by Steve Ritch
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
—If by Rudyard Kipling
If, by Rudyard Kipling, is one of my favorite poems. It was written at a time in his life when Kipling had lost faith in the British government after the betrayal and wrongful imprisonment of a dear friend. Kipling wrote the poem for his son, John (who later went missing in World War I at the Battle of Loos in 1915 and whose body was never recovered), but it was also clearly written for his friend and as an exercise in overcoming his own feelings of powerlessness and shock at the lack of equanimity.
Too often we are faced with having to maintain our professionalism in our work life in the middle of challenging or even unfair circumstances—nobody ever said that even your work life was going to be fair. So what do you do when you are at the end of your professional rope and you do not see a quick resolution?
There is a very simply acronym that may help supply the answers to get you started on resolving your dilemma; you should always remember to start with a good BASE or, to be more precise:
There will always be times in our professional lives when we feel that we are at an unfair disadvantage because of something outside of our control. We will always have people and situations that challenge us, and often we may not know why something is happening. There is no perfect strategy to guarantee your career will be free of stress and strife. However, if you can stay calm in the middle of adversity and employ the BASE technique, you will "keep your head" in challenging situations when others do not.