You have probably heard all of the clichés like, “Attitude determines altitude” or Henry Ford’s famous quote, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.” But the reality is, our friends in the news room are in a race to undermine your attitude. When the GDP grows by 1%, the growth is reported to be “sluggish,” yet when it declines by 1% it is “crashing.”
A crawl across the bottom of my TV news screen yesterday read, “One out of ten people shot by police are unarmed.” Wow, that means when a cop finds himself in a tense and dangerous situation, the odds are overwhelming the perpetrator will be armed. A whopping nine out of 10 perpetrators shot by police are armed!
A study of asthma in children revealed last week, that while the rate of asthma in children had been increasing steadily for decades, it actually started to decline over the past two years. Guess what the headline read: “Children’s Asthma Rate Continues to Increase Among the Poorest Families’.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the last good news story on the front of any national newspaper was in 1945 with the end of World War II. I, for one, refuse to join that race to the bottom.
I started in this business as a newspaper reporter in a small market. One day I happened to write two stories, each with about 11 inches of copy. One of the stories was about a factory that was shutting down, putting 250 people out of work, and the other was about a new factory that announced it was relocating to the same town and was hiring up to 1,200 people.
When the paper came off the press that day, the bad news about the plant closing captured the front page headline, while the good news story was chopped from 11 inches to 3 inches, and was buried on page seven.
When I asked the editor why a story that affected 250 people would make headlines while a story that affected 1,200 people was buried, he said, “Our readers want to know about tragic events. Good business news is really just advertising.”
I asked for a transfer from the news room to the advertising department that day, and have never looked back.
If you want to succeed in 2016, it will be up to you to seek out the good news, and see the glass as half full. I’m not asking you to play ostrich and to stick your head in the sand ignoring the realities around you. But there is no win in seeing the glass as half empty.
The headlines will make certain you are not oblivious to what is wrong in the world. But it’s up to you to focus on what is right, if you want to be happy, and if you want to succeed in 2016.
When you hear about a 6% unemployment rate, don’t forget that equates to a 94% employment rate. And considering most households have two income earners, the number of households with no one employed would be even lower than 6%.
When you are in a market that is impacted negatively by low oil prices, think about the thousands of dollars lower gas prices have put into consumer’s pockets and your economy.
If you read The Little Engine That Could when you were a kid, you know the power in being “a happy little train.” If your New Year’s resolution is to think like that happy little train, I’m betting you’ll succeed no matter what news is thrown in your path.
Wayne Ens in an international marketing consultant, business-to-business sales trainer and author, specializing in helping media companies create stronger partnerships with locally-owned businesses. Wayne has worked with radio stations, TV, newspapers, and billboard companies to help their local-direct advertisers improve their return on investment.