Being Optimistic … !

31st December 2008
Yes, that is what it says, being optimistic!

It is very easy in these extremely troubled times to write reams on this blog about all the doom and gloom and the countless issues that businesses are going to face in 2009, and there will be many … the biggest of which is probably just pure survival! However, as the New Year approaches lets just stop for a moment and consider what is needed for an optimistic outlook.

Optimism is a state of mind. You decide if you want to feel optimistic no-one else does it for you. So, if you decide to be optimistic it is likely to make you more cheerful, less stressed, and healthier for starters! Also, and most importantly you will be undoubtedly then be better equipped to deal with the turmoil that is coming your way in 2009. It is going to be very difficult make no bones about it.

I am not for one minute suggesting that you should not be realistic about the outlook, far from it. You need to act according to the conditions that we all now find ourselves in. However, doing it through optimistic eyes may just make all the difference.

Look for opportunities and new ways of doing things, for the positives that are there to be had. Many people and businesses prosper in difficult times …make your mind up to be one of them! Blow the dust off the old business plan and make it a new years resolution to rethink you business objectives both short and long term given the current market conditions. Have a brain-storming session with your team and work out what you are going to do differently in 2009 that will ensure you survive. Maybe even look at having a JUST ONE DAY session with us at Insight Associates!

Do however also leave some time for reviewing how you can make your business more robust and able to weather the storm you would be foolish not to, but look at all angles not just the retrenchment ones.

Optimists see setbacks as temporary, minor blips on their path to success. They focus on all the good things, the positive things, their successes and not on the negatives. Failures are isolated occurrences and opportunities to learn from in order to move forward. Optimists believe success is permanent and universal in that it filters through everything and brings more success with it.

A few months back I read a book called “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl, it left a profound and lasting impact on me. The book describes Dr Frankl’s experience as an inmate in Auschwitz and the unimaginable things that he lived through. Alone it makes you very grateful for everything we have. However, what was so inspiring is his tactic for survival which was based on the premise that no matter what was physically done to him and the conditions he endured no-one could take away his freedom to decide how he responded to that. This one liberty could not be stripped from him, or any human, for at the end of the day however difficult it is you decide how you respond to the factors that are around you.

So … resolve for 2009 to be positive and optimistic and face the adversities that the business environment will throw at you - remembering you decide how you will respond!

A very Happy New Year to you.

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