2011 SURVIVAL PROGRAM. SURVIVAL IS AN ATTITUDE
Every New Year I take stock of the world around me and this year the media is providing a broad range of interesting topics: the dramatic changes in our weather; the inexorable spread of international conflicts; whether developing virtual friends or leaking secrets is the most deserving story for a TIME magazine cover; wondering if my vote will really improve political uncertainty at home and all the other news items that affect our daily life. However, perhaps because I am well into my seventies, this annual introspection now leans more towards “personal survival” rather than lofty, intellectual considerations. I started doing some research and while throwing out some old papers, I found a couple of faded clippings. One was about a 99year old man who attributed his old age to the benefits of a “positive attitude”. Another article in a jobhunting advisory talked about “transferable skills” and the importance of applying the experience of one’s previous successful activities to current challenges. These two points led me to my personal 2011 ATTITUDE PROGRAM.
My attitude on survival is not of the “macro” kind and while I am interested in world events, I don’t really worry about personally being affected by tsunamis, world wars or global plagues as much as by living a happy and successful life in a more basic, daytoday way. For example, I am concerned about skidding on a patch of ice, worry about making sense of electronic gadgets which are designed to make our lives easier and I try to keep my hypertension down. I want to manage my credit cards better, lose some weight and generally find ways to better handle the current stresses of everyday life right here and now, close and personal. I concluded that the 99year old was right in believing that people with a positive attitude will best survive the stress of today’s pressures. As a result, by combining the concepts of (a) transferable skills and (b) a positive attitude, I am planning to face 2011’s daily challenges by recalling previous successes and using the mantra “I succeeded before, so I can certainly succeed again!”. I reminded myself that I changed schools several times in my youth (therefore recognizing that I have the ability to successfully adjust and fit into a new environment); I have moved cities, changed homes and switched jobs several times (thereby reminding myself that I have the ability to establish new relationships and create my own space as
required by circumstances); I remembered that I became fluent in a new language at 35, got my Brown Belt in Karate at 40 and started to paint at 60 (therefore realizing that I can always learn new stuff and make changes in my life, even as I age). Going further, my wife reminded me that I survived a serious operation, was able to lose weight at one time and even landed a lucrative new contract last year at 74 (therefore discovering that I ain’t dead yet and that my survival instincts are working well). In short, by mentally returning to previous experiences that required a little bit of luck but lots of resourcefulness, determination, emotion, imagination, stubbornness, initiative, commitment and guts, my 2011 Program is planning to use those transferable skills and reapply them to whatever is going to happen in 2011, and beyond. While I am clapping myself on the back, I wonder how those who cannot be optimistic and positive will survive. There are many who believe that they are owed something by society, owed support by their family, owed a job by their employer, owed assistance by the government or owed everything by “the system”, whatever it may be. I think that those who believe that they are "unlucky" and that they deserve more for reasons other than their own efforts, will find 2011 very difficult.
I have always believed that change is part of life and, in fact, I have a sticker on my fridge that reads CHANGE is a CHAlleNGE … and I am not one to turn down a challenge. Those negative folks who are not selfreliant would not understand a bumper sticker I saw the other day that read: "Never take a step back, not even to gain momentum". Now, all this may sound like New Age psychobabble to many, but at 75 it works for me … and for my birthday this year I was given a Tshirt with the words “3/4 full” on the front. 2011??? Bring it on !!! Ennio VitaFinzi is a 75year old consultant, college professor, pianist, abstract painter and parttime writer living in Montreal.
Ennio VitaFinzi 2120 Clark Street, Apt. 001 Montreal QC H2X2R7 Tel 5147042519 Email: email@example.com www.theinternationalspeaker.com