Thinking Counter-Intuitively in Hard Times

When times are tough, sometimes you have to think outside the box if you want to come out on top. For every conscious, principles-based response you give to each challenge, you dodge another bullet.

Here’s an example of one man who did just that, during the Great Depression:

My friend Glenn was visiting, and shared a story about his grandfather that is worth repeating. His grandfather was a banker in 1933, and in order to keep depositors from bankrupting the system by withdrawing all their money, Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a United States Bank Holiday from March 6 to March 10.

Banks were allowed to reopen when they could prove that the money in their reserves was greater than or equal to the money that had been deposited in. If the banks were unsound they would stay closed or could apply for a government loan in order to keep from declaring bankruptcy. (Wikipedia)

Glenn told me, according to his grandfather, that one out of three banks never re-opened.

Upon hearing the announcement that he was required to close his bank, and knowing the fallout that would probably happen from it, he chose to think outside of the box, and be a resourceful problem-solver, instead of shrinking into fear and victimhood. He knew that the declaration itself would create panic for many of his customers, and that when he reopened, there would likely be a run on the money.

The problem became his opportunity. He recognized a need: the people needed peace of mind, even more than they needed their money. So he contacted the top four leaders of women’s church organizations in the community, and asked them to organize a community barbecue to celebrate the holiday.

They were to get everything they needed to put on a feast, and that he would pay for the food if they would prepare and serve it.

It went off without a hitch, and when he opened his doors, nobody asked for their money back, and his bank thrived through the Great Depression.

No matter how bleak things appear to be, you can be resourceful. Look for a need in someone else’s life, and see what you can do to fill the need. Leave everyone you meet with an “impression of increase”. Leave them better than when you found them.

Fear will cause you to do things to perpetuate the problem. Thinking prosperously in the face of fear can inspire you to do things that solve the problem.

Read Portal to Genius (free!) to find out how.

Let me help you activate the Rare kind of Faith that causes things to happen in your life. Join us in the GUIDED Mindset Mastery class, starting soon! You’ll be guided through two experiments over fourteen weeks, so you can discover for yourself the power of your thoughts. For more information, visit:

Leslie Householder
Latest posts by Leslie Householder (see all)

4 Responses

  1. Very interesting story. We’ve gone through a family crisis of a job loss that’s required us to move to a state that no one really wants to live in. (I’ll leave the name out). Very few people are born and raised here, but are all transplants and moved here because they had no other choice. Our whole church ward and stake is made up of members who had their backs up against the wall and had no other choice than to move here to survive, people who have lost everything prior to moving here. Everyone has survived or still in survival mode of a trauma or crisis of some kind. It’s like living in a crisis center – like in the story. I can relate to the mood of the times they lived through. You do have to think outside the box and think – survive! On top of this, 5 months into moving here I was made RS Pres and had to think of trying to gather, strengthen, fortify women who are surviving a personal crisis. Thinking creatively and different than the mold is required. I’ve seen a lot of success in this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you Leslie so much! I really needed to read this inspirational article right now! An answer to my prayers! I’m going to change my thinking and think about how I can reach out and help someone else using my talents and abilities and knowledge so I can bless their life… thus blessing mine and others…it’s a “Win-Win” situation!!! Purely “Genius”!!!

  3. Hi,

    Its not working – am not able to download the book.

    The web page says – “Error establishing a database connection”

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