40 Lessons for Finding Strength in Hard Times ~ Marc Chernoff (marcandangel.com)

Sometimes you have to die a little on the inside first in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger, smarter version of yourself.

Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities for growth and happiness.

Over the past five years Angel and I have dealt with several hardships, including the sudden death of a sibling, the loss of a best friend to illness, betrayal from a business partner, and an unexpected (breadwinning) employment layoff.  These experiences were brutal.  Each of them, naturally, knocked us down and off course for a period of time.  But when our time of mourning was over in each individual circumstance, we pressed forward, stronger, and with a greater understanding and respect for life.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  1. You are not what happened to you in the past. – No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh, wide open slate.  You are not your past habits.  You are not your past failures.  You are not how others have at one time treated you.  You are only who you think you are right now in this moment.  You are only what you do right now in this moment.
  2. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. – You are who you are and you have what you have, right now.  And it can’t be that bad, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read this.  The important thing is simply to find one POSITIVE thought that inspires and helps you move forward.  Hold on to it strongly, and focus on it.  You may feel like you don’t have much, or anything at all, but you have your mind to inspire you.  And that’s really all you need to start moving forward again.  Read The How of Happiness

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  3. Struggling with problems is a natural part of growing. – Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life.  People lose jobs, get sick, and sometimes die in car accidents.  When you are younger, and things are going pretty well, this harsh reality can be hard to visualize.  The smartest, and oftentimes hardest, thing we can do in these kinds of situations is to be tempered in our reactions.  To want to scream obscenities, but to wiser and more disciplined than that.  To remember that emotional rage only makes matters worse.  And to remember that tragedies are rarely as bad as they seem, and even when they are, they give us an opportunity to grow stronger.
  4. It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. – You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.  And a smile doesn’t always mean a person is happy.  Sometimes it simply means they are strong enough to face their problems.
  5. Life is fragile, sudden, and shorter than it often seems. – There may not be a tomorrow – not for everyone.  Right now, someone on Earth is planning something for tomorrow without realizing they’re going to die today.  This is sad but true.  So spend your time wisely today and pause long enough to appreciate it.  Every moment you get is a gift.  Don’t waste time by dwelling on unhappy things.  Spend it on things that move you in the direction you want to go.
  6. You will fail sometimes. – The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  So get out there and try!  Either you succeed or you learn a vital lesson.  Win – Win.
  7. You have the capacity to create your own happiness. – Feelings change, people change, and time keeps rolling.  You can hold onto past mistakes or you can create your own happiness.  A smile is a choice, not a miracle.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy.  True happiness comes from within.
  8. Emotionally separate yourself from your problems. – You are far greater than your problems.  You are a living, breathing human being who is infinitely more complex than all of your individual problems added up together.  And that means you’re more powerful than them – you have the ability to change them, and to change the way you feel about them.
  9. Don’t make a problem bigger than it is. – You should never let one dark cloud cover the entire sky.  The sun is always shining on some part of your life.  Sometimes you just have to forget how you feel, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.
  10. Everything that happens is a life lesson. – Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.

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BOYCOTT FOREVER 21

Retail company Forever 21 sent this letter to all full time/non-management employees informing them that they will be demoted to part time, they and their families will lose their health and dental benefits, and they will no longer qualify for paid time off. Employees believe the company is punishing them to retaliate against Obamacare.

We were asked to share this by one of our fans, and now we are asking you to do the same. Don’t underestimate the power of your SHARE. Two weeks ago, US Uncut was the first place to widely publish McDonald’s now notorious budget, and it went viral across mainstream media.

Thank you.

MAKE IT VIRAL

HMV workers appear to take over Twitter account amid layoffs

Workers at the troubled UK entertainment store HMV appear to have taken over the company’s Twitter account to announce layoffs, The Independent reports.

It’s not clear whether the account had been hijacked from the outside and within 20 minutes of the first tweet, all had been deleted. The company has declined to comment on the tweets.

HMV’s joint administrators confirmed that 190 layoffs have been made across the head office and distribution network, but added that there have been none in stores.

