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For every shadow there must be light

Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff coined the slogan “For every light that shines, a shadow falls” as part of his audio drama, Shadow Falls. The reverse is true and worth thinking about. For every shadow, there must be light, else it’d be pure darkness.

This past year was a tumultuous year. Next year promises even more change, some chaos, and economic harbingers that are less than comforting. That said, the coming year can also be the very best year you’ve ever had. We’ve talked about it recently on an episode of Marketing Over Coffee, and I’ve talked about other advance preparations on the Financial Aid Podcast.

Ultimately, when times are bad, when things get ugly, you have three basic choices:

1. Do nothing and hope that the river of life doesn’t send you over a waterfall.

2. Deny that anything’s wrong in the hope that your delusions will become truth.

3. Take positive action to prepare others and yourself for trouble and find ways to leverage the troubling times.

I’m shooting for camp 3. I’ve outlined the dangers ahead – with 3 trillion –5 trillion possibly at severe risk (bear in mind we are an economy of roughly $14 trillion), you have to prepare for rough times. Cash is king, debt is your enemy, liquidity is an advantage, tied-up assets are not. Mobility is important, as is network reach. Always have a backup plan.

You can also be a source of inspiration and power in your community, whether offline or online.

Now is the time to step up your community involvement if possible. Get out there, be visible, be involved. Have involvement with as many people as possible – as Mitch Joel says, DO talk to strangers, because the ninja method advocates having as many people in your network as possible so you can get different perspectives, have your ear to the ground, and see things coming from very far away.

Be on top of changes – know what’s changing, know who brings the harbingers of change. Subscribe to lots of blogs and read the best quality ones voraciously, because when winds shift, you want to be in front of the change, catching the wind and sailing past danger.

Grow and develop your sphere of personal power. In your community of friends, do you know what their superpowers are? How can they complement you, and more importantly, how can you complement them?

The ninja of old were renowned for their seemingly supernatural powers, chief among them the ability to foretell the future. Most of that wasn’t supernatural – it was having a strong network. You have access to a network that the ninja grandmasters of old would have traded their right arms for – a global, decentralized, instant information network. What does it tell you – and if it isn’t telling you what you need to know to avoid danger and embrace prosperity, how can you change your network to fulfill that function?

For every shadow there must be light.

Are you ready to shine?

Side bar: The Chinese word for crisis, weiji, does not mean “danger and opportunity”. Kennedy screwed that one up, that cliche about the word for crisis meaning danger and opportunity. Weiji means danger and a crucial point. It’s more like the point at which you’re in a barrel approaching the waterfall’s edge. You’re just about to go over. You don’t think about trying to go fishing for opportunity – your goal is not to die.