Thursday, April 1, 2010

How Optimism Can Fix the Recession

Photo: Freedom Communications
Hello Optimists,

I was reading some articles on CNBC yesterday and one rather promising headline read "Consumer Confidence Rebounds in March on Job Hopes"...and since I like reading about the possibilities of our economy recovering (but who doesn't?) I thought I'd read more about it. It only took a few lines for me to see why consumers had a renewed confidence, and to my surprise, it was because of optimism. "U.S. consumer confidence rebounded in March, helped by a slight increase in optimism about the labor market..." See that? I never really thought optimism could help out of a recession, but I guess it's actually working. People are more confident about the job market recently, which is a good thing, and we'll see after Friday's job report whether the employment report matches our prediction.

So this got me thinking more about optimism and how it can have an effect on our economy. These two things really don't seem to have much connection... positivity and the economy? Kind of like an oxymoron. But the more I thought about it, the more I think they really might have a connection. (Before I begin my reasoning, please know that I am in no way a "Suze Orman" or an Economist for that matter, so please take these comments lightly, don't hold to me them, and don't laugh if I am thinking in completely "elementary" terms!) Anyway, so back to thinking positively about the economy...thinking about stocks... what makes them go up? Well, if people have confidence in a company or if that company is coming out with a new product that consumers believe will be very profitable. In other words, if the people think good things are going to come of a company or it's products, they invest in it, the stock price goes up, shareholders profit, and more people are inclined to join the market. Take Verizon for example: news was just let out that iPhone users will not only be limited to those on a plan from AT&T after Apple released plans for the phone's future availability to Verizon users. What happened? Verizon's stock spiked when the news was released. How about consumer demand for products? If consumers have high expectations for something and think it will be successful, demand for that product increases dramatically. More people will be buying, businesses will be earning more money and getting more business, and will eventually need to hire more people! I feel like I could be writing a paper for an Economics class, so I don't want to bore you anymore than I probably already have. But see what I mean? If we put our confidence behind things and think positively, problems will be solved and good things will happen.

Okay, I hear you, enough about the economy already! That's it, I promise. But I hope you were able to see the connection there. Although these poor economic conditions have been lingering for a couple years now and things were pretty rough for a while, we need to stay confident that it will turn around. Our optimism does have an effect on how things will turn out. When I started thinking about this post, I remembered this quote and thought it would be perfect to feature....
How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself. So always think positively. –Norman Vincent Peale
This is very true, and applies to all aspects of our lives. We're always going to be facing problems, which is unfortunate, but we know it's something we can't avoid. But, if we can acknowledge that we have the power to change the outcome just by how we approach it, then we're really on to something. A problem can be blown out of proportion and be made into a much bigger deal than it really needs to be if you start thinking about it in a negative way. How we approach resolutions to problems is also very important; if we go in confident that things can change and that the end result will be good, then the "problem" will be more like a temporary roadblock, not a three-car pile up.

So remember that though sometimes problems arise in our lives that we think are the worst possible thing that can happen, we need to remain positive about its outcome. Being able to control your emotions and change your thinking to "the bright side" will definitely have a positive impact on the result of the problem. It's hard to do, but I bet you'll see that once you start changing your thinking, things will turn out even better than you could have imagined.

Keep Smiling,

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