How to Brighten the Path to Prosperity Even in a Dark Tunnel

by David Ning · 8 comments

Let me share a story with you:

My friend chose to sacrifice himself and stay behind for work reasons when his family immigrated to the States a few years ago. It was a difficult decision I’m sure, but one that was necessary (I’m told) due to financial constrains.

His son was 14 at the time but he was always upset. I remember one evening while we were over for dinner, he asked his mom out loud “Why can’t we be rich?”

That was then.

In a few short years, my friend’s son completely changed. He is now 17 and working part time at a local cafe. He told me that he realized how foolish it was to be upset. How blaming everyone else who was trying to keep the family close together did nothing to help the situation.

Instead of wasting his time being mad, he started thinking of ways he could change his situation. He started helping out around the house so his mom had more free time to find a part time job. When he was old enough, he started working part time as well.

The extra income helped his dad (my friend) come up with the courage to move here and look for a job. At long last, the family was together.

The Way We Look at the Problem IS the Problem

I saw the matured youngster at the café the other day and while speaking to him, he reminded me what everyone should know:

Every problem has a solution, but if we don’t create a solution, we become another problem.

I couldn’t believe that it was coming from a 17 year old, but what he said was absolutely true – even if we don’t create the problem, we can become a part of it.

The Bulb That Should Light Up

There is no doubt the economy is deteriorating right now. There is no question that people are losing jobs and it almost seemed like an understatement when I say that our investments lost significant value.
You might be upset but blaming everyone is easy and unproductive. Instead, what are you doing about the situation?

  • How are you trying to secure your own job and helping the company you work for so further layoffs aren’t necessary?
  • What steps are you taking to make sure that even in this downturn, you are well on your way to financial prosperity?
  • What lessons are you teaching your kids about the financial crisis?

The Glow from Within

If you want to be heard, learn to listen. If you want to be helped, assist others. If you want to prosper, take action.

It really starts with you. Even in a dark tunnel, you can brighten it up by glowing from within.

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  • Slinky says:

    Well said. I usually say, “The only thing that will change your life is you.” Each day that you do nothing to change an unhappy situation is a choice you made to keep it that way. Which leads to another favorite saying, “Don’t let life happen to you,” which is my way of saying that you have to make the life you want to live, it won’t just happen by chance.

  • Neal Frankle says:

    I love this post. We spend most of our time doing things to change our feelings about situations. Why not change our attitude. Certain things are the way the are and we can’t change them. Best to come to terms with that reality.

    Thanks for the post.

  • marci says:

    Goes with my personal motto – Life is a matter of Attitude. Might as well have a good one – attitude and Life 🙂 All up to you.

    My little part of helping others is mostly frugal cooking tips, and nudging to start their gardens – Sharing seeds and plants and giving growing tips. Anyone with even a small backyard can grow a fantastic amount of produce fairly easily.

    And working with my grandkids…. the attitudes that come from TV these days are terrible. And if I hear “That’s Lame” one more time (a fav saying on one of their TV shows) I think I’ll scream…. They are being programmed to think that they have to have the biggest and best and everything be soooo exciting, or else it’s lame. Whatever happened to the simple joys? That’s what I want to help my grandkids find, and it’s sure not easy, even in this rural area.

  • Craig says:

    Agree, every bad situation has to be viewed in a different light and spun around. It’s easy to dwell on the negative, but that is only going to further hurt the problem. Stay positive and find ways to be productive.

  • Moneymonk says:

    “Why can’t we be rich?”

    Dayum, I guess he watch too many music videos

    Every problem has a solution, but if we don’t create a solution, we become another problem.

    Well said

  • MoneyNing says:

    Nadia: My dad was also not around when I was a teenager and having talked with my friend extensively, let me give my friend’s side of the story:

    Sometimes, immigrating to a different country is not seen as a choice but a necessity. When we immigrated to Canada, our parents saw it as the ONLY way to give my sister and I a better education. They were afraid that when China took back control of Hong Kong (where we were), that things will be too different and our future will be ruined. Of course, the reality is that Hong Kong is just as prosperous as ever but at the time, no one knew.

    Going back to my friend though, I believe it was fear of not having the income to sustain the family if he were not able to find a job after he moved here. I can appreciate that too because while his English is good enough to get by, not having a full command of the language (verbally) is a setback.

    CD Rates: Thanks for the kind words. I think you said it best with “…I trust brightens yours as well”. When I started blogging, slowly I realized that I can really help people by being encouraging and sending a positive message. Then as I wrote more and more that way, I ended up helping myself.

    That, I owe to all of you, my readers. Thanks for the support as always.

  • CD Rates says:

    First to David,

    One of Life’s greatest rules…”You cannot hold a tourch to light another’s path without brightening your own”

    You certainly provide light for our path which I trust brightens yours, as well.

    Nadia,

    I don’t believe it is fair to judge without knowing all of the information. The two “better” choices you mention, may not have been better after all. There are lots of variables that could have come into play. It may not have been safe to stay in the country they were in. He probably contemplated moving the whole family, but he would need a job and that may have been hard to find. It sounds like it wasn’t money, but hoping to provide a better future. Unfortunately, at the time, it meant the family separating for a time.

    cd :O)

  • Nadia says:

    This poor kid didn’t have a bad attitude. He had a legitimate gripe- his dad separated himself from the family for money. He had two better choices; keep the family together in home country or move together to the US. The kid now has to support his family financially (to some degree). I am sure his negative attitude was a pain for his mother to deal with, but the adults decided to split up the family. They caused the problem, not the boy. And now, he feels responsibility enough to solve the problem. I am impressed with his hard work, but his parents put him in an inappropriate situation. They are selfish. He should not feel guilty for his feelings, he had a right to be angry.

    On another note… the world doesn’t need more angry teenage boys without a father nearby to guide them. This is a recipe for disaster.

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