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Getting by in an Economic Downturn

Here you will find a selection of content taken from the original version of Survival Insight… A site dedicated to surviving an economic downturn.

Navigating Towards Your Goals

Life would be so much easier if everything went the way we wanted it to, wouldn’t it? The career progression that we desire, the relationship growth we are striving for, the aspirations we have all falling into place would make for an easy journey. If everything was working the way we wanted it to, we could shed the layer of doubt, the sense of uncertainty, the worry that something will fall apart and simply enjoy life.  No matter how hard we try or how much we plan or prepare there are certain aspects of life that are outside of our control.  If something important in your life just doesn’t seem to be coming together, choosing where to focus your mental and emotional energy in the situation is a vital step in determining what level of anxiety or peace you will experience and how you will be able to embrace whatever […]

Keeping Balance in the Workplace

The workplace can be a demanding arena requiring our time, our energy, our skills and our loyalty. During the good times, we experience a sense of purpose, growth and fulfillment as we contribute to a greater vision, develop personally and experience a return on our investment. However, there also comes the risk of replacing our personal values and priorities with the tasks, concerns and requirements of the job and potentially losing our sense of self to the system.   Work-Self Balance During the course of a project or particular season at work there may be extra investment required, more energy spent and a higher expectation on what we produce, but, once the project is complete, the demand lifts slightly and a reasonable work-self balance can be restored. This is to be expected.  If after close examination you find that you are in a situation where the demands are nce the […]

Ethical Solutions for the Workplace

The workplace can become uncomfortable when you are presented with a situation that challenges your personal values. Is it okay to ignore an instruction if it doesn’t feel right? Should you stand true to your beliefs no matter what? In the end, you will need to decide for yourself whether fulfilling distressing requests is acceptable to you. You likely need to spend forty plus hours at work every week, so it is important to fit in and feel comfortable. However, there’s another 128 hours per week to consider. You need to feel good about yourself then, too.   Speaking with your supervisor If behaving unethically at work is something that you are not willing to do, then there are several ways to handle the situation. You’ll need to talk with your supervisor. It may prove a little stressful, but don’t be nervous. You have the right to speak your mind. Here’s […]

A Question of Ethics in the Workplace

Ethical dilemmas in the workplace can greatly affect your ability to do your job. Being forced to make difficult decisions can distract you from the task at hand, distance you from your boss and co-workers, and require you to question your own values. When you sign on to take a job, you are becoming part of an established team and every company has a unique culture into which new employees are expected to immerse themselves. In order to be productive and complicit within the environment, you will need to adopt some of the company’s cultural norms. Many times these norms do not greatly influence your work or your attitude. For instance, when switching to a new company, you may need to change your manner of dress in order to align with the dress code. Small changes like this generally do not have any large impact on your attitude. The way […]

The Infinite Tomorrow

How To Break Your Procrastination Habits “You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last minute panic.” Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes Tomorrow always seems like the perfect time to do important stuff. Tomorrow stretches on forever, and there are more than enough hours to get things accomplished, why not wait till then? Friends, beware, for that blissful image of tomorrow’s accomplishments is the death of the procrastinator. For the practical-minded, today is the perfect time for productivity. Have you ever noticed that if a bear is chasing you, you suddenly have the ability to run at Olympic speeds? Yes? Me too! The same thing happens when I’m working under deadline, I suddenly have the ability to write more, faster than I’d ever imagined possible. If the consequences of avoiding important tasks are painful and […]

Staying One Step Ahead

Get What You Need, When You Need it By Phina Pipia “The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” Moliere That Old Waiting Game Getting held up, whether in traffic or in life, is enough to make you scream. There’s nothing we humans love more than moving forward, in our finances, in our professions, and in our personal lives. We’re creatures of movement and growth, and progress brings us joy. Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer, writing for the Harvard Business Review, state, “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.” And there’s nothing more frustrating than when your progress in life, work, or play, is brought to a standstill by some external force; it happens to each of us all the time. Maybe you’re waiting to get paid so you […]

By Phina Pipia Life is full of the unexpected, and the ability to improvise is indispensable. I’ve always envied my friends who cook without a recipe; I watch, mesmerized, as they sprinkle thyme, marjoram, dried parsley, and rosemary into a dish, deftly selecting each spice from the shelf as though some invisible voice is telling them what to choose. Even more enviable; my friends who cook off the cuff tend to create the most mouthwatering dishes; imaginative culinary adventures I’d never dream of. My mother taught me to level off cups of flour with a knife, to never substitute one ingredient for another, and from her I’ve inherited a deeply ingrained fear of deviating – even slightly – from a written recipe. The result; I’m an excellent cook, I just cook what’s written, and the results are predictable. It’s a give and take. Without the book, there’s unlimited potential for […]

Getting “Outside the Box”

By Phina Pipia “Make the invisible VISIBLE!” – Viola Spolin What is the Box? When my friends tell me to “Think outside the box,” I imagine a small square cardboard box sitting in a field, there’s grass and sky for as far as the eye can see, and the box just sits there, innocent, useless, and box-like among all this green and blue. Thinking outside the box is easier said than done. The expression, “to think outside the box” lacks specific direction, and that’s exactly what many of us struggle with when we try to think creatively; like the enormous grassy field where my cardboard box in my mind’s eye sits, the world is a huge playing field, and it’s hard to know where to begin. This may be because creative thinking is a learned skill, and it’s not as easy as simply being open minded. It takes practice and discipline […]

Loving the Businesses Who Love You Back

By Phina Pipia What does the word “local” mean to you? Merriam Webster defines local as “relating to or occurring in a particular area, city, or town.” With this definition in mind, to me, local means my friends and neighbors, our community food co-op, myriad small shops and stores, bookshops, restaurants, and an artisan bakery; a print shop, two movie theaters, and miles of surrounding farms and gardens. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues own the local businesses where I shop; I invest my money in them, and they support me right back. Maybe you also live in a small town, or maybe you live in a city. Take a minute, and look at the businesses in your area. How many of those shops are owned by another local just like you? A website promoting local businesses in Southeastern Indiana points out, “local businesses are owned by people who live here, […]

Daring to Do the Work You Love

Follow Your Calling By Phina Pipia “We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.” Charlie Chaplin Living Outside the Box When I was a little kid, my family started touring with The New Old Time Chautauqua, a non-profit circus that brings quality entertainment to rural communities across the US. We’d roll into a new town and set up a show, parade, and free arts workshops; the goal was, and still is today, to bring high quality, live entertainment to places off the beaten path, where people don’t usually see jugglers, opera singers, magicians and acrobats. Summer tours were more fun than I can possibly say, but they also felt important, a way to use our skills to make a positive difference in people’s lives. My dad, a professional magician, was in his element. […]

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