Do you ever have one of those days when every thought… well most thoughts, seems to be negative or unproductive? Lately it seems that I have had more and more of those dreaded days when my thoughts race in directions that are neither good, nor constructive. I find myself dwelling on all the negatives of the world without giving a second thought to all the wonderful things that I have around me daily. Why is it so easy to go straight to the bad and forget the good? I guess it is this condition we call “human nature”. I am personally extremely sensitive to this “condition”. I find myself dwelling on the good ole days and missing the good ole days that I could be creating today.
We are in unprecedented times in banking. But the last decade was also unprecedented, when margins were good, delinquencies were low and the world economy was flourishing. Regrettably, the good times never seem to last. Fortunately, neither do the bad. Margins will increase, delinquencies will lower and yes, examiners will once again use common sense instead of a sledge-hammer when in our banks. That’s what is so fantastic about our world, our country, and most of all, our beloved industry. We will always find a way to not only survive, but to thrive and grow. Why? Because being a true community banker is more than net interest margins, delinquencies and exam ratings.
True community banking is not just about the bank alone, it is about the communities that we all live in and work in. It is about helping that young couple purchase their first home, making sure that Grandma’s savings is safe and secure and even watching Junior smile as he proudly drives away from the bank in his first car, even if it is a little rusty and in serious need of a new muffler. On Friday nights we attend the local high school events and donate to the cause of the week, even though we already have eight tubs of cookie dough in the freezer. This is not about Wall Street, K Street or even Pennsylvania Ave. It is about Main Street and the people who work there every day. It is about neighbors who are trying to live a good life and pass that life style onto the next generation.
Banking is without a doubt changed forever. Maybe this isn’t a completely bad thing. Maybe, just maybe, there is something positive to be gained. It will be up to us to either find the good or create an opportunity. Why? Because life is not just what is handed to you, life is what you choose to make of it. If you choose to give up then so be it. But if you choose to fight and find a way to win…..you will succeed!
I have a ratty old frame on my office wall with one of the most profound quotes that I have ever read inside. When I start focusing on the negatives in my world I remind myself to read the words and then remember that the world is not really out to get me. I am the one responsible for my downfall or my success, it’s my choice.
Attitude by Charles Swindoll;
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
–You Choose your Attitude…You Alone–