Misery Monday, Reframed

The holidays are over, the days are dark, the crowds are coughing, the economy is creaking and the weather is freezing. Welcome to 2009.

A Happy New Year? Not according to the articles I happened to read on the way into work; clearly the public has developed an appetite for pessimism, anxiety and melancholy. Perhaps that's what shifts newspapers these days: the press telling you whilst you've never had it so bad, some people have it worse. Ha, suckers.

Which made it all the more refreshing to stumble across this article by Boris Johnson, former panel-show celebrity and incumbent Mayor of London. It takes very little political talent to tell a miserable audience how tough times are, especially when the Government's recent credit-driven fecklessness has been so obvious. But criticism doesn't solve anything, it takes a more mature and courageous speaker to encourage that same depressed audience into seeing the opportunities that lie beyond the gloom.

The 'psychological trick' Boris refers to is Reframing, and is essentially a technique for positive thinking, the ability to come up with the most positive interpretation of any given situation. If only someone had taught me how to reframe at school, rather than arcane algebra or spooky mumbo-jumbo about Jesus. Fortunately, I can now reframe my regret: it's never too late to learn.

So, despite the cold and the dark and the value of the pound, it's still a privilege to live in such interesting times. Happy New Year.


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