Cogito, ergo sum

Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) is a philosophical statement first conceived by René Descartes. The idea of which has become a fundamental element of Western philosophy.

The simple meaning of the phrase is that if someone is wondering whether or not he or she exists, that is in and of itself proof that he or she does exist. So, you exist because you think…

… but exactly what is it that you think?

In a world where we’ve been taught and indeed conditioned to believe that a negative view is likely to equal a realistic result, and a positive vision is one which translates to an unrealistic outcome, it becomes increasingly difficult to truly believe we can change anything or have any success in our lives at all – ultimately we’re just not that special are we?

Just pause and ‘think’ about it for a moment. Isn’t the negative view the one we take more often than not? Isn’t all through the way we generally speak, write, and communicate?

I find myself writing about this stuff often, but it’s because of the prevalence and the depth of ‘it’ that so much can be focused on it. It’s because ‘it’ tends to drown and suffocate us all. All too often we become slightly sad, self-fulfilling prophets.


It was Henry Ford who said If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.
It’s the word ‘think’ I want us to focus on. Cogito, ergo sum.

At the base of most singular or collective failure we’ll generally find negative self-talk or at least negative thought. Negative talk (to one self or amongst ourselves and our peers) is the very best way to keep your self-esteem or in this case your radio station beaten down – regardless of the frequency and level of volume you use. At any time, frequent or infrequent, full frontal assault or a soft assured hug, negative self-talk is insidiously and poisonously destructive – even deadlier when it turns into the spoken or written word.

Many people habitually give themselves negative messages throughout each day as and when things begin to go wrong. They’ll say or think things like “I’m a loser”, “stupid”, “foolish”, “incapable” or inadequate in some way.

It’s also true when we communicate as a group (particularly if things aren’t going well), that we begin to search quietly for reasons to justify our non-performance – as opposed to taking responsibility for it. “New media is killing us all, right?”

How many times have you found yourself discussing with your colleagues the reasons why you can’t sell your advertising as opposed to why you can? We all know these conversations intimately: our rates are too high; the format isn’t right; the economy is worse than the Great Depression; the car dealers haven’t got any money; or no one listens to our station – all these statements prove realistic outcomes – right?

If a parent said to a child “you’re a loser”, “you’re too fat”, “you don’t speak properly”, or “you’re worthless” with any frequency, what chance would that child have of building a good sense of themselves, to build a good foundation of self-esteem?

The right answer is – none.

Indeed if you witnessed a parent publicly berating a child in this way – wouldn’t you concede it as abusive? Some of you may even be compelled to step in, or even contact the authorities to intervene because ultimately it is abuse and it’s unacceptable at any level.

Yet you’ve been this abusive (and even worse) with yourself haven’t you?

And what about the station that you work at? Do you verbally or meditatively abuse it? Is it any wonder that most human beings are less than successful? Is 2016 going to be a tough year for traditional advertising?


Nobody actually knows.

This year will be what you believe it to be, and whatever you think, you will prove yourself to be absolutely right.

If you don’t think this is serious or valid stuff cast your mind back – when was the last time you and the sales team sat around the boardroom table and talked about what’s great about your radio station? When was the last time you thought to yourself you did a good job? More to the point when was the last time you said to yourself “you’re a bit of a loser”?

An hour ago?

Five minutes ago?

Would you let anyone else abuse you in this way?

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.

The truth is we’re not perfect, everyone makes mistakes, some days we just feel down and everything goes wrong, but the secret is to know how not to buy into the negativity.

The next time you have the urge to put yourself down why don’t you try and lift yourself up? Use words in your self-talk like good, strong, intelligent, valid, caring, talented, loving, loved and substantial.

Find your own words and add them to your inner-list. If you have the courage ask someone close to you to write down ten words that they think describe you – I guarantee you’ll be surprised.

While they’re doing that, perhaps you could sit and write down ten words that positively describe your company and its assets – I know you’ll be surprised.

If you’ve been meditatively abusive to yourself, or verbally abusive about your station and its offerings (and its staff) then its time you changed isn’t it?

I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.

Henry Ford (1863 – 1947)
Sell without regret.

Michael Tate

Sales Director | NRS Media

[email protected]

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