Failure is Not an Option: The power of positive thinking

 If you have ever traveled around the world some things become very evident.  America is clearly a superior nation, because our individual freedoms have taken the shackles off our product output, and driven a yearning to expand our marketplace.  However, there is a downside, without a proper philosophy normally sanctioned by some functioning religion; those same benefits can become a terrible vice.  For instance a wealthy and successful man can have a complete meltdown if his neighbor has the latest Mercedes and he doesn’t, or his wife may become bitter as she ages because our tendency toward shiny and new often causes us to reject old and traditional.  This neurosis presents itself in American society with a voracity leaving the general mental health of our nation at a detrimental level of dysfunction.  I’m sad to say that most people I know are like this in American society.

I am not however.  I am an eternal optimist that doesn’t believe in surrender or allowing the mind to become depressed—about anything.  I typically carry everyone on my back toward a goal, and for many years I have been fine with that type of approach. The net result is that second-handers ride in my wake and I’m fine with that until they get the funny idea that they are equal to me, and then try to step out in front and take charge.  That is where I have to draw the line.  Largely, my support of Donald Trump is due to this trait, he like me is a bottomless pit of optimism, and I think it’s more important to have that type of character in the White House than any other aspect of an election.  The world unfortunately is controlled by depressed characters—these second-handers, and it really does need to stop.  They need to learn their place, and stay in the wake of their clear superiors.  Second-handers are not equal to out-front personalities especially those with great optimism.  Optimism is one of the greatest traits a nation, a company or a household can possess.

I recently traveled to and from Japan and many of my intellectual thoughts about optimism was confirmed.  They have a national approach that very much embodies a can do optimism that is a direct off-shoot of their Shinto Buddhism as a religion.  It shows up in their work, their businesses, and their entertainment— in every aspect of their culture.  It is amazing how much the Japanese people do given so little resources on the island that they reside on.  A lot of that comes from their remarkably positive attitudes.  They are very productive and happy to be.  They don’t throw away their elderly and most levels of their society have a playfulness about them that joyfully participates in the sorrows of the world—which is clearly a Buddhist attribute.  I had read stacks of books on Japanese culture and by default over many years have adopted my own brand of Shinto Buddhism that does not export the responsibility to some third-party spirit residing outside of our four-dimensional space.  There is a science to positive thinking that works so long as that is the objective, and that type of optimism is the missing ingredient that America needs most in a capitalist society.

Most people think I’m insane when I insist on certain strategies in business, but as many have witnessed who have hung around to gather up the results, I always know what I’m doing.  People who have been second-handers to me long enough know that I always end up coming out on top, and that in my long history, failure has never taken root.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t felt the tinge of detrimental failure.  It has certainly knocked on my door many times, but I have never yielded to it in any fashion.  I have always been able to find the silver lining and turn it to gold eventually—and that is largely due to my overwhelming approach to a positive attitude.  Over time I have become used to having nobody around me share this trait, so I am accustomed to functioning completely alone without any input from others.  For me personally, it was nice to deal with the Japanese people in general because when it comes to living an honorable existence with a positive flare, they get it.  For instance, it was late at night in Kobe, Japan—actually, last week.  I didn’t bring any tooth paste with me because honestly, I didn’t want any trouble with the TSA in America—because they are such a bunch of scardy cats about everything—typical unionized slobs who panic over every little raindrop.  I was at my hotel and needed some toothpaste to brush my teeth with.  So I ran down to Chinatown where nobody spoke much English to get some supplies.  I found a little store open that late and I found some tooth paste even though I couldn’t read a word on the box as to what it was.  I could decipher enough to figure out that it was toothpaste.  Taking it to the counter there was just one other person in the entire store and it looked like he was a Chinese-Japanese guy in his middle sixties.  All I was buying was that little tube of toothpaste.  I intended to use the whole tube before traveling back to the United States, so it wasn’t much.  The man was very pleasant and treated the purchase like it was a block of gold that I had placed on the countertop.  When our transaction was completed he gave me a deep bow in thanks and we parted ways.

The cashier in that Chinatown store didn’t have to bow to me; there was nobody else around to judge his behavior.  And he didn’t have to be so thankful of a small tube of toothpaste purchased at 11:30 PM on a weeknight when it looked like there wasn’t going to be much else sold to justify him being open that late.  Yet he had a marvelous attitude because to him that toothpaste was equal to a bottle of liquor or a pack of meat sold for a celebration.  When you live that way day in and day out for your entire life, you tend to outlast whatever troubles your mind, and a productive outcome can eventually be expected.

Donald Trump has that same type of optimism and I think America needs that a lot more than any other aspect of our society—especially after that trip to Japan.  I would say that I think having a positive attitude is more important than legal technicalities, or any other learned behavior passed down from mentor to apprentice within the American framework.  I value that positive attitude above all other traits.  Too often America have limited themselves into reporting what they can’t do which I find disgusting.  I want to hear what someone “can do.”  I don’t want to hear come out of anybody’s mouth what they “cannot do” especially if they haven’t tried before reporting.  Finding excuses not to do something is not appropriate in a free market capitalist society.  The sky should be the limit.

I learned to be the way I am by Clare Chennault, the famous Flying Tiger general during World War II against the Japanese ironically.  CLICK TO REVIEW.  Given old, outdated airplanes, very little in spare parts, and pilots more interested in profit than duty, Chennault with a small band of freedom fighters protected China from the very aggressive and agile Japanese desperate for natural resources to fuel their war. That Flying Tiger story is a great example of American ingenuity and optimism in the face of daunting odds and we have lost that spirit.  It makes me sick. I personally do not accept our current status around the world of adopting European neurosis and rejecting traditional American optimism.  That is not acceptable.

I hope that in Trump’s wake America wakes up to its potential again.  In my personal life, those who know me understand that excuses are not welcome.  You either accomplish a task, or you keep trying until you do—there is no can’t.  That is a word that I reject from the English dictionary—and I don’t use it.  And let me just say this, our nation better get their minds wrapped around the concept of achievement once again.  And for those who have been riding in my wake, you better get a grip.  If you want to play ball, you better know what you are swinging at.  When I’m in charge of things, there is only one way to swing that bat, and you better be aiming for the fences. Because failure is not an option—under any circumstances.

Rich “Cliffhanger” Hoffman


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