From Lemons to Lemonade: Turning Trials to Triumph

3/24/2020 10:36:42 PM

No matter who we are, we eventually face trials and crises. They usually happen to us individually (death, sickness, job loss, divorce), but in rare situations, like now, it affects us all. Although the degree and nature of our burdens vary, in generalized crises no one goes unscathed—especially in one that involves both our health andfinances. That’s a double whammy that hits extra hard, and we’re all hurting.
The question isn’t so much whether we’ll face adversity, but how we handle it when it’s our turn. For any number of reasons, some deal with it better than others. Whether you, or someone you know, struggle mightily during trials, know that there are strategies that will help you react constructively, especially when a crisis is global. To that end, and in light of the coronavirus crisis we’re all navigating, we offer these suggestions to you:
  1. Is the headline/commentary designed to alarm or inform?
  2. Are the sources balanced and credible or skewed in favor of an agenda?
  3. Are the questions/commentary/stories trivial or substantive?
  4. Are sources named? (Be on guard for any article or interviewer question based on “sources say” or “some people say.”)  
  5. How much of an article/interview is based on objective facts or opinion/politics?
  6. Are they generalizing an unusual occurrence to incite fear?
  7. Does the media outlet report the good and the bad?
  8. Do interviews/articles feature supposed experts who have highly extreme viewpoints that are ill-supported and designed for personal gain/exposure?     
  1. Fear is more powerful than greed. Stock market declines are much swifter and sharper than corresponding increases. Investors are more prone to panic selling than panic buying.  
  2. The more frequently investors look at their portfolios, the more risk-averse they become. This is because they react more strongly to losses than to gains.   
  3. Investors are heavily influenced by emotion when making decisions. They have a notoriously poor record of timing their investments because of a “buy high, sell low” mentality.

    By now, you can see how these tendencies also apply to our lives beyond finances. Translated: 1) we become more fear driven and often focus on negative news during crises, 2) we become more distressed and anxious the more frequently we consume news and social media, and 3) our decision-making objectivity can get compromised when we’re driven by our emotions. So, consider whether/how these human tendencies might be affecting you, and whether your emotions are being influenced by how frequently you consume news. 
When this crisis eventually blows over, you’ll be able to look back and consider what you’ve learned through the journey—about yourself and the world around you. Did you make the most of it? What new perspectives and insights did you gain? How did it affect your relationships? Did it change your priorities?  What life lessons did you learn? Your children? How will your future be informed by this trial? 
Friends, this is your opportunity to shine. Let’s make the best lemonade we can. 
Be well,
The LifeSmart team