The Answer to the Crisis Is a Change of Context

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Why did some companies cease to exist and some go into a long period of decline, while others grew during the notorious 1998 default?

Why did some people consider the crisis to be the darkest and most stressful time of their lives, while others remember it as one of their most valuable educational experiences? A time of growth, maturing and development, the results of which they reaped for several years afterward.

How does one become more valuable and appreciated in the present career situation?

Answering these and some other related questions might be extremely helpful for everyone trying to find their way during the time of a downturn.

It is pretty popular nowadays to talk about the crisis and draw a picture of the future in different shades of gray -- from dirty white to pitch black. Another tendency is to offer different anti-crisis measures: "How to fire staff," "New ways of marketing," " How to influence debtors," "3 steps in renegotiating the contracts"... the list goes on and on. The vast majority of them deal with the area of our lives that could be distinguished as the "doing." But there is another domain that we consider dramatically more important for effectiveness, which is the "being."

In a certain way, understanding the difference between doing and being leads us to an understanding of the following two distinctions -- context and content. Context is the environment (the thinking, the background, the being of a human being) within which all the diverse and complicated events of our lives (the content, the foreground, the doing part) take place. It is very important to realize the interconnection between the two.

In spite of its invisibility, the context mercilessly determines the content. Who you actually are determines the results of what you do. If one comes from the mindset that "life is a problem" the results of whatever he or she does in life will lead to more and more ... guess what – problems! In other words: ferns don't grow in the desert. In order to create different results, one needs to become aware of the present context and create a paradigm shift. Only then the new environment will allow the new content (simply put, the results) to emerge. Otherwise all the attempts to change the situation, be it at work, in personal life or elsewhere often prove to be as effective as re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

So the critical step would be to discover, recognize and admit that the paradigm or context currently exists. Within our everyday lives we are setting goals and objectives, looking for ways to achieve, praising successes and excusing failures. Only then can the work of creating a new context can be started. It is very important to extend the process beyond the theoretical, conceptual understanding into the practical field of real tangible results. Creating a context of responsibility does not bring any guarantees, but it opens up an entirely new set of possibilities.

Here is an illustration of a radically different context, within which one can perceive the moments of failure. An obvious and very popular way of looking at them would be: "It is bad, it is wrong, it is not ok." Which leads to us to shame, guilt and excuses or anger, frustration and blaming others. Either way it's not the most effective attitude. There is another perception possible:

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." -- Michael -Jordan, 6-time NBA champion, 14-times NBA all-star.