By 1991, Earvin “Magic” Johnson accomplished what most NBA players couldn’t fathom. Unfortunately, his legacy was in danger of being overshadowed by three letters: HIV. During the press conference where he announced his retirement, and what many saw as his death sentence, Magic made a comment that might have seemed like humor in the face of tragedy, “I plan to go on living a long time and bugging you like I always have.”
No one expected that this would prove to be more prophecy than hubris.
- Two months later he was back on the court.
- Three months later he was the MVP of the All-Star Game.
- Nine months later he was the captain of the Olympic “Dream Team” in Barcelona, earning a gold medal.
Twenty years later, he’s still around. He’s a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a grandfather. He’s spreading hope and awareness about HIV to people all over the world. He’s thriving instead of waiting to die. He’s achieved the impossible through the power of positive thinking.
Though considered cliché, the power of positive thinking cannot be denied. It has been tied to not only to the health and success of people, but brands as well. It has played more than a minor roll in the comeback of some of our favorite brands.
- For years, Ford Motor Company had been teetering on the brink of collapse. However, their CEO, or “Chief Cheerleader” as Alan Mullaly sometimes refers to himself, has been relentlessly optimistic, using positivity to power his company’s comeback.
- Polaroid should not exist in the age of digital photography. However, the brand has bounced back from bankruptcy and extinction by finding new life as a niche brand and embracing its advocates. By remaining positive, they found opportunities that no one could have anticipated.
- Apple was the Myspace of the 90s, losing ground to Microsoft and other brands. However, under the optimistic and charismatic leadership of Steve Jobs, the brand has not only turned around, but has surpassed its rival to become the most successful company in the world.
The truth is that anything can make a comeback with the right attitude. As Charles R. Swindoll once said, “Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.” It gains us nothing to think negatively when faced with challenges. However, a can do attitude opens up our lives to possibility, allowing everyday magic to enter our lives. When faced with challenges in which bad meets worse, instead of thinking negatively, we should define our problems the same way Magic did:
“Just another thing in an eventful life. Let’s move forward.”