Sunday, October 19, 2008

700 Billion Smiles

I will reserve judgement on the US Government's $700 billion bailout plan until we see how well it works. But in the meantime there is something that all of us can do which is as important, if not more. I call it 700 billion smiles.

One of the core issues that the economy has is not about money, at least not directly. It is about confidence. I am seeing this issue every day -- your business may not have felt any impact from a slowdown in the general economy, but all this bad news is weighing you down. You might feel depression, anxiety, or just be calmly postponing decisions about purchases or investments -- waiting to see how things turn out.

But those behaviors, compounding across the world economy, are bringing about the recession just as certainly as the shortage of capital for commercial paper.

Optimism is an enormously powerful economic stimulant. Pessimism an equally powerful retardent. What we all need to do is rebuild our own confidence, and help those around us. That is where the smiles come in.

First of all, smiling will make YOU feel better. Really. The corners of your mouth pushing upwards actually tricks your brain into releasing chemicals which improve your mood. Try it.

And secondly, smiling is contagious. If people see you smiling, they will find themselves wanting to smile as well.

It's a powerful tribal behavior which we can tap into and help improve the mood, thereby confidence, and by extension the economy.

They didn't call it the great DEPRESSION for nothing. Now get out there and start smiling!

-- Post From My iPhone