TBS.11.26.15It’s easy these days to get carried away with the news. There’s shootings, war, terrorism, disease and injustice all over the front page, blasting out on the television, radio and internet. It’s designed to scare you and make you want to read, listen and watch more.

The media capitalizes on our natural self- preservation instincts and the bad news can become down right addicting. But in the process something else is happening. We are getting conditioned to expecting bad news. And that conditioning can easily make us less likely to look for and celebrate what’s going on that is right.

We actually play a game with the news every day. It’s called “Find the good news!” We each take a section of the paper or news site over breakfast and hunt for the good news. First one to find it wins! We have to really dig because it’s usually hidden in the back somewhere. Yes, it’s quite challenging and some days we have to settle for a department store ad as the only “good” news.

But we often find 2 or 3 great uplifting pieces of information. It’s not only better for digestion but it gives us some hope and a positive attitude to start our day. If the bad news will really affect our personal security, you can bet we will hear about it from our friends, family, neighbors or colleagues. So we don’t worry about missing something important to our survival.

Today was especially challenging, but Bonnie won the ”Good News” game with an article she found on the back pages where a team at the University of California in Irvine may have discovered a way to eliminate malaria. Malaria! The mosquito born disease responsible for half the deaths in the history of man! Last month Michael won with “Flowing Water Discovered on Mars!” Also in the back pages.

We also face daily personal and professional frustrations that can affect our outlook. To keep ourselves pumped up, we keep a log of all the milestones we have achieved toward each goal. When we get a little depressed, we go back and read the litany of our progress. Never mind if there was no progress one week. Taking the larger view of history, we regain our positive perspective that we are in fact making progress.

We use these and other techniques to prevent us from getting into the victim mindset where we view ourselves as helpless and powerless to make a difference or a change.

We are convinced from our own personal experience, that when you acknowledge what you want when you see or hear it, you get more of it! Why? Because you are conditioning yourself to expect solutions and you are looking for them. That expectation can keep you going through the difficulties and challenges. You keep a sharp eye out for solutions.

You are less likely to overlook a solution just because it wasn’t a shining diamond presented in a velvet box. In fact it’s often a mud-covered rock that conceals an uncut diamond that requires you to work with it. Maybe you catch a glimpse of a tiny spark of light out of the muddy rock. But you are tuned in. You see it because you are looking for it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! More of what you are grateful for is coming your way!

Probably the greatest way to condition yourself to expect solutions and to tune in to opportunities is to acknowledge what you already have and give thanks. You can’t give thanks without recognition, appreciation, and a wish for whatever good news you find to endure.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Here’s to getting more of what we are thankful for!

Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.