the regular furnace. We put bricks under the legs on the far end of the fuel tank to drain every last drop of precious K-2.

Somewhere along this adventure I learned that when times are tough; I had to get tougher! It was up to me to work my way out of this unacceptable position.

Poverty isn’t our natural condition. Scarcity feels empty and hopeless because our natural state is one of abundance. Material poverty is the easiest to deal with. Emotional and spiritual poverty steals the human energy and resolve you need to improve your condition.

Some poverty is self-imposed. I admit that mine was largely due to my misadventures with depression, drugs and alcohol. That doesn’t make it any less real; and can make it a lot more difficult to escape. Some poverty is due to circumstances and conditions beyond your control. You may have lost your job or a loved one; you might have been in an accident or lost your health due to no fault of your own.

Text - material poverty is the easiest to deal with

If you've read Think Like a Black Belt then you know that if you get knocked down seven times; you’re getting up eight. You might not have asked for the circumstances and conditions you’re dealing with right now; you’re still the only one responsible for how you’re going to respond. You might not change everything in day, week, month or year; but the moment you decide to move forward you change your life forever.

It’s always harder to feel any sense of progress when the proverbial crap is really hitting the fan. When times are tough, it is hard to keep going and it does sometimes seem like your best efforts are leading nowhere. Sometimes it’s during the plateaus in life that you are really making progress; you just don’t notice it until it pays off. Keep the faith and know that everything you’re doing is part of the success you’ll eventually realize. This kind of perseverance requires a tough mind, body and spirit. This toughness doesn’t come from running away from challenges; it comes from facing adversity in hand to hand combat. In business and personal life tough times are an opportunity to grow, learn, develop new skills, talents and abilities. Get tough and your abilities and talents expand to fit the challenges you face.

Text - youre still the only one responsible for what you\'re going through

You are tougher than you think and if you stay in the ring, you’ll become even tougher! Develop the black belt mindset through discipline, focus, courage and perseverance. Above all, no matter how tough your opponent is, keep punching! Keep fighting and you will come out of it.

By the way; I no longer worry about how cold it’s going to get. I don’t worry about tough times; I now know I’m tough enough to make it!

Jim Bouchard

Jim Bouchard: Speaker, coach & author of Dynamic Components of Personal POWER!. Jim’s next book: Think Like a Black Belt is scheduled for release in January, 2010. Check out his website, http://www.jimbouchard.org/.