particularly as African Americans, all we have to do is look behind us to see that we have plenty of reason to expect the positive consequences of change to outweigh the negative. After 75 years of living, I can say that though there are things I miss about the past, I’m not interested in going back. Jim Crow? Separate but equal? No thanks. Despite the tough times we continue to face, my glass is always either half full or waiting for a refill.
Goals. Falling short of your goals is disappointing, but having no goals is a disaster. When you’re trying to just make the mortgage, keep food on the table, and find a job, it can be easy to lose sight of your dreams. As you begin 2011, refuse to allow that to happen. Whether it’s completing your degree, getting free of debt, losing weight, or launching a business, keep your goals front of you at all times. Resolve to take at least one concrete step toward at least one of your goals each day. And use change to help you to discover new ways—for example, taking classes online—to achieve them.
Gratitude. No matter how disruptive change can be, never surrender your attitude of gratitude. Being grateful helps you accept the loss that change often necessitates, while keeping you in hopeful expectation of the new things, people, and opportunities that always emerge as replacements. In my case, the painful business difficulties we experienced during the Great Recession has only made me more grateful for my health, my wonderful wife of 50 years, our three sons and our amazing grandchildren, the great friendships I’ve been privileged to have, and all that I’ve experienced in life. Also, the challenges faced by our print business have helped us put greater value on our website, television, event, and digital platforms, creating a stronger Black Enterprise.
Is everything perfect in life? No. But those of us who hold on to our faith, integrity, optimism, goals, and gratitude tend to make the most of what life has to offer. When everything is changing around you, be willing to embrace the new. But by never letting go of the things that truly matter, you will be well on your way to building Wealth for Life.