The Power in Calling the Bottom

Last week I was in Puerto Rico speaking to a group of CEOs and business leaders from around the island on behalf of Abarca Health. The island is still recovering from Hurricane Maria and things seem to be getting back to normal, but there is still much work to be done. One of the business leaders I met said something to me that I wrote down. He said, “This is the bottom.”

The statement struck me because of its truth. That truth contains the same truth as a Native American rain dance. The rain dance always works because those who dance do so until it rains. The bottom is only the bottom if you make it the bottom, if you do something to get up off the floor.

By calling it the bottom, you cut yourself off from going any lower, whether that means lower revenue, lower profit, or a lower standard for yourself. You draw a line in the sand that says, “come what may, this will not be allowed to get any worse, and instead, I will make it better.” If you are at the bottom, the only way you can go is up.

There are things that matter a great deal to turning your situation around. The first is your mindset. You have to believe you have reached the lowest point and that you are now moving in a better direction. You have to take action to make your future better, refusing to stay down. You need a stubbornness, a pigheadedness that allows you to persist in your efforts long enough for your actions to take hold and progress to be made. And you have to accept that one comes before two, and let that one step be enough to sustain you while you work on taking another. That progress moves you up, and from there, you can move even higher.

What strikes me most about “calling the bottom,” is that you can make the decision to call your current state the bottom, accepting that it is now your lowest point, no matter how well things are going, and you can follow this same recipe to reach even higher heights.

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