Obviously, the economy has been trying for almost everyone. We have tried to not let it get us down, but it has been pretty hard. We all admit we have had our days dealing with how it has affected our wallets, our relationships, and even our health. What if we were looking at this situation wrong the entire time?

There is no doubt that we all have learned something from this economy. Some may have learned lessons about how important it is to save money, while others have learned how important family is. Instead of looking at this situation as a negative one due to things we may have lost, such as homes, jobs or vehicles, maybe we should instead look at what we have all gained from this experience.

Aside from knowledge, did you ever think about courage? I mean if you can get through this economy and all of the struggles you have just gone through up to this point, just think of how you will always be able to handle the future.

You have also gained opportunity.  If there aren’t any jobs out there then why don’t you create your own job?  Think about it. What has always stopped you from doing this in the past? You probably either did not have time because of your full-time job or you were afraid to take the risk. You have no idea where your new business opportunity could take you. You could start something that this economy desperately needs to where you may even be able to create job opportunities for others. Isn’t the possibility of helping other people worth the risk of trying? The worst that could happen is that your idea does not work and you continue looking for a job, just like you were doing before. The only difference is now you can say that you gave your idea a try.

As hard as it may seem at times, try to be optimistic. Although you may have lost your house due to foreclosure or a job you have been at for more than 15 years, see it not as harsh but instead say, “I am thankful for all of the people that I met that were there to support me … my family is stronger now because we all stuck together through all of these struggles … a door closed at the place where I was working, which means there is something else that I am supposed to be doing … and I may have lost my house, but my family and I can make our apartment our new home because we are all still together.”

Everything happens for a reason, and the time to create our own opportunities is now, as long as we all stay positive and try to see everything optimistically. Life is too short. The only person holding you back from creating opportunities for yourself is yourself. You don’t want to look back one day and regret never giving your idea a try. You never know what doors you can open for yourself or your community by doing so.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice; however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at www.myaskmikey.com or myaskmikey@yahoo.com.

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