There can be no doubt following the recent Federal Budget we will receive the usual barrage of hysteria from our media, telling us to prepare for the worst, as our future is almost certainly tainted .At the same time both sides of politics will serve up a menu of defence and attack run along party lines which only perpetuates this cycle of negativity of which we are now embroiled. The public have long since tuned out to their respective messages but they persist in the earnest belief they will win the day. The question we should be asking ourselves” Are we wasting our time in trying to establish optimism or is it all too hard”?

In an event last week I was kindly invited to give a guest lecture to a group of undergraduates at a local university about business and my career.

What message would I send to these aspiring young adults, give up, you are wasting your time trying to forge out a career?, after all they hear the same messages we all receive through the normal channels of media, that we are doomed to a future life of purgatory. Or should I paint a picture of future opportunities which can fulfil their dreams and aspirations?

Well the result of my conundrum was really quite easy,”Tell the truth”, give both sides of the story and a balanced perspective… The road on occasions will be rocky and uneven there will be times when they will want to give up. They will find a degree of resilience they never thought they possessed and most will come through it with achievements both in life and in business. Their need to adopt an attitude of self actualisation will be imperative to reach their goals responsibility cannot be laid at the door of anyone else.

In fact this is the same message I give to business every week; we have a choice either management portrays a perpetual cycle of struggle or work to inspire its people to create new opportunities for themselves and the business.

From my observations gleaned by speaking to a wide range of companies and organisations people are expressing negative sentiments and showing real signs of despondency. Issues of self worth, ambition and motivation should be of concern to us all. This is far cry from the traditional notion of Australia and its people; it appears we are not willing to take a more positive view of our future.

Without displaying a sense of perspective we as a country will not prosper, we need leaders on a number levels to break this very damaging situation.

Today leadership is touted in many guises; surely the simplicity of getting our people to adopt a more positive attitude is one of its purest forms. As once uttered by the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton almost one hundred years ago “Optimism is true moral courage”

Truer words have never been spoken!

* Postscript to my article on Are we wasting our time promoting optimism?
On Saturday morning i visited my local Telstra Shop and was approached by a young man , who i did not recognise.
He informed me he had attended the lecture and left inspired by the section on resilience as he took strength from the message, he told me he had been refused 8 times trying to obtain a management training position but will keep on trying, I was humbled.

This is why we are not wasting our time!!!!!!!!