Saturday, 16 May 2009

Green Shoots or Grey Roots It’s Your Choice…

I know which one I’d go for if I had the choice. Given the last two years of news, grey seems to be the colour and mood over Great Britain.

Personally, having passed the grey roots phase in that my hair is mostly grey, I’ve decided to focus on green shoots, and I might add, not only as far as the economy is concerned. It is said that, in part, worry causes us to go grey. That seems to be particularly true for those who are considered too young to have grey hair. I would imagine that over the last two years grey roots have increased exponentially across all age groups in the UK. In the worry department, it seems as though the media has had its way with us. Like the food labels that say ‘May contain nuts’ I think that every newspaper should add that to their front pages. I also think that TV and radio broadcasters that are responsible for communicating the news should post a 'May contain nuts' warning in advance of their newscasts.

I don’t know about you, but the mixed messages we're being bombarded with by the news media is driving me nuts. In fact, I think some of the editors who give the okay to broacasting and printing these mixed-messages are either nuts, or intent on driving us nuts. I recently read in a quality Sunday broadsheet that the housing market was improving significantly. As I turned the pages and reached the Business section, I read that house prices were still falling and had a long way to go. That’s just nuts. If I had any hair that wasn't grey, reading that and other gloomy reporting, might have just done the trick.

So, if you want to prevent grey roots sprouting, concentrate on the green shoots.

This week's Telegraph announced: “The worst of the British recession could be over, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggested yesterday, in its latest snapshot of the global economy.” That same newspaper leaked the MPs’ shenanigans over their expenses on a slow-drip daily basis. And while this news is enough to cause more grey roots, we really don’t need to spend as much time as the media insist we do focusing on it. Of course, the behaviour of these individuals erodes our confidence in politicians and makes us all very angry. What can we do about it? Not very much, except worry about our public officials, which is likely to cause even more grey roots to emerge. Stephen Fry told the BBC that the debate over MPs’ expenses is “not that important, it really isn’t.” Whilst, in part, I agree with Mr. Fry in that as a nation the challenges we are currently facing are far more serious than the MPs' mindless missteps, it is something that needs to fixed, now!

Back to more green shoots and less grey roots. The huge amount of print and news space the MPs’ disgraceful behaviour is taking up is diverting us from reading or listening to the good news or the kind of news that's likely to occupy our minds in a more helpful fashion. We have no direct control over the MPs’, nor do we have any control over what may or may not happen to them. Okay, we can all be furious, disappointed and frustrated about it; a lot of good that will do us. Or, we can ‘let that go’ and focus on those things upon which we can effect.

For instance, how we communicate with others will have an effect on our relationships, our businesses and indirectly the economy. Focusing on the positive is pivotal to the way we feel about life and ourselves, it also significantly affects our levels of confidence. And if the economic historians know what they are talking about, confidence is one of the key factors to economic recovery. So why don't we all work together to restore our confidence and remember we're in this together? And for those of you, who don't see it this way, remember, like it or not, we are in this together. As Tax payers, we have all become shareholders in the banks. Now that’s what I’d describe as being in it together.

Ask yourself what you can do to effect positive change in your life and in your business. Be focused on what you can do, rather than what you can't do. I attended a personal development seminar a few weeks ago. The one thing I was left with afer the event was focusing on what is working in my life, particularly when I feel as though I’ve been thrown a curve ball. When we focus on our good fortune, we become more optimistic, upbeat and as a bonus, people tend to enjoy our company more. What’s not to like about that? In addition, with the emergence of these good feelings we tend to feel more empowered and therefore become inspired to take positive actions. We think less and do more.

So, consider what is working for you in your life, that recognition alone will enable you to feel more optimistic. Then, use those good feelings to do something positive. Perhaps invite a junior member of your team to lunch. Send an email mail-out with some upbeat news. Choose not to complain about anything for one day. And on days you feel less happy, think of five things you are grateful for. These strategies and more for feeling better about ourselves and the world around us are tried and tested; they have been designed by eminent experts in the field of human behaviour and psychology. In my personal experience coaching men and women over the last seventeen years, these strategies have proved to be highly effective.

I do hope that green shoots begin to sprout up in your life. Please remember, if you sew the seeds and nurture their growth, green shoots will surely blossom into something that you and others will enjoy.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hi Malcolm. Loved the analogy between 'hair' and the 'economy'! Especially as my hair used to reach my shoulders!! :) Great photos too!