by Larry Patrick
Talk about a roller coaster ride this past year of 2008. Imagine the money you could have made had you been able to predict just a fraction of the things that occurred this past year.
Anyone who has more money in their savings or stock portfolios after this year has really accomplished something. Seeing the stock market plunge drastically, seeing corporations like GM going broke was beyond our scope of imagination and having to provide trillion dollar bailouts to these companies at our expense would have seemed ludicrous a year ago.
Being an optimist in troubled times like these can be difficult. We have every right to be pessimistic because of all the negative things that occurred in 2008. It was an optimist who invented the airplane and a pessimist who invented the parachute. There’s room for both but optimism must prevail.
We learn to be smarter with pessimism but we never move forward by being afraid to do so. That’s why we have to be optimistic that 2009 can be a year of making small steps forward so we can make bigger steps in the years ahead. What can we as individuals do to make things better? Try being as upbeat and positive as you can. A smile goes a long way to making friends and family feel better. Show some enthusiasm for the future. Remember, the last four letters of enthusiasm are the most important. I, A, S, M, stands for I Am Sold Myself. Believing in yourself, your country and our ability to bounce back can only bring good things in the long run. The letter “E” is also important as it stands for empathy. Put yourself in other peoples’ shoes and then see how you can best help them or assist them in changing to a positive attitude to dig themselves out of troubled times. Sure it’s simplistic but as the axiom goes, “When things get tough, the tough get going.” Pull together and help each other out will be an optimistic attitude that will move us forward. I believe it and I need you to believe it too. We can be dour and somber and depressed but it won’t solve our problems. We can be part of the problem or more importantly be a “Big Part of the Solution.” In 2009, let’s be optimistic. I’ll start it all off, by wishing you a Happy & Prosperous New Year! firstname.lastname@example.org