Away with negative thoughts, and the thudding reality of an increasingly embattled Hong Kong with thousands of people out of work. Cast from your minds the worries of pending revolutions as economies in the region teeter on the brink of the abyss. Lai See has decided it's time to embark on a course of positive thinking, just to go against the tide of popular feeling in Hong Kong. To put it in the words of those American self-help experts: we're psyched. This state of seemingly irrational and uncalled-for optimism has been, perversely, only encouraged by the exaggerated self-flagellation that seems to be going on wherever you look right now. Digesting the news just lately has not been a pleasant task. The illusion that Hong Kong is a non-toxic eating city has been shattered by well-chronicled health scares on just about any type of living thing you care to mention. The term 'unemployment' - once a virtual non-entity in the Hong Kong conversation - has become a veritable fixture of dinner party exchanges. And it gets worse, of course. This week, leading economists warned Hong Kong's economy would contract by 0.7 per cent this year - its first recession since the advent of national income accounts statistics nearly 40 years ago. In keeping with the general mood, the stock market has been behaving very uncharitably towards market bulls: many of whom, just a month or two back, were starting to predict the Hang Seng Index was headed quickly for the 15,000 point mark. And things haven't exactly been looking up as the bad economic portents continue to stack up out of Indonesia. It's little wonder that the Marc Fabers of the world have been in their element with statistics and trends like these floating around. Let's face it, with a headline list like this, finding evidence that all is not well in the state of the world hasn't been hard. But Lai See has always been a big one for tasks of Everest proportions, and what better time can there be to go against the trend and start a movement of optimism in Hong Kong? Paragons of positivity are nowhere to be seen amid the current determination to be gloomy - so if nothing else, our movement would have novelty value. We've brushed up for our new movement with some self-help literature, turning to the words of motivational experts like Tom Peters, Dale Carnegie and Zig Ziglar for inspiration. Mr Peters is the author of such masterworks as Thriving on Chaos and Liberation Management and The Pursuit of Wow, while Mr Carnegie has been busy winning friends and influencing people for years. But it is the words of the wonderfully-named Mr Ziglar that we think could inspire Hong Kongers into some positive thinking. He once told his disciples: 'Three billion people go to bed every night hungry, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition'. What profundity! A few catch-phrases like that, and we'll have a new order in operation in Hong Kong. Still, these words of inspiration need a bit of modification to properly reflect the unique attitude of Hong Kongers in troubled times: so your correspondent has been applying the principles of our esteemed oracles of optimism to the local scene. We think that all it will take for positivism to start pumping through the veins of Hong Kong again is the modification of a few well-chronicled traits of everyday life. You know - while travelling on the MTR, taking a ride in a taxi or even just buying some shares. As Zig Ziglar notes, a simple change in behaviour here and there can make all the difference. So Lai See urges all Hong Kongers, in the interests of getting rid of all that negativity, to observe a few simple mantras: I will only push over three people next time I'm trying to get on to the MTR. I promise to swear at workmates without provocation only five times a day. I give a solemn undertaking to ring my broker and abuse him only once a day if the Hang Seng Index falls. I vow I will not jump to the front of the queue - even if I am left with thousands of vouchers for a cake, video or any other type of goods from a store that happens to be experiencing a run. If you're looking for help in any other areas, call the Lai See self-help hotline for some words of encouragement, in the true spirit of Mr Ziglar et al. Repeat our specially-formulated phrases five times daily, and they will start to seep through into your sub-conscious minds. A few sessions of Lai See's super-duper, whizz bang, positive reinforcement techniques should be enough to expel those wayward negative thoughts and anti-social behaviour forever. A Hong Kong full of polite, optimistic and fun-loving people? We'd like to see that.