My grandmother was born six months after the onset of the Great Depression's Black Tuesday, marked by the stock market crash on Oct. 29, 1929. As I was growing up she shared the many day-to-day survival stories of my great-grandparents and other immediate family members.
An oft repeated statement from in those days was, "They would have to nickel-and-dime to survive."
In my lifetime, the saying is as true then as it is today with the spiraling subprime meltdown financial crisis that has taken this country and the global markets crossing the economy into negative territory.
On Aug. 24, 2007, the business headlines have been dominated by the rare move of the Federal Reserve agreeing to lift requirements on how much Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. can lend to its broker affiliates as part of the banks' decision to borrow from the Fed's discount window.
The subprime foreclosure storm and gloom reality drowned out the dreams of first-time homebuyers, causing personal financial woes, anguish and doubts about where to go from here.
The financial trouble facing these subprime borrowers and the negative psychological effects will touch all aspects of their lives, and less consumer spending ultimately weakens the economy resulting in job layoffs.
The emotional part of losing a home and becoming a renter again, in my observation, will affect many deeply, and some not.
Some will be bitter and lost about the experience, while others will be grateful to have lower expenses and an opportunity to nickel-and-dime their way out of debt to refocus on their life goals and how to obtain them.
A crisis can put everything in perspective. Let's begin with analyzing where and how you plan for tomorrow. There is no excuse for not living every day as if it were your last.
Your self-respect and self-esteem may have taken a hit. First and foremost, take the tailor-made jacket of subprime borrower off and throw it in the trash.
Secondly, make your self-esteem officially off limits to potential detractors.
In life, we are either driven by promise or pain; the promise of an abundant future or the immediate need to change a painful situation. Your immediate goals often relieve you of an undesirable situation; your long term vision propels you towards great possibilities. State what you envision for yourself.
• My Immediate vision; My Short-term Vision; My Mid-range Vision; My Long term Vision.
The next exercise has been around for a while. That's because it's useful. Go through and assess where you are today using the SWOT Method:
• Strength; Weakness; Opportunities; Talents; Mental; Social; Emotional; Physical.
A goal is a desire with a date on it. So, get ready, set goals and run with expectation. Plan how you will put your SWOT inventory to acquire your new vision. What additional knowledge do you have to master to get there?
Now, make a commitment to these goals. Your commitment list is the first step toward refueling your dreams. You have made a commitment to yourself. Now you're ready to weather the storm of a possible coming of the second Great Depression.
Farrah Gray is the author of the international best-seller "Reallionaire:
Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out." He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation.