19 February 2020
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Make an impression

by Maureen Jordan

While I’ve never really understood why multiplying two negatives makes a positive, I’ve always accepted that as fact and done the maths accordingly. One thing I would question is whether two negative people could ever create anything positive. I just don’t think they could.

Over recent years, I’ve turned my attention away from watching nightly news, particularly on the ABC. I used to watch it religiously, followed by the 7.30 Report, then Four Corners, even Q+A and Lateline. The list went on.  I used to think that being open to current affairs, world events and debate would make me more thoughtful. That’s not to say that there aren’t times (like last night’s Four Corners) that I’m so glad we have an ABC and would always fight to preserve it. But if I continued to spend my winter Monday nights watching the run of shows that currently screen, I think I’d need to consider going into therapy to overcome the negative bombardment. The only uplifting program is Australian Story. It more often than not makes me feel so good.

This next sentence isn’t going to be earth shattering: the world is full of negativity and negative people. I don’t know how anyone else feels, but it’s not good for my state of mind when I trying to build a business, motivate staff and be a good influence on my family.

So what do I do about it?

Well, for starters, I’ve turned to other mediums and one of them is books (and they’re not of the electronic kind). They’re beautifully written, sometimes beautifully bound books that tell me stories of triumph, of struggle, sure, but of success, of contribution to our world. I’ve gone up a notch in glasses strength, acquired a good reading lamp and so I spend several hours losing myself in the lives of others. My current love is the artist Henri Matisse and I’ve learnt more reading this book than I possibly could sitting in front of the idiot box — that’s aside from Switzer on the Sky News Business Channel, of course!

I’ve even been drawing out business principles and applying these to our business. Matisse was an innovator, a disruptor, and through his passion and persistence, he connected with those who knew how to market his daringly different work. He linked up with mentors who inspired him, the most important being the Australian impressionist John Peter Russell.

(Why haven’t we all heard about this great Australian who has paintings in the Louvre?)

He was focused, was always open to new things, put himself in places and circles of influence so he could continue to grow.

And he made money from this passion. I wonder when the media will realise that they’re doing no one any good with what is put out each evening on TV. And I don’t even venture beyond the ABC, SBS and Sky News Business Channel, so I’d hate to think what goes on commercial channels.

(Admission: I am not a sports-watching nut like the men in my family but at least with sport you have a chance of walking away from the invested time with a positive experience. Peter says I should finish this with “Go the Tahs!”, whatever that means? I’d prefer “Go the Impressionists!”)

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