The Optimist Creed…Are You under Positivity Illusion?

Between April and September 2011, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that small businesses in the US became less optimistic about future prospects. This was visible in the Small Business Optimism Index that fell 1.8 points from 89.9.

positive illusionsThis lack of optimism was due to small businesses weakening expectations in the coming few months. The chief economist at NIFB, William Dunkelberg said that “with such a dim outlook, owners are not going to do a lot of hiring or expanding”. Not only the NFIB, the Grant Thornton Business Optimism Index also shows a similar result based on three criteria –US economy, business growth and employment.

If you are in the US and a small business entrepreneur, you are perhaps going through a similar situation yourself. With the US credit rating deflated and the debt situation equally worse, small businesses are finding it harder to sustain themselves.

In this situation, when people were asked whether you are optimistic about the future, I think they are primarily asking two questions:

  1. Is there a place for optimism in our present condition?
  1. Where do you stand in the optimism index?

Again, in conditions like this, people often become a victim of “positivity illusion” or “optimism bias”.

Optimism bias is a condition where people measure their chances of experiencing a good outcome or bad outcome against others. By a good outcome, one generally means getting a job, financial security, healthy kids and a successful marriage.

By a bad outcome, one generally means health problems, loss of jobs, marriages breaking apart and other things.

SO, when people ask what you think about the future, they are measuring their own chances of faring either good or bad against the other person’s chances. It is natural human behavior to think like this; however, in the long run, it will create problems.

Whenever there is any problem, a person first thinks of securing themselves and then thinks about the well being of other people.

In an economy that the US is facing now, it is necessary to give up this positivity illusion, that is, worry less about how you as an individual is faring and be more concerned about the community you live in… because if the community is prosperous, you are prosperous.

I know that it is difficult for small businesses to survive in a turbulent economy but one does have to make the best of what they have; however, one should never be overoptimistic. It is good to be optimistic, but you should never be under the illusion that everything is fine nor should you be overoptimistic – either way, you will have a false sense of well being.

Then, let me ask you —

Do you have reasons to be optimistic in the current economic downturn?

There are, according to me. Even though there are many empty glasses strewn around, there are glasses that are half-full, which should be inspiration enough for you. The glasses half-full teach a very important lesson – the possibility of improvement.

The present recession is a major indication of how human folly can be very dangerous for us. Economic projections of the last few years have done us more harm than good.

It is not that today’s economic conditions will have a cataclysmic effect on us and we will change for the better suddenly, but there is always a tiny light of hope. HOPE is what we humans survive on.

We can only learn from our follies and learn to change.

What can we change?

  • We can learn to be positively optimistic, without being under illusions.
  • We can learn to live frugally.
  • We can learn to save money.
  • We can learn to volunteer for the betterment of the community.
  • We can learn to use sustainable goods.
  • We can learn to use natural sources of energy.
  • We can learn to become more financially responsible.
  • We can learn to care for others.

If you think optimistically, it is good for you. Just make sure your optimism does not rub others the wrong way. Don’t be overoptimistic and optimistically illusioned. Keep your thoughts balanced and try to analyze your conditions intelligently.

Know what optimism is and how your perception defines you here.

The Optimist Creed…Your Perception Defines You

Mike and Jake were two agents working in a shoe manufacturing company. One day the boss called them to his cabin and asked them whether they would interested to visit Africa for few days and prepare a report analyzing the business opportunities in Africa. Both Mike and Jake were brilliant marketers and they readily agreed. They spent 30 days touring the tribal areas and in the end, both presented different marketing reports.

  1. Mike concluded that there is no market for shoes because the tribal people don’t wear shoes.
  2. Jake concluded that there is a huge potential for shoes because the tribal people don’t wear shoes.

The Optimist Creed Your Perception Defines YouYou see, even though Mike and Jake agreed on one common thing, that is, the tribal people don’t wear shoes, their perception of the situation is altogether different – Mike says there is no potential, while Jake says there is huge potential. Who is the optimist here?

If one is so naïve to follow Mike’s perception, the business is doomed.

The success of a business lies in your perception. The difference between a successful online home based business and a non-successful one will always depend on your perception to identify opportunities. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking!

Positive thinking makes you competent. A not-so-positive thinker simply does not have the drive and perseverance to handle business. When you have a positive perception, you can actually visualize the path to success and you are able to identify advantageous opportunities.

A positive thinker is also an optimist. Seeing the bright side of things is not everyone’s forte.

As a newbie in a home based online business, you have to readily face the demons of your own creation. This means you should not treat your business casually and work really hard to make it a success.

  • Your positive thinking will motivate you to attain goals and ambition you never thought was possible.
  • Your positive thinking will get you through bad days.
  • You positive thinking will always motivate you to see the brighter side of things.

When you are able to identify the streak of positivity, the dash of optimism and calculative perception, you can automatically make your home based online business dream come true.

Further, building a positive perception is not only about YOU; your positive perception will reflect and benefit your business decisions as well. Like you, there are thousands of small business owners trying to establish their foothold but the only factor to distinguish between them and you is your personal and business perception.

As in the story above, you need to have the perception and optimism of Jake to succeed.

Every minor and major decision you take about your business is the result of your perceptions that define you.

Beyond Inspiration…

If you want a major dose of inspiration, check out this video…I feel it’s beyond inspiration. There are no words that can describe what you will take away from it.Beyond Inspiration

Whenever you start feeling frustrated, depressed, lonely, overwhelmed or any other negative emotion, remember this video.

You CAN get back up when you think you can’t…Watch and see.