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Stop Listening To The Doom And Gloom

It's dangerous for someone who makes a portion of their income from writing about current events to suggest the following but I'm going to do it anyway. 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 isn't occurring just as frequently as the former.

This week, I opened up an e-mail newsletter. The first few snippets covered the fires and drought, the disasters that continue to dominate our markets -- BSE, the potential of an avian influenza pandemic, exploding carcass weights, and the wall of fed cattle expected to hit the market in early summer, among others. There even was a piece on the economy that admitted all the traditional indicators are surprisingly strong but somehow something still isn't quite right and we need to be careful.

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 evident than the law of the self-fulfilling prophesy.

I truly believe this is the absolute best of times; cattlemen 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 e-mail recently that contained the following anecdotes that point out just how wrong naysayers usually are: Einstein was four 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, and suggested he 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 would not permit him to wait on customers because he "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." -- Troy Marshall