With a fair amount of big drugs due to come off patent in the coming years one of the biggest casualties may go well beyond revenue to talent retention. You see when drug companies start to layoff people because of declining revenues the people that are left are not necessarily the most talented they are most often the ones who are the most politically connected, the ones who are good at kissing up and ones who are great at maintaining their empire.

Image via Getty

Today in Book News: Hachette Book Group says it is cutting 28 positions, about 3 percent of its U.S. staff, as a “cost-savings initiative.” The news comes as the publisher is embroiled in a high-profile dispute with Amazon, which has removed the option to preorder a number of Hachette titles online. But Publishers Weekly notes that “while the timing seems to point to its fight with Amazon as a reason for the cuts, the realignment has been in the works for awhile.” 

Also in the news, Stephen Colbert gives Amazon the middle finger (literally and metaphorically), Ruth Graham takes aim at adult YA fans over at Slate, and Harper Lee ends her lawsuit against a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala.

Read more here.

According to former Disney animator Tom Bancroft on Twitter, Disney gutted their hand-drawn animation division this afternoon, and laid off nine veteran animators, including some of the studio’s biggest names: Nik Ranieri, Ruben Aquino, Frans Vischer, Russ Edmonds, Brian Ferguson, Jamie Lopez and Dan Tanaka. Two of the animators who still have jobs are Eric Goldberg and Mark Henn. The news of cuts in their animation division was leaked last week, but I, for one, did not anticipate that all these top animators would be let go. We’ve reached out to the studio for comment.

UPDATE: According to Aaron Blaise in the comments, Alex Kupershmidt was not among those laid off.

UPDATE #2: The Animation Guild reported that 9 veteran animators were laid off today so there are still two names that are unknown.

UPDATE #3: And now the Animation Guild is reporting in the same link above that, “Other veterans are being called in to meetings to discuss pay cuts and/or buyouts.”

- cartoonbrew article.

Take the case of Ready At Dawn, the video game studio working on the upcoming PlayStation 4 game The Order: 1866. Though the studio had found some success making God of Wargames for the PSP, they had trouble convincing publishers to buy their other prototypes, according to a person who worked there. And in July of 2010, as the studio finished off God of War: Ghost of Sparta and prepared to move onto The Order, the folks at Ready At Dawn laid off 13 people—only to re-fill those same positions back six months later. (Ready At Dawn declined to comment for this article.)

…The thought might seem silly—why get rid of developers just to replace them in a few months?—but this sort of thing happens often. And the explanation is simple, according to one ex-employee. The development team didn’t need those people for pre-production—the period of time in which the basics of a game are conceptualized and designed—so Sony, the publisher, wouldn’t pay for them. (Sony didn’t respond to requests for comment on this story.)

If you’re even considering going into the game industry, this article is something you must read.

I seem to randomly meet AAA burnouts on a regular basis, and much of what this article talks about is why people leave the industry. It’s not just a few people. It happens in droves. Funny enough, after meeting so many people burned out on the AAA cycle of layoffs and crunchmode, I’ve chosen to be an indie developer despite the enormous risks involved. If I’m going to be financially uncertain, I’d rather do it on my terms. General consensus is that something has to change. This isn’t sustainable. 

Manitowoc, Wisconsin

The Manitowoc Co. is attempting to get a complete open shop. So the WI AFL-CIO, the IAM Local 516 strikers and the boilermakers who’ve been laid off and many others are supporting a solidarity rally in Manitowoc, WI this Saturday Dec. 10. The Manitowoc Co. is one of the top makers of cranes in the world and it also owns Manitowoc Ice which makes virtually all of the ice machines in hotels, motels etc. The company has operations in 26 countries and is a very big player in this market. This is a private sector version of the union-busting public-sector bill in Wisconsin.

Sign the petition supporting the striking machinists

I find it hard to read the news about anyone loosing their job but the layoffs of R&D people lately in the drug industry is alarming and more than disappointing. Cuts in R&D mean less new drugs in development and that’s bad for consumers and the healthcare industry. It also means that the days of a lot of big drug discoveries maybe coming to an end.

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