The Business Power of Positive Thinking

We’re reaching the point where people cast off the thinking of the 20th century, and start to form belief structures for the 21st. As we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century enveloped in gloom, perhaps it’s time to get all Pollyanna on each other. I don’t mean blind hiding-your-head-in-the-sand optimism. I’m talking about looking on the bright side instead of at all that murky despair that spews out daily from just about every corner.

We’re reaching the point where people cast off the thinking of the 20th century, and start to form belief structures for the 21st.

As we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century enveloped in gloom, perhaps it’s time to get all Pollyanna on each other.

I don’t mean blind hiding-your-head-in-the-sand optimism. I’m talking about looking on the bright side instead of at all that murky despair that spews out daily from just about every corner.

There are plenty of cynics or wounded around that will point out everything that’s going wrong. These people always rise to the fore when times are tumultuous. In business, they’re the people who look at spreadsheets and see nothing but problems. Usually, they advance the same old solutions – cut costs, chop staff, lower prices, continue doing what you do — only cheaper — and wait until things right themselves.

I’m suggesting that, instead, we should concentrate on what’s going right.

And the main thing that’s right to me is that we’re reaching that point where people cast off the thinking of the 20th century, and start to form belief structures for the 21st.

William Dunk, a very erudite consultant in New York, suggests in his latest newsletter that there is so much gloom around now because people have finally realized that the 20th century is over.

This can be cataclysmic, he adds. Many feel adrift and frightened because they don’t know what the 21st holds in store. Stuck in old thinking, they have simply run out of ideas and so hide in their holes waiting for it to blow over.  

Yet, I see evidence all around that this isn’t true for everybody. Advanced networking and communications tools create endless (and global) conversations about the future. As a result, many entrepreneurs are producing breathtaking ideas that may take root over the next decade. Some are adapting old concepts for the new century; others are coming up with entirely new business constructs. There’s an explosion of creativity happening beneath the clouds.

This gives me much hope, and if that makes me a Pollyanna, so be it.

It’s better than wallowing in fear.