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  • Writer's pictureLinda Cahan


We all have our ways to ride out tough times –

Some personal favorites are the “curl up in a fetal position” method, the “face it square-on” stance or the “this is not happening to me” state of denial.

I’ve tried them all but the only one that really works is the “face-it, it’s happening” stance or, deal with reality before it deals with you.

I’ve been in retail for a really long time – although it feels like yesterday when I dressed my first mannequin in 1972.

Being in visual merchandising, I quickly learned about Murphy’s Law– “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” I also discovered that whatever you focus on grows. I know it’s a cliché. But clichés generally evolve because they’re true.

Quick story: I was setting up a display showroom on West 19th St. in NYC many years ago and Murphy’s Law was kicking my butt. That night as I walked over to East 19th St. to meet friends for dinner I started listing in my mind all the things that went wrong that day. After a few minutes I decided I didn’t have enough for a good story to entertain my friends and, with that thought I stepped into dog doo – a biggie in the heat of the summer!

I knew right away I had my story – just not the one I originally planned.

I was focusing on how crappy my day had been and then managed to create the ultimate topper. I learned (finally) that listing my problems was not such a great idea.

Now, I list good things that happen during the day and am very superstitious about listing the bad ones. I want to focus on the good stuff. Of course, I take care of the negative things that pop up - in fact I try to do so quickly so I don’t have to focus on them for any length of time.

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