We all have our foibles. I'm an odd mix of impulsive and conservative.
Being impulsive can lead to a lot of spur-of-the-moment fun in your life. It can also land you in hot water. Being conservative usually keeps you out of trouble but it can also lead to missed opportunities. My natural conservatism, which I blame on my accountant-like tendencies, is both friend and foe.
For example, as much as I'd love to be a glass half-full type guy, I often tend to the glass half-empty scenario just to be on the safe side.
The other day, over a contemplative beer with a work colleague, we discussed how we could all benefit by adopting a more positive disposition to life. Goodness knows some farming sectors being battered by drought and dairy downturns could do with all the positivity they can muster at present.
So with that in mind, I thought I'd have a look at some of the issues of the day from differing mindsets. What follows is an exercise in choosing your attitude:
Glass Half Empty:
Global Warming: Drought is the new normal on the east coast of both islands. A more sub-tropical climate means increased pestilence and disease. Climate extremes make for more flood and famine for farmers the world over.
The Dairy Industry: Dairy is damned. The world is awash with milk. A $4 payout is the new normal. Never again will we scale the $8 heights.
The Meat Industry: The Chinese will insidiously, and by stealth, infiltrate and eventually take over our meat industry. Profits will be repatriated to Shanghai and Beijing. Farmers will become price-takers at the tail end of the value-add chain, forced to survive on the last tiny sliver of the pie.
The State of the Economy: Just ask the Reserve Bank. We are doomed by dairy and housing debt. We are a two trick pony with way too many mortgages in too few baskets.
The State of our Politics: Our Prime Minister pulls ponytails and smugly gets red-carded from the House. The Opposition is a disparate rabble. Our most charismatic politician is a grumpy old septuagenarian who opposes everything.
The State of our National Game: Woe is me! How are we going to survive without Richie, Dan, Ma'a, Conrad, Kevvy and Woody?
Glass Half Full:
Global Warming: As I write it's a stunning 24 degree May day in downtown Dunedin. On duck shooting opening day I was literally sweating over a hot stove in Southland. It was 22 degrees manning the barbeque! If this is global warming and climate change then bring it on. Dunedin will become an Antipodean Barcelona. Soon we'll be growing grapes and kiwifruit in Southland.
The Dairy Industry: Gravity dictates what goes down must eventually bob up. We are merely one geo-political (Putin), climatic (drought) or environmental (Foot and Mouth Disease) event away from bouncing back. Besides, two billion extra people in the next 30 years have to eat something, right?
The Meat Industry: While lamb awaits Shanghai salvation, beef is pretty darn good and venison is on a decade- long high. The duck shooting BBQ was yet another reminder of what a great niche product lamb is. It's only a matter a time until it's fetching lofty venison-like prices.
The State of the Economy: Record-low inflation. Record-low interest rates. Has there ever been a better time to be in the business of borrowing money?
The State of our Politics: Regardless of your political persuasion, we have great stability. The Aussies have had five Prime Ministers during the John Key tenure. It's highly conceivable we could end up having just two Prime Ministers over a 21 year span.
The State of our National Game: Who needs Richie and Dan? Young farm boys like Sam Cane and Damien McKenzie are the future of our game. As a nation there's only one thing we're better at than growing grass and that's growing rugby players in the provinces.
So choose your attitude. "Many of life's failures are experienced by people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison.