A case for optimism

Are you feeling any of the following:

  • Frustration that the economy and budgets remain challenged?
  • Exhaustion from working hard just to stay afloat?
  • Dismay that it may take two more years just to get back to where you were two years ago?

If so, you are not alone. So why do I believe that it is time to choose the attitude of optimism for the second half of 2010? Not because I have a crystal ball that significantly better economic conditions are just around the corner, because I don’t. It’s because the change in perspective from half-empty to half-full can effect your outcome more than you think.

Sports psychologists counsel their player to turnaround their performance by simply walking with their heads up instead of staring at the ground in the “woe is me” posture. This basic act has a physiological effect on the athlete that improves their mental and physical acuity, which ultimately impacts how well they perform.

The same is true in business. Focusing on assets and opportunities over shortcomings and obstacles makes it easier to see what’s possible and channel your energies in that direction. A great ambassador of this philosophy is Bert Jacobs, co-founder of Life is Good. I spent an evening with Bert at an Inc 500 event a few years ago and was impressed by how he turned a simple idea into a terrific company. If you want a bit of encouragement from him, watch the video embedded on the article page of this post.

I recently used a song at our “half time” meeting that will be my theme song for the rest of the year. Bing Crosby and Dr. John have both sung these lyrics:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.

As a marketing leader, you set the tone for your organization. Your positive energy can be contagious. Your sense of what’s possible, encouraging. Your hope for the future, inspiring. As you set out for the second half of this year, which half of the glass will you be focused on?