I found this interesting interactive New York Times poll, on the outlook people have about jobs, the economy, next generation’s future, and people’s spending plans for next year. I know I’m torturing myself by reading these things but I came upon it and found something remarkable and wanted to share.
The interactive poll is a cool way to visualize how people are feeling these days. You click on the question and then the images move from one side of the board to the other based on their feeling of either “Bad” or “Good”. You can also slice it by looking at only “Unemployed” or “Women”, etc.
So I sliced it by “Unemployed” and “Next generations’ job prospects”. The results: as I expected most are feeling “Bad” but to my surprise, there were a handful who responded “Good”. But I what I found remarkable is this one guy all alone on the right side of this graphic who felt, “Excited”!
He has a few friends who also feel good so he’s not alone but the word he used to describe his outlook was not uncertain, angry, worried or disgusted. He is an unemployed man in the northeast and he used the word, “Excited”! He appears excited about the outlook of jobs, the economy, etc., “Because there are so many new ideas floating around for new ways to make a living.” See graphic below.
Like most of the people I know these days, sometimes I feel a little worried, stressed and uncertain about the future. I feel as though you can’t count on anything anymore. OK, ok…I feel like the world has gone insane – into chaos!!!
But what’s this guy have that I don’t? How can he and others feel “Good”, when they are unemployed right now?
When I first looked at this poll, I focused on the bad. You can’t help it. It smacks you in the face. The number of times you see the following words, you can’t help but feel the same: uncertain, worried, stressed, concerned, discouraged. But then I realized something about myself – I get carried away with the insanity and at times follow the herd mentality. I tend to generally accept majority opinion unless I feel really passionate about countering that sentiment.
I realized that for me to embrace the chaos that is all around me – at work, at home – I have to change my outlook. For now, I have a job – this guy doesn’t. He is unemployed and he’s “Excited”! And the only difference between his attitude and mine seems to be that he is choosing his attitude and I am allowing others to choose mine.
I believe that for me to keep my sanity in these uncertain times and feel less worried or anxious, I have to remind myself that I have a choice. I need to choose my own outlook because it is mine. My attitude will not come to me by a gift from above but from within myself. Even if I am alone standing on the right side of this board of life. I have to choose to embrace the chaos. Because I know that there are people out there who in uncertain times can achieve extraordinary things.
The passing of Steve Jobs was a reminder that there are people out there who choose to think differently. He was that guy all the way on the “Good” side of the board who defined himself by being a visionary when everyone else was a follower. Like most, I was inspired by Steve Jobs because he chose to be positive and took action to bring his ideas to reality. He put purpose to work, said YES – why not? His speeches, his products and his actions inspired me to realize that you can simplify complex things so that it makes us feel good.
Life is good. In the midst of uncertainty and chaos, I need to remind myself each and every day that it is a gift that you only get once. The world is full of possibilities that I just need to discover by following my 8 Rules. There is only one Steve Jobs. He will be missed by the world. But I also realize that the unknown guy on the “Good” side of this graphic who is “Excited” about the future could be me.