Following on from my previous blog which was inspired by Led Zeppelin – I thought I would follow the theme by quoting another major musical influence in my life Prince Rogers Nelson (Prince, The artist formerly known as Prince). Prince to some was overtly sexual, weird… but I lean towards the fact that he was producing music and words that were way before his time. He embraced true multicultural society (to quote an old mate of mine – thanks, Ali). He wrote a song called 1999 in 1982… pretty visionary I would suggest!
Prince also wrote a song called Positivity – one of my favourites and I think this word is somewhat missing today.
Take the media for an example – I don’t know about you but all I seem to read about in the press is negative stuff!
Take Politics – we are in the middle of a major political campaign here in Australia and we hear a lot of negatives about what each party is planning but not a lot about positive growth plans or clear strategies to take the country to surplus.
Take the average work environment – cutting costs, no budgets for Learning and Development next year, so let’s take a “plus sign today”, thanks Prince for making me stop and think. We should embrace the positives in our life!
If you have a bad day at work or your boss has asked to do something you don’t like, take a “plus sign” and be thankful that you have a job and you are getting paid – a huge population in the world would be grateful to be in your position. If you covet that new SUV or house with a pool, bring yourself back down to earth and ask yourself a simple question:
What really matters?
If you have a roof over your head and a comfortable bed then look at this as a positive. I lived in Dubai for 4 years where you see extreme wealth everyday (some of it real, some of it assumed) but every day you see supercars on the road; you see high-end fashion items and wealth is displayed openly. Let me share with you one of my overriding memories I have of Dubai if I may. After I had what I felt was a bad day at work, I jumped in a taxi to get home. The taxi driver asked me how my day was. After a rant to a total stranger about nothing, in particular, I asked him the question – How is your day? His answer went something like this:
“My friend – my day is always good, I wake up, which is always a good start; I have a job which enables me to feed my family. I see them every 6 months for 2 weeks but I know they are safe. I have a bed which I can sleep in and enough food and water to survive – therefore my day is good!”
This hit home big time and I was very humbled by this guy (particularly as I later found out that after a 12 hour shift he goes back to a dormitory in the middle of the desert with no air conditioning. Omar was wearing a huge smile and laughing at the traffic and impatient drivers around him (those of you who live or have lived in Dubai will know what I mean). His attitude was positive and made a lasting impression on me; he was positive in the face of adversity; all that mattered to him was that he had enough to survive. He had far less than me but was happy.
His answer has obvious relevance to our personal lives but I also think this is really important in our working lives, to realise what really matters to the organisation you work for. Ask your boss one question:
What really matters?
You might find the answer intriguing – hopefully, you will get a simple answer such as revenue or teamwork, but my guess is it will be far more complex than a one-word answer.
The world is complex, it is tough. Our personal and working lives are changing and blending into one – they are both uncertain and this will not stop but positivity and resilience in my humble opinion go a long way, so in the words of the late, great, Prince Rogers Nelson:
“Hold on to your soul, we got a long way to go…
Positivity… have you had your plus sign today?”
Stephen Cushion – General Manager; Consulting