One of California's biggest exports is motivational speakers (see example). Given this, it's no surprise that the art of positive self-talk is so prominent in the state.

Positive self-talk is the idea that words you tell yourself can affect how you frame yourself. Use positive words, become a more confident person. Put more cruedly, it's "Fake it Till You Make it." Perhaps the earliest example of this thinking is Norman Vincent Peale. A friend of many influential people, from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump, his 1952 book The Power of Positive Thinking became a huge bestseller and arguably one of the first self-help books. A more recent example is Amy Cuddy whose above TED Talk got routinely shared on social media when I was in college. While it's debatable whether or not the studies are truthful, there is probably a kernel of truth to it.

The concept has become a staple in places like Los Angeles, a famed company town for creatives. Walk around and talk to people there and you can't unsee it. People are ruthless about staying positive from yoga sessions to affirmative mantras. I think it's thrived because you need to stay positive with rejection. What is a two or three hour piece of entertainment for you or I might entail years of rejections and struggles. It's sometimes a wonder any film gets made with how easily they can get derailed. So you have to stay positive through it all.

This has percolated into places like San Francisco, Los Angeles' sister city to the north. Here entrepreneurs have to work day-in-and-day-out to get just a bit of glory when they sign the acquisition deal or ring the bell at the stock exchange. It's a long, tedious, and lonely road on the way there. This is much like the struggles of a creative project.

Notable is that you find Silicon Valley also disdains public markets. So much so there's been attempts in recent years to create alternatives. The idea is that public markets are full of fly-by-night investors who jump ship at the first bad quarter. Unlike private market, they don't stick around for the requisite time to properly see a company to success. You'd think that Amazon's track record would disabuse this notion but the perception often means more than the reality. This, of course, keeps in line with Positive Self-Talk.  

I think there's a connection between these two points. It's tough to deal with tedious failure everyday so giving soft white lies to yourself is necesary to get through it. That might even involve standing in front of a mirror and saying "you're the boss." Public markets stare you in the face with a blunt number. That can defeat these attempts no matter how hard you try.