72. Emotional Agility: Dealing With The Inevitable U.S. Recession
In this newsletter, I highlight how we should be emotionally agile when dealing with our jobs, family, and economy, especially when things aren't looking that great. Doing so will improve our outlook.
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Do you have emotional agility? Are you able to handle major shocks in your life?
My primary form of emotional agility is from the Bible—so many great lessons. I also like to read secular books on the topic to have a well-rounded perspective. The one book that I read in 2016 and came across it again so wanted to recommend it to you is Emotional Agility: Get Unstock, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life by Dr. Susan David. She provides an insightful overview of the ability to harness one's emotions so that one can be more agile throughout life and work (find my review of this book and more at Goodreads).
Summary of the book on Amazon: "The way we respond to these internal experiences drives our actions, careers, relationships, happiness, health—everything that matters in our lives. As humans, we are all prone to common hooks—things like self-doubt, shame, sadness, fear, or anger—that can too easily steer us in the wrong direction. Emotionally agile people are not immune to stresses and setbacks. The key difference is that they know how to adapt, aligning their actions with their values and making small but powerful changes that lead to a lifetime of growth. Emotional agility is not about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts; it’s about holding them loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to bring the best of yourself forward."
Dr. David hit me hard with “the dead are the only people who don't stress.” The problem is not stressing, it is over-stressing that leads to physiological problems and early death. Being able to identify your feelings and harness your emotions is essential. There are also valuable lessons about parenting. For example, it's important to listen to their feelings and let them explain them to you. This not only helps you learn more about feelings, but more importantly, it helps them learn about their own feelings and sets them on a firm emotionally agile foundation. She also stressed the importance of practicing good habits, showing up mentally and physically, and learning to make decisions in a thoughtful way instead of acting too fast or in an emotional state.
I learned much from this book and recommend it to those looking to be more effective individuals, parents, and leaders. I’m still working on improving as it doesn’t come naturally to me.
Unfortunately, our emotional agility will be even more important now with the economic uncertainty and inevitable recession. In my last two newsletters, I’ve been making the case that the zombie economy is fragile. Of course, there appear to be strengths, such as the labor market, but when you dig deeper—which we all should do—there are many weaknesses. I published a commentary last week that highlights how we got here and what we should do about it. As you’d expect, we need to stop doing a lot of things that policymakers—mostly in D.C.—have been doing over the last two years-plus. This won’t automatically turn things around, as I believe the U.S. economy is in a period of stagflation now and is in or will soon be in a recession. There will be divergences in states and cities across the nation, as the more economically free Texas and Florida will weather the downturn much better than the less economically free California and New York.
Economic freedom is essential to individual liberty, and the results of the two are spectacular when you consider human history. There are many measures of economic freedom in the world (Fraser Institute and Heritage Foundation) and in states (Fraser Institute and Cato Institute). As you’d expect, those places with institutions that support a high degree of freedom have much better economic outcomes and political freedom. Check out my comparison using different metrics across the four largest states with two that tend to be more conservative (Texas and Florida) and two that tend to be more progressive (California and New York).
As you can see, Texas and Florida lead the way with California and New York well behind, which is a reason so many people are moving from progressive states to conservative states. In short, institutions matter! We have a lot of work to do to strengthen the institutions at the federal level, but I am optimistic that states can show the way with sound policies that will support more opportunities to let people prosper. Doing this will also help states, like Texas, withstand the bad policies out of D.C.; but as we know, it can’t resist everything but definitely helps. I highlighted my take in this recent tweet exchange with market analyst David Bahnsen.
We have much to learn from this period, so understanding the fundamentals of the economy is essential. The more that government influences supply and demand and therefore prices across the economy, the worse off we will be. We need rules ASAP!
TAKE ON ECONOMIES & POLICIES IN STATES
Texas must have lower property tax bills instead of governments spending more.
Parental empowerment through school choice helps teachers, too.
State-based poverty relief efforts are needed such as empowerment accounts.
Personal income expanded in Texas and across U.S. in Q1:2022.
Good overview by my colleague on the need to lower property tax bills.
“Texodus” continues as people and employers search for a lower cost of living.
Good article on high fuel prices, not from price gouging but bad D.C. policies.
Don’t miss my take on skyrocketing fuel prices in this piece by Brad Polumbo.
Suspending the gas tax is a bad idea to try to lower prices, better to eliminate it?
Property tax relief is on everyone’s mind in Texas. Let’s do this.
More ways to lower property taxes to help eliminate them in Texas.
TAKE ON ECONOMIES & POLICIES IN U.S.
Watch my NTD News interview on the economy and the Fed’s rate target hike.
Watch my NTD News interview on how pro-growth policies will ease inflation.
Don’t miss my latest Ginn Economic Brief on the U.S. economy.
My latest commentary on the economy and a needed pro-growth approach.
Need intact families to help mitigate poverty.
The housing boom seems poised for a bust after a government-inflated boom.
The housing market looks to be cooling some in Texas per Dallas Fed.
Biden’s regulatory costs are stifling U.S. economic activity.
Inflation will remain high until the Fed substantially cuts assets/raises target.
Consumer sentiment reaches a new record low.
Big SCOTUS decision this week for life, but these warnings are misguided.
Government is prone to wasting taxpayer dollars because they’re not its money.
Higher food prices are coming…
No-brainer that student loan forgiveness is bad, but some don’t understand it.
Things are improving around the Ginn household. The baby is 11 weeks old and she seems to be outgrowing colic, which has been a challenge. The boys are keeping busy with summer camps, swim lessons, and more. My wife has been continuing to expand her business of coaching those with infertility issues and going through the IVF process. We’re looking forward to the next chapters in our lives as a family of five. It’s been a trying year, but God has us in His hands and we are prospering. I hope all of the great dads had an awesome Father’s Day…I did.
I had the pleasure of teaching 40 high school students from across Texas attending the Military Order of World Wars’ Youth Leadership Conference aboard the U.S.S. Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas last week. I taught them about the benefits of capitalism and the costs of socialism through my minimum wage game. This was my seventh year doing it.
GOAT#2 Friedrich Hayek on the need for an agile economy with limited government.
I’m praying that we will trust in the Lord when we aren’t emotionally agile.
Thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter. Many blessings to you and yours!
Why Let People Prosper: We believe an inclusive institutional framework with individual liberty, intact families, robust civil society, competitive capitalism, and a constitutional republic best supports abundant opportunities to mitigate poverty and let people prosper. This prosperity isn’t just material but spiritual, psychological, social, etc. that satisfies human desires. Given this understanding and my experience and research as a free-market economist, I provide trusted views on economies and policies. Please subscribe & share.