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Don’t Listen to Economists – Learn from Pilots

November 22, 2011

If the foggy weather and endless reports of economic Armageddon are getting you down, you are not alone. But snap out of it! Negativity is bad for business, our health and our relationships.

Choose Your Attitude

Being in business at present can be a bit like flying in fog but one thing is certain if we don’t keep an eye on our attitude we, like the disorientated pilot, will crash into the ground.

Whilst bad news might sell newspapers a negative attitude is sure to cost your business. For many our attitude is like a virus we pick up from those around us. Both good and bad attitudes are infectious and in the same way that a moody colleague will lower morale an upbeat team mate with a ‘can do’ approach will encourage your team to brighten up and tackle the task ahead.

I love the story of the elderly lady who looked in the mirror one morning. She had three remaining hairs on her head, and being a positive soul, she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she braided her three hairs, and she had a great day.

Some days later, looking in the mirror one morning, preparing for her day, she saw that she had only two hairs remaining. “Hmm, two hairs… I fancy a centre parting today.” She duly parted her two hairs, and as ever, she had a great day.

A week or so later, she saw that she had just one hair left on her head. “One hair huh…,” she mused, “I know, a pony-tail will be perfect.” And again she had a great day.
The next morning she looked in the mirror. She was completely bald.

“Finally bald huh,” she said to herself, “How wonderful! I won’t have to waste time doing my hair any more..”

It seems to me that the people I meet who are happiest are those who choose their outlook. They know that things will go wrong during their day but they make the choice to be happy, to see the good around them and leave the past in the past, never letting what’s happened determine their happiness. Invariably this seems to have a positive effect on their career and success.

A flying instructor, when explaining the blue and brown attitude indicator in the cockpit once said to me, “Your attitude determines your altitude”. A nose up attitude and the aircraft climbs higher, a nose down attitude and the plane descends. In foggy conditions pilots loose all sense of where they are and so must use the attitude indicator to fly the aeroplane as the view through the windows is a white out.

Being in business at present can be a bit like flying in fog but one thing is certain if we don’t keep an eye on our attitude we, like the disorientated pilot, will crash into the ground.

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