This will draw sharp contrast with the stock market and economic woes, but let’s say you’re feeling pretty good right now in spite of everything. Your money is spread out and not all of it is relying directly on the Dow (or Congress). You’ve become indispensable at your job. You have a large support system of friends and family. You’re injury-free and in good health.
What do all of these sunny scenarios have in common? They prove that you’ve diversified your skills and assets.
This phrase is usually reserved for talking economics and investing. Here’s how it applies to your life:
It is TOUGH to go through life’s roller coasters. If you lost your job or have just gone through a recent breakup, it can feel like your whole world has come apart. How do we all get through these times? By spreading our eggs among many baskets.
When the going gets tough, the tough cross-train.
Diversifying Your Friends: There is one question I ask pretty much any client during their first session. “Tell me about who’s in your life. Who’s important?” I am looking to see how diversified my client’s support system is. I talk about this a lot with teenagers and how they must develop a whole “garden” of friends. (Too often teens put all their eggs in one basket with someone and when it goes sour…yes, the world ends.)
Diversifying Your Job Skills: What qualities does an indispensable employee have? They meet their job requirements, and often go the extra mile; they do more than just their job description. They have diversified their skills in order to take on new responsibilities.
Diversifying Your Fitness: How does one stay injury-free living an active life? A runner, swimmer, and cyclist combine three skills and call it a triathlon. What’s he really doing? Cross-training! And if you pull a back muscle, do you focus solely back extensions to heal it? Core training has become a popular all-around athletic focus for good reason.
Solution-focused counseling fits perfectly into this model. There is a reason why I’m so interested in learning about my clients’ strengths in addition to their problems; it’s not just the optimism of solution-focused therapy. I want to know how to help them use their strengths to build up the areas where they feel weak.
Take a moment to consider some of your hidden strengths you haven’t had to unearth in awhile. Did you used to bake beautiful cakes? Or maybe you display your talents often, and to much acclaim, but don’t “do” anything to further your skill. Do your friends love your homemade cards? Does family seek your financial opinions? (Remember the part above about where to put your energy?)
When you’re weathering a roller coaster – be it highly personal or one you share with your fellow citizens – drawing upon your diversified skills and spreading your eggs among many baskets can help.
If you’re interested in the power of money in your life, check out The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth, PhD