It’s dangerous for someone who makes a portion of his income by writing about current events to suggest the following, but I’m going to do it anyway. Here is my advice: Stop reading about, and listening to, the doom and gloom.
Controversy, scandals and crisis will always be better news than cooperation, achievements and solutions. That doesn’t mean, however, that the latter aren’t occurring just as frequently as the former.
My mom used to always tell us kids that if we believe we can, or believe we can’t, we’re probably right. There may be nothing truer or more evident than the law of the self-fulfilling prophesy.
I truly believe this is the absolute best of times; cattle producers have more opportunity to succeed than at any time in history. Some might argue the point, but consider the consequences and likely outcome if we focus on all that could go wrong. Now, what will happen if we were to focus on all that can go right?
I received an email recently that contained the following anecdotes that point out just how wrong naysayers can be:
Albert Einstein was 4 years old before he could speak.
Isaac Newton did poorly in school and was considered “unpromising.”
Beethoven’s music teacher once said, “As a composer, he is hopeless.”
When Thomas Edison was a young boy, his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. He suggested Edison pursue a field where he might succeed by virtue of his personality.
When he was 21, F.W. Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store, but his employer wouldn’t permit him to wait on customers. He thought Woolworth “didn’t have enough sense to close a sale.”
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
- A newspaper fired Walt Disney because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
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I’m one of the truly fortunate people. I love what I do for a living — working with the land, cattle and horses, and doing it with my family. I’ve stumbled onto some absolute truths during my time on this earth. However, few of them would be more important than the one that says you, and you alone, choose your attitude. I’m not always successful at doing so, but I try to live that piece of advice.
It isn’t the circumstances that matter, but how you respond to them. And if we’re honest with ourselves, things are probably better than they seem.
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