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The Power of Being (and Staying) Down to Earth.

Ever had a day when you woke up feeling disgusted about yourself? A day when nothing; no accomplishment ever achieved, could make you feel better about your very being? Ever had such an episode in which the feeling lingered all through the day, making it almost irresistible to crawl back in bed until it would be over...if ever?

If you had such a day, and especially if you had it more often than once, you are one of the many who are blessed with an inner detector that keeps you down to earth. These moments come and go unexpectedly, and they may be triggered by various matters: Sometimes they may be linked to the books you' re reading at that moment, and at other times just to the overall circumstances in your life. Things may not have been going too well for you, for instance. But even if they were, you could still experience these moments, based on impatience about the slowness of certain developments, or based on your very character.

Whatever the reasons are that bring you in a depressed mood, you may want to keep the following in mind to endure them, and even be thankful for them:

* These moments are the ones that make you think of the particulars in life: The moments that make you realize that your prosperous business, your perfect mansion, or your great marriage can all be history tomorrow. Therefore, these moments are important, no matter how lousy they feel when you are in the thick of them. But they provide you with deeper attentiveness, and gratitude once the depression is over. And they make you realize the shallowness of all those boastful types you know at work or in your circle of friends, who seem to be safeguarded from any kind of downtrodden episodes. After all, the mental crush for these people comes when the success that they took for granted for so long, suddenly falls away. And we all know how easy things come and go in today's world.

* These moments keep you humble, because they make you realize that, with all the titles and possessions you may have gained, you are still a passing stranger to many. For let's face it: there will be very few that will remember you five or ten years after you retired or passed away. Realizing this very fact may help you in the business decisions you are about to make. It may make you empathize more with the ones on the other side of the negotiation table, and go for a win-win outcome instead of anything different.

* These moments enhance your awareness for even the smallest link in the organizational chain you are part of. You will refrain from walking by the guard, the janitor, or the coffee-lady without saying hello, having a brief conversation, or even remembering their names! These moments alert you of the fact that, in spite of the blessing that was granted to you for becoming the manager, vice-president, CEO, professor, or anything prestigious that you may officially be called, you are no more or less than the ones on so-called "lower" ranks of the corporate ladder.

* These moments make you realize that you should keep yourself informed, and that you should not depend too much on anything or anybody. This doesn't mean that you should become aloof and isolated, but it does mean that you should maintain the idea of change adaptation. These moments also remind you that YOU are not your position, because your position may be history someday. These moments are therefore extremely valuable for your quest toward continuous searching for alternatives to which you can apply your qualities.

* These moments, finally, teach you to value to little things in life. As soon as the depression is over, you will find yourself refreshed and reenergized to work even harder, be even smarter, more grateful, more connected, and value everything around you even more.

So, why was this article not titled "The Power of Depression"? Simple! Because there is no power in depression, but there is a tremendous amount of strength in the awareness that depression brings about: understanding, recognition, respect, empathy, and remaining down to earth.

Joan Marques, Ed.D. Burbank, May 20, 2004
About the Author: Joan Marques emigrated from Suriname, South America, to California, U.S., in 1998. She holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership, a Master's in Business Administration, and is currently a university instructor in Business and Management in Burbank, California. You may visit her web sites at and Joan's manual "Feel Good About Yourself," a six part series to get you over the bumps in life and onto success, can be purchased and downloaded at:

It is better to live in serene poverty than in hectic affluence. Everything has a price. The price for nurturing your soul is turning away from excessive stress, destruction of self-respect, and the constant strive in lifestyle with the Joneses. But it's worth it.

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