I Believe I Can Fly……

In this guest blog, Cloud Director Colin Millar, explores the rise and rise of the “positive mental attitude” movement and the limits of it’s success as an approach to achieving your full potential.

In 1996, R&B singer R Kelly told us how he believed he could fly in his pop single of the same title.

ImageThis captured the rising trend of “positive mental attitude”, the suggestion that anyone can succeed at anything just through positivity if they appropriately attune their psyche to achieve success. From athletes to business people, the virtues of a positive mental attitude (or PMA as it’s become known) was lauded as the defining difference between success and failure.

Stick the phrase “positive mental attitude” in any search engine on the internet and you’ll be offered courses; books; quick tips and intensive programmes all geared toward you succeeding in your chosen pursuit.

I’ve always maintained a healthy level of scepticism in this area and it would seem that research released on the BBC News channel today vindicates my cynicism.

This is not a new phenomenon. In fact the belief that dressing and mimicking others would attract the attributes of the mimicked goes back a long way.

I was reminded of this during a recent visit to Stirling Castle with my young son. There’s a plaque on the wall around the steep slopes on which the castle rests, forever commemorating the ‘Birdman of Stirling Castle’.

Believing he could fly if he adorned fowl feathers, John Damian leapt from the wall in an Imageendeavour to fly from the ancient Scottish city to France. As the article suggests, it takes a brave man to leap from these walls.

But this brings me to the point of this short reflection – John Damian believed he could defy his nature by dressing in feathers, believing these were the key to the success of bird’s ability to fly.

He ignored the fact that there was much more to a bird’s ability to fly and that he did not and could not boast these additional attributes – so no matter how much he believed in his ability to fly and no matter how hard he wished he could, his endeavour was always doomed.

And this is where “positive mental attitude” falls down too.

Instead of diverting all your will; all your efforts and all your time in an attempt to defy your nature, recognise that you are an individual with unique talents and abilities. Harness your own uniqueness; recognise what it is you are good at and focus on being the best YOU that you can be rather than seeking to change yourself.

The secret to success is finding and recognising your own unique offerings and identifying other people who can compliment your own skills and abilities to fill in the gaps.

Collaboration and co-production will always achieve far more than mere PMA and it will also save you a lot of time; heartache and disappointment.

As John Damian discovered, it takes more than just a “positive mental attitude” to achieve truly great feats.

Remember: Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).

Wishing all our visitors a fantastic, co-productive and collaborative 2013.

#Inspire !

Cloud Management Systems is a consultancy with a difference. Like all consultancy firms, we work with clients to help them achieve their full potential – but the way in which we achieve this is unique. Like all ‘cloud’ services, you can access what you need, when you need it and because of our delivery methods, you only pay for what you require.


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