When times get tough, it is not those with the strongest bodies who survive, it is those with the strongest minds. We are not talking about ‘smarts’ we are talking about mental toughness. Great businesses and, indeed, great people are created from having the will to succeed not only when things are good but when things are difficult.

Admiral James Stockdale, a POW in the Vietnam War, discussed this mindset needed to survive.

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” Those prisoners who always felt sure things were about to get better would constantly be let down and, subsequently, become more and more demoralized. It was the men who knew eventually things would get better but focused on surviving on the day-to-day and kept their expectations in check who fared the best.

When things are slow, and there is less to do, we can grow lethargic and complacent and slide into a mindset of feeling unaccomplished. To combat this, we need to put ourselves in an air of growth and accomplishment. To feel we are achieving things despite the market being down, we should set goals for ourselves.

Goals in business are waypoints that measure our success.

Many of the long-term expectations we have for ourselves and our success are dependent on growth. It is difficult to see growth in tough times, but we must look at our professional growth in a holistic way. How can you improve your cold-calling script? How can you improve your client interactions? What can you do to set yourself apart from your competition? What tasks did you put aside when things got busy that you can now revisit? Constant growth, continuous learning, and an indomitable spirit will allow you to grow while others wilt.

Spend time with family, force yourself to practice gratitude, and hang in there. Hearthstone continues to admire the resolve and hard work the realtors of RI exhibit on a daily basis, and we look forward to weathering this time with you.