The elections are over. Some folks are very happy with the way things turned out, and some are not happy at all. I am one of those folks who isn't all that happy about it. However, it doesn't matter how I feel about the elections. Why? Because the elections are over. Behind us. In the past. One more time: OVER! You can't change the results. Pissing and moaning won't change a thing. Over analyzing what went wrong won't do much for you either. And posting about it on facebook certainly isn't going to help. It's time to stop focusing on the election because the election is in the past. Many will tell you that it is now time to look toward the future. Sounds good. People have been saying that, and folks sure seem to respond well to that message. I guess that's a fine message if that is how you think. It's not how I think. I don't live in the past and I don't focus much on the future. I live in the present. I understand that the only way to create the future I want is to do the right things, right now, every day. That's what I am going to encourage you to do: Do the right thing today so you can live well tomorrow. Here are then suggestions for you to do now that the election is over:

  1. Move on. To stay stuck in the election whether your guy won or lost is pointless. It will only take up useful energy that you could be using for more important activities.

  2. Remember this: Changing politicians and changing government comes about only after we change ourselves. Fix yourself first. Our politicians and government are reflections of us as individuals. We need more good people doing the right thing every single day in order for things in our society to change. Live each day with more integrity and with a stronger work ethic and with a renewed commitment to doing the right thing regardless of what everyone else is doing.

  3. Find common ground. Not just with those you differ with politically, but with everyone. None of us operate completely independent of everyone else. We need each other. Find common ground with others and build on it. Show some understanding. Be kind. Be respectful. That doesn't mean you have to compromise your beliefs at all and it is not a sign of weakness. It just means that we can disagree with each other in a reasonable manner while looking for solutions so we can all get a bit of what we want.

  4. Take responsibility. This mess we find ourselves in is our own fault. We allowed it to happen. People will get by with whatever they can get by with. It's human nature. We have allowed people and politicians to get by with too much. But that is our fault, not theirs. Stop blaming others and become involved. If you don't like things, then get involved and work from the inside to fix things. Sitting on your couch and typing divisive hate speech about others only adds to the problem. We made this mess - all of it - and we must all take responsibility for it and work to fix it.

  5. Take care of yourself. Stop expecting the government to come to the rescue. Yes, I know that about half of the country does expect it, but you don't have to be one of them. Become self-reliant, self-sufficient and rely on your SELF. Your future is up to you and you alone; not your government, your company, your union, or other citizens. Just you. Take control of your life and take care of yourself.

  6. Get your finances in order. I believe the US is in big trouble financially. Our debt is out of control and we borrow 40% of every dollar our government spends and we are only going to spend more in the future. This trend simply cannot sustain itself. At some point, it has to fall apart and at some point, I believe it will. At some point, when you need the government for retirement, healthcare or other services, you may come up short. That means that it is up to you to take care of yourself. Do these two things: Pay off debt as fast as you can. Stash as much cash away as you possibly can. Emergencies happen and most people are not prepared financially. 40% of Americans have less than $500 saved. Don't be one of them.

  7. Prepare. We have all just seen how long it takes the government to respond in a disaster. FEMA and the Red Cross can't get there quickly enough to help everyone. Have at least 72 hours of food set aside. Have a case of water per person set aside. Have the ability to cook on a small camping stove. Have a crank operated radio. Have a flashlight. Be able to protect yourself, your family and your property. This is not whacko survivalist stuff - this is common sense.

  8. Know your neighbors. If things get bad, you need some alliances. It's all part of being prepared. Have discussions about being prepared and have a plan to work together "just in case."

  9. Work. When you go to work, work. When you are known as the person who is always working when you are at work, we call that 'job security.' I believe that the job market is going to be in trouble for a good long while. You need to keep the job you have. You don't have to like it, love it, enjoy it or plan to do it forever, but you need to appreciate it and do what you are paid to do. You need your job. Hang on to it.

  10. Stay optimistic. What goes up must come down. Yin and yang. The pendulum swings back and forth. In other words, things change. We are a resilient bunch. We will survive all of this and more. Yes, it might look much different on the other side than it does right now but that is probably a good thing. If you are prepared, open to change, know how to recognize opportunities and seize the moment, and are willing to work hard all while staying committed to the principles of honesty and integrity, you will be fine. Hold to that. Never give up on that.

I wish you all the best. Now, I am going to do more of each of the things on this list!

Larry Winget