I’m not talking about swine flu. I’m talking about the wrong kind of ideavirus. The kind of negative thinking that’s highly contagious – and highly dangerous.
Fortunately, Lateral Action columnist Rajesh Setty has both the diagnosis and prescription in his latest book: Upbeat – cultivating the right attitude to thrive in tough times.
Raj points out that the current recession can be an unmitigated nightmare, a challenge, or even a blessing in disguise – depending on our attitude to the challenges you face.
Every day, a positive attitude can be either boosted or damaged by apparently inconsequential conversations. The words we exchange are as invisible as the tiny germs that spread disease through casual contact.
As with any epidemic, containing it requires each of us to be vigilant:
Any single conversation has the potential to make a BIG difference in your life. We sat in back of your mind, think about the conversations you have had TODAY. You will be shocked at what you learn.
For the last few days, most of my phone calls start with some variation of the following:
1. How is the market treating you?
2. What do you think about where the market is going?
3. The economy is VERY bad, don’t know what else will occur …
Too many conversations like this, and we risk starting a ‘sympathy exchange movement’:
The “sympathy exchange” movement is in full swing. You may have already joined that movement or be tempted to join it sooner than later. The criteria for joining this movement involves nothing more than actively giving and receiving sympathy during these tough times. There are no fees to be paid – just your precious time to actively participate and recruit others into the movement!
These passages are typical of Raj’s style – hard-hitting wisdom delivered with a smile. Like all the best teachers, he shows us where we are going wrong without being judgmental, and shows us a practical, achievable alternative.
Raj prescribes four key elements of an upbeat attitude:
- The Discipline – being determined, flexible and accountable for our own situation
- The Network – building our networks through generosity and gratitude
- The Strategy – re-prioritizing ruthlessly to solve core problems and open up new opportunities
- The Action – doing what it takes to succeed
The main text of the book is followed by the ‘Upbeat DIY Handbook’, with specific practical suggestions for putting each of these principles into action.
If you doubt whether attitude really makes a difference, check out this video (found via Career Renegade) featuring people in the advertising industry who have responded to redundancy by treating it as an opportunity.
Raj’s book is short, sharp and likely to have a long-lasting impact. It’s one of those books you read quickly but keep returning to. It’s been several weeks since I first read it, but the ideas keep popping into my mind when I’m facing a tricky situation or having a ‘bad day’.
The cover is what I call Mr. Happy yellow. It makes me think of sunshine and vitamin C. Exactly the kind of thing to boost your mental immune system.
Get your copy now and put a ray of sunshine in your pocket as you approach the challenges you face today. Or better yet, order several copies and start spreading the antidote to the ideavirus, by handing them out to your colleagues, customers and friends.