3 tips about bouncing-back, inspired by Kodak

Bounce back from adversity by accepting what’s happened, staying true to yourself, and recalling your past recoveries.

George Eastman founded his company Kodak back in 1888. At the height of its power, Kodak employed 140,000 people and had a market value of $28 billion.

But over time things went seriously wrong, and in 2012 the company declared bankruptcy.

In fact Kodak’s problems began in the 1990s when people started using digital cameras that didn’t need the type of photographic film manufactured by companies such as Kodak.

Ironically, Kodak had actually itself invented the first digital camera in the 1970s. However it made so much money from selling film that it tried to suppress the technology which eventually killed the company.

With 20/20 hindsight, of course it’s easy to criticise Kodak’s management for believing it was in the business of selling film, when a more helpful vision would have been that it was helping people hold on to their cherished memories.

But of course companies (and individuals) don’t always recognise the change that’s going on around them – sometimes until it’s too late.

It would have been great if Kodak had started bouncing back in the 1980s, for instance. But it didn’t. Even in the 1990s it would probably still have been possible for them to change direction, but the more things change, the harder it gets to bounce back.

I’ve been thinking about the whole bouncing back thing recently, particularly as I’ve recognised in myself a pattern of my mood being adversely affected by change taking place around me.

Three bouncing back strategies seem to be working, so I pass them on in the hope that they may be useful for you too.

1. Accept and embrace the change. Things change all the time: it’s an inevitable part of life. So why not see if you can treat it as an opportunity to learn and grow?

2. Remember ‘what business you’re in’. Don’t allow change to force you to make unwanted revisions to who you truly are. Kodak should have been in the business of helping people keep their memories. My own values include being honourable and dependable, and using my talents to help others: I need to hang on to these if it’s the last thing I do. What’s most important to you? What must you not let go of?

3. Don’t live in the past, but do learn from it. If unpleasant change is happening it’s easy to forget your better times. Focus on them and try to understand what made them good, then aim to build this back into where you are now.

I say this regularly, but it’s kind of inevitable that you and I will go through bad spells and when we do, it’s our ability to bounce back that really matters.

Inevitably our fast-growing community at Moodnudges (our membership has grown about fifteen percent in the past week alone) will be able to add to my own bouncing back strategies.

So what are yours? I’d love to know, and I’m sure so would our other readers.

7 thoughts on “3 tips about bouncing-back, inspired by Kodak

  1. A timely post which spoke to me. Because last night I was playing a gig and everyone else was up and dancing and letting their hair down and I’m thinking, “Why am I doing this?” And when your sense of humour has taken leave of absence you know that something is not right. So change is coming. I’m feeling okay with that because it’s a chance to tidy things up in life. We do bounce on.

    I like this post: hang on to what’s important. That makes me feel okay.

    1. These words were very timely for me today. My life is going through massive change and yesterday I beginning to feel like i can’t take any more. I know change is good and generally i like change, it’s exciting, but too much and nothing is stable. Bouncing back. Hmm…don’t know about bouncing but clinging on to the thought of better days ahead is important, especially on a Sunday cos I hate Sundays.!

  2. A though-provoking post for me, thank you.

    Some changes really do seem to be unnecessary, unhelpful and a backward step – fight to get it reversed if you can, or ignore it as much as possible. Some changes are clearly an improvement for all concerned, though with a few twinges of nostalgia associated. And some changes are just changes, part of the natural cycle of life – the leaves turn brown and fall, people move on, move away. Maybe it helps to see it not as an ending but as a moving forward.

  3. Very thoughtful post- thank you. I admire the optimism in the choice of words of ‘bouncing back strategies’ as I sometimes feel I ‘stumble’ back from a low mood knock. But here’s a couple of strategies that have worked for me:

    1. Whatever has happened or how I feel today will pass and become history and I will feel differently and smile again.
    2. Forecasting the future is futile- especially when my mind thinks it it will be bleak- and wastes time and energy that I could use to appreciate the present which might be as simple as being mindful that I can enjoy the taste of a coffee or the shape of clouds in the sky.

    1. A timely post for me. One of our cats went missing on Friday. It was like losing a baby. We knocked on doors, put up posters on telegraph poles and waited. I didn’t sleep at all Friday night but last night I feel asleep. At 5.15 I woke to the sound of a familiar meow and it was my lost cat. I couldn’t believe it and cannot say I am bouncing back, rather recovering slowly.

      1. Fantastic news Stella. You must have been really relieved, even though it probably felt as is you’d had all the stuffing knocked out of you. I’ know we’re all delighted for you!

    2. Christine, you said it exactly. Slowly, slowly I am learning to be kind to myself on those bleak days when I feel overwhelmed, and trust that the feeling will pass. And walking outside to breathe and hear the birds is my best way of getting back to the present: putting aside over-analysis of the past and worry about the future.

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