Why 2017 Was a Year to Celebrate

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The holidays always prompt us to look both forward and back. Soon you’ll start seeing 2018 forecasts. I’ll review some of them for you and give you my own in the coming weeks. But first, I want to take a look back at 2017 – and do it a little differently.

In certain circles I’ve been pigeonholed as a “permabear.” That is not correct. I’m probably one of the most optimistic people you will ever meet. I’m confident in the future of humanity, but I also recognize that we must overcome many challenges to get to the future we ultimately want. I am not all that enthusiastic about the future of government. In other words, I try to stay balanced.

Photo: Wade Brooks via Flickr

We don’t live in an either/or world. It is not the case that everything is bad or that everything is wonderful. Yes, bad things happened in 2017. Good things happened in 2017, too. Both those statements are true. You don’t have to pick one or the other.

For whatever reason, we tend to tune into bad news more eagerly than we do good news. The media is partly to blame, because murders, fires, and nasty weather sell advertising; but I think something deeper is at work. Imagine this common nature documentary scene: A herd of antelopes grazes peacefully, then they suddenly sense danger – maybe there’s a lion in the grass. They freeze and prepare to flee.

That behavior makes perfect sense, and we humans have an instinctive bias toward watchfulness for danger, too. We pay attention to bad news more readily than good because the consequences of ignoring bad news are higher.

Overcoming this bias takes an intentional effort; and to mark the holidays, I’m going to help you do it. I ran across a great list from the Future Crunch website recently: “99 Reasons 2017 Was a Great Year.” If there’s a number in front of an item below, it came from this website. If there’s not, it came from other research, and I will provide the source.

So, I’ll list some of the best things that happened this year and add my own comments. When I started researching the amount of good news that has accumulated over the last decade or so, I was blown away. I could do a series of nothing but good-news newsletters for three weeks of every month. There are a lot of great things going on. The simple fact is: The world is getting better on almost all fronts.

Before we jump in, an announcement on my Strategic Investment Conference. We’re wrapping up the “early bird” registration, and the $300 discount we’ve been offering will be gone shortly. In fact, it was supposed to be gone already. I prevailed upon my partners to extend it through this weekend only because I know quite a few people are still trying to shake their schedules loose. So, you now have until Monday to register at the early bird rate. I am wrapping up negotiations with some well-known speakers, and we’ll announce them soon. I think you will want to be in the room; so don’t delay, click here for more information and to register.