They say that, after the Lisbon earthquake(1755),king Don José asked General Pedro Almeida, what was to be done. He answered the king: “Bury the dead, care for the living and close the ports”. This simple, direct and honest answer can teach us many things.
Let`s see. Many times in our corporate and even personal life, we have earthquakes as devastating as the one that struck Lisbon in 18th century. The calamity is so great that we lose the capacity to think in a simple, clear and objective way. These earthquakes can be of all sorts: a batch of defective products that went out of our factory to the market, an unexpected disease or a separation in a marriage or even death. We are subject to earthquakes in life. Anyone alive knows that there are geological failures under our feet, which may, at any time, shake without warning. What to do?
Exactly what General Pedro Almeida said: Bury the dead, care for the living and close the ports. And what does that mean for our personal, corporate life, and even to our country, state and municipality?
Burying the dear means it is no use to keep complaining and crying over the past. Or crying over spilt milk. You need to bury it. Put the past under the earth. Learn from it, but do not keep it always in your present.
Caring for the living means that, after burying the past, we have to take care of the present. Care for who is still alive. Care for what is left. Care for what exists. Do what you have to do to save what is left from that figurative earthquake. The past is a check without funds. The present is the real money.
Closing the ports means not leaving the doors open so that new problems, new situations can show up or come from the outside, so that new earthquake do not catch us suddenly.
It means focusing and concentrating on business, on reconstruction , on the new, and preventing that new earthquakes destroy us again.
In conclusion. This is what the history teach us. Having the right attitude toward the worst situation, makes all the difference .
So, is a matter of attitude, bury the dead, care for the living and close the ports.
Everything is a matter of attitude.
